Books for architects: Top titles for every Architect

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The most crucial aspects of architecture are research, thought, and theory. It is undoubtedly true that books are the most effective and finest mediums for inspiration and reference for design. Architectural books inculcate abundant knowledge on design theories, concepts, and architecture in general. They also have to power to engage aspirants with stories about buildings and the lives of architects, thus inspiring young architects. The innumerable books on architecture act as references and design guides thereby helping to develop a well-structured design thought process.

Here’s a complete list of the top architectural books, in no particular order. Let us explore now!

Form, Space, and Order

 Author: Francis D.K. Ching

One of the most famous books in the architectural community, this is the one book that almost all of the architects would have referred to at some point in their career. This book gives an insight into the basic vocabulary in architecture and is the most recommended among the architectural peers.

Letters to A Young Architect

Author- Cristopher Charles Benninger

This is a memoir of Architect Christopher Benninger wherein he has shared his experience in India along with his views on topics ranging from architectural theory to urban issues in India. The book is in the form of articles and essays and gives a strong message for architects and architectural aspirants.

The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings

Author: Marc Kushner

Marc Kushner gave all of us a sneak peek of the future of architecture with a collective of progressive architectural designs in the form of this book. This is an interesting read that will take you through endless possibilities and innovations in architecture. Through various stories of futuristic architecture, this book inculcates a thought process that can help designers to achieve designs that balance nature and the built environment.


Author: Peter Zumthor

Peter Zumthor has showcased the collection of his inspiration sources in for of this book, Athmospheres. This book is regarded as poetic in architecture and Zumthor has put forward his views on creating an atmosphere for his buildings through his designs. According to him, the actors that influence the atmosphere in a building are the feeling of presence, user well-being, and social harmony.


Author: Steve Bowkett

ArchiDoodle is for everyone interested in buildings thereby boosting the reader’s imagination through sketches, drawings, and paintings. A fun and interactive piece ArchiDoodle is compiled with doodles and illustrations helping the user the challenges involved in architecture right from designing a highrise to a house on an island. Important architectural aspects like site context, materiality and space planning have been very well explained in this book.

The Seven Lamps of Architecture

Author: John Ruskin

This book explains the essential architectural aspects through analogy. The seven architectural characteristics are being described here in comparison to the seven “lamps”. The 7 “lamps” have been described as the lamps of Sacrifice, Truth, Power, Beauty, Life, Memory, and Obedience. There is a famous quote by the author- “Know what you have to do and do it,” and this thought is what the whole book is about.

In Praise of Shadows

Author: Junichiro Tanizaki

An engaging book to read on a laid-back evening, In Praise of Shadows, puts forward the intimate relation between Japanese art and architecture. This book is viewed as one of the ‘enchanting’ reads. The innate descriptions of the play of shadow and visuals in the dim candlelight have been very well described. Thus, this book is known to leave the reader mesmerized.

The Language of Architecture: 26 Principles every Architect should know

Authors: Andrea Simitch, Val Warke

One needs to first get a perfect hold of the architectural vocabulary, the basic building methods, and functions to master the art of architecture. Moreover, the usage of materials and techniques are also important to understand the context of buildings. This book is therefore a perfect guide to acquire knowledge on all of these. There are 26 chapters in this book that comprehend the important principle of architecture. The Language of Architecture, therefore, is not just a book it is a comprehensive learning tool.

Experiencing Architecture

Author: Eiler Rasmussen

Experiencing Architecture by Eiler Rasmussen is a classic in the world of architecture. This book helps readers to develop a perspective on architecture not just as a profession but as an experience. Eiler believes that architectural maturity is developed more from shared thoughts and feelings in regard to space and- light, color, shape, scale, texture, rhythm, and sound. Thus the book focuses on the inclusion of these aspects in the design process.

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Sudarshan Uppunda
Sudarshan Uppunda
Born & brought up in Bombay, based in Bengaluru, Sudarshan is an ambivert who can be outgoing-open and reserved at the same time. It all depends on the vibes! He deeply believes in vibes and personal energies. As an Architectural Journalist and Architect, he aims to write in a way that his content is relatable for all. Design is what interests him the most and he keeps trying his hand at different design verticals such as graphic, UI & UX design at times. He likes to write and explore varied topics on Workplace environments, Architecture, and Culture. He is quite active in architectural content writing and has written for various platforms like RTF, The Arch Insider, Gharpedia, etc. He strongly believes that whatever one does in life, one must do it with passion & be happy with it.

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