Since the early 20th century, Architects and designers travel across the globe to understand different cultures, study different styles, learn from the structures designed by pioneers and examine the impact of people on the cities’ urban design and spatial conceptualization of spaces. Traveling has not only helped students and professionals to visit certain timeless buildings but also expand their knowledge concerning the construction, material, evolution of technology, and spatio-cultural forms. The road also helps one understand the birth and evolution of cities as well as observe the transformation due to the advent of new technology and material. It is rather important to travel, to broaden one’s knowledge and relive history and gain more insight into the field.
Below mentioned are some architects books related to travel and architecture. These books cover different ranges of topics, from case studies of houses to documented buildings belonging to a specific design style. With multiple photographs, detailed maps, and text by the architect, these books are the ultimate guide for any Architect who loves to travel.

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1. The Grand Tour: Travelling the world with an Architect’s eye by Harry Seidler | Architects Books

The Grand Tour by Harry Seidler is a collection of the stories and photographs he captured over his 50-years long journey around the globe. Seidler has extensively documented famous structures with his Leica filled with Kodachrome film. The book is a great escape and inspires students and young architects to travel and explore different parts of the world. He has divided the book into different chapters titled the continents and countries. The book is a reminder of the capabilities of the human mind and is a great example of the knowledge possessed by different cultures, and how they are interdependent and synergetic.

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The Grand Tour by Harry Seidler ©Harry Seidler

2. Destination Architecture: The Essential Guide to 1000 Contemporary Buildings by Phaidon

As the name suggests, ‘Destination Architecture’ is a handy portable guide for the road. With over 1000 most compelling contemporary designs by starchitects across different continents, the book is a collection of exemplary contemporary structures to unexplored buildings. It is organized geographically with illustrated maps and photographs covering all the continents. The book also mentions the buildings that one could visit from the inside so that they can admire both the interiors and outdoors. Covering over 650 pioneers and lesser-known architects, there is a brief of every building, describing the design features, cultural significance, and historical background.

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Destination Architecture ©Phaidon

3. Travel space architecture by Jilly Traganou and Miodrag Mitrasinovic

‘Travel, Space, Architecture’ is a combined transcript of seventeen detailed case studies ranging from historical to spatio-cultural backgrounds defined through a new theoretical approach of identifying the spatial characteristics. The editors arguably describe the importance of borders and cross-cultural encounters in the conceptualization, representation, and production of space. The central idea of the studies done in the book is based on dissociating the culture from place and identity and architectural basics to relinquish the understanding of spatial and architectural practices. It also recognizes the institutionalization of architectural travel in the early 20th century and examines the impact of mobility and immigration on globalization, contemporary modern environments, the idea of urban spaces and architecture, and lastly architectural practice.

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Travel, Space, Architecture by Jilly Traganou and Miodrag Mitrasinovic ©www.goodreads.com

4. Modernist Escapes: An Architectural Travel Guide by Stefi Orazi

Modernist Escape is a getaway for architects and students inspired by the modern style of architecture. The book is an insightful guide featuring over 130 structures belonging to the era of modern architecture built that span the globe. It focuses on different modern principles of designs, from Bauhaus to Brutalism. All the structures are accompanied by text regarding the history and visiting information with photographs of the interior and exterior views of the building. Orazi has carefully chosen the buildings, primarily focusing on visitation rights and even overnight stay. Modernist Escapes documents many unforgettable spaces, showcasing some impeccable structures helping in developing the perfect itinerary for the holidays.

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Europe’s modernist estates and their distinct cultures featured in the book ©www.wallpaper.com

5. Where Architects Sleep: The Most Stylish Hotels in the World by Sarah Miller | Architects Book

Surveying over 270 renowned architects, Sarah Miller compiled a collection of 1,200 recommendations for accommodation and hotels located around the world. The book is an ultimate global accommodation list from better-known locations to secret spots. Apart from the essential information and insightful reviews, the compilation also has specially commissioned maps that guide you to easily approach the hotels. From high-end hotels to budget escapes, the book covers over about 100 countries, which are further divided geographically.

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Where Architects Sleep by Sarah Miller ©www.dezeen.com

6. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

‘Invisible Cities’ is a book based on the imaginations of an explorer Marco Polo. The book is framed as a conversation between the elderly, Kublai Khan, who is a busy emperor, and Marco Polo. The author has described these imaginary cities using prose poems that are narrated by Polo. He has created 55 such cities with different narratives based on their culture, language, people, time, money, memory, death, and nature of human experience. Though it is believed that architecture is fundamentally a visual field, the author tries to develop experiences through intangible aspects of life. The narrative is also an abstract derivative of Marco’s imagination and is not defined with visual wordplay.

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Invisible cities by Italo Calvinor ©Karina Puente Frantzen

7. Architects Houses by Thames & Hudson | Architects Book

Comprising 30 houses designed by pioneering architects, the publication takes the reader through an invigorating journey through these homes. Each house reflects the design approach and personality of its designer. The author investigates the design statements made by the architects and helps the reader understand the project and its aspirations. The book also narrates the design inspirations as well as the conceptual development process the architect undertakes. There are projects by renowned architects such as Norman Foster and Thom Mayne mentioned in the book. Projects belonging to different scales, materiality, scope, and context are included in the book in order to keep the readers hooked. 

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Architect’s Houses by Michael Webb ©www.goodreads.com

8. Midwest Architecture Journeys by Zach Mortice

A compilation of essays written by Architects, critics, and journalists, Midwest Architecture Journeys takes the reader on a journey through some new unexplored sites and structures of the American heartland. Buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and other lesser-known architects are included in the testament. The book comprises projects with a wild diversity of architectural experimentation that also identifies the humble characteristics of utopian optimism. The book is divided into 4 sections, titled journeys, places, people, and vernacular.

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Midwest Architecture Journeys by Zach Mortice ©Insidehook

9. Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses by Dominic Bradbury

Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses is the comprehensive collection of residential projects located across the globe, designed by pioneering as well as some unrecognized architects. There are a total of about 400 midcentury houses by around 290 architects, showcasing the advent and evolution of the modernist movement of architecture. Exemplary house designs by famous architects such as Philip Johnson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Luis Barragan are also a part of the complication by Bradbury.  The book also enlists the details regarding the architect of the project, location, year of construction, and the current use of the structure, dignified with the multiple photographs of the exterior as well as interiors. More than 60 sites mentioned in the book are now designated as heritage sites, ensuring the survival of the structures.

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Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses by Dominic Bradbury ©Phaidon

10. Drawing Architecture by Helen Thomas, Phaidon | Architects Books

A collection of doodles, sketches, and architectural drawings, the book is an amalgamation of some famous architects such as Michelangelo, Frank Gehry, Louise Bourgeois, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Grafton Architects, and Luis Barragán. The book holds over 250 drawings, displayed in pairs spanning geography and time. The sketches depict the different stages of the design process, starting from the dreamy doodles to experimental drawings and visualization sketches, and finally the schematic drawings and construction details. Both abstract versions and realistic renders are a part of the document. The book helps the reader understand the design process an architect undergoes to reach the outcome, giving one an excerpt from the architect’s journey.

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Drawing Architecture by Helen Thomas, Phaidon ©Phaidon
Author

Rachita is an Architect who has a keen interest in parametric design. She is passionate about travel and writing and believes that the world is made up of different stories, with both buildings and the people living within them. She desires to leave an impact through her design and stories.

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