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Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

United Kingdom Architecture News - Dec 14, 2020 - 09:30   21835 views

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

As we fastly approach to 2021, the WAC editors have picked up the best architectural books of 2020 for our readers. While some of them are selected from WAC's Books section, some of the books are picked up from other publishers to reveal a good mix of list for WAC readers.

Carefully curated by the WAC editors, the selected books provide a well-thought list that appeals to every reader's taste or for those of you wanting to dive into an academic research, theory, cities, interior design, urbanism, materials or the architecture profession.

In compiling the list, we brought to you different titles, topics and different fields that can also propel a broad visual narrative for architects, architecture students and a citizen interested in architecture. 

Philip Jodidio's book Ando. Complete Works 1975–Today. 40th Anniversary Edition, Jean Dethier's The Art of Earth Architecture: Past, Present, Future comprehensive book on raw-earth construction and Spencer Bailey and David Adjaye's book In Memory Of: Designing Contemporary Memorials exploring the design of memorials around the world from the late twentieth century to today, are among the most captivating stories of 2020.

See our extensive archive on architecture books and pick your favourite book below to expand your bookshelf (in no particular order):


Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

1. Dreamscapes & Artificial Architecture by gestalten

Published by gestalten, the 208-page book reinterrogates the future of creativity in which digital and social media play an important role to push the boundaries of aesthetic. Presented over mesmerizing renderings, landscapes and interiors, the book features "the most innovative projects in digital art" and "covers the work of the artists and creatives at the forefront of this aesthetic."

The book takes readers to an fantastic and ravishing journey that the the intersection of art, architecture and technology drives the new context of architecture in the 21st century. 

In this book, readers will discover "Filip Hodas and his captivating pop culture dystopia artwork series, explore Massimo Colonna's surrealist urban landscapes" and get lost "in the abstract compositions of Ezequiel Pini, founder of Six N. Five studio."

Read more about the book on WAC

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

2. Egyptian Places: An Illustrated Travelogue by Henry David Ayon

Published by ORO Editions, the 170-page book presents a multi-faceted journey of the architect’s visits to 12 of Ancient Egypt’s most spectacular sites, starting from the urban metropolis of Cairo, the Great Pyramid of Giza to the remote desert setting of the rock-cut temples at Abu Simbel, the architect also visits other monumental temples and towering pyramids which line the Nile River. 

Written by Henry David Ayon, practicing architecture in Richmond, Virginia, the book features over 200 color hand drawings and graphic studies that capture and interpret the character of each site from the architect’s unique perspective. 

Described as an "engaging travelogue", Egyptian Places can be a fulfilled, illustrative journey for those of you wanting to discover the mysteries of Ancient Egypt with elaborative analyses.

Read more about the book on WAC

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

3. Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors by By Mateo Kries (Author, Editor), Jochen Eisenbrand (Author, Editor), Jasper Morrison (Contributor), Penny Sparke (Contributor), Joseph Grima (Contributor), Alice Rawsthorn (Contributor), Matteo Pirola (Contributor), Timothy Rohan (Contributor), Adam Štcch (Contributor), Alex J. Taylor (Contributor)

Published by Vitra Design Museum, Home Stories is a 320-page book that explores 20 iconic residential interiors and elaborates the question of dwelling today and revisits for our habits on "how to live" in the interiors which is found increasingly to be lacking in serious discourse.

Presented by a series of photographs, plans, drawings, case studies, the book discusses 20 iconic residential interiors from the present back to the 1920s, featuring architects, artists and designers such as Assemble, Cecil Beaton, Lina Bo Bardi, Arno Brandlhuber, Elsie de Wolfe, Elii, Josef Frank, Andrew Geller, IKEA, Finn Juhl, Michael Graves, Kisho Kurokawa, Adolf Loos, Claude Parent, Bernard Rudofsky, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Alison and Peter Smithson, Jacques Tati, Mies van der Rohe and Andy Warhol.  

Read more about the book on WAC

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

4. In Memory Of: Designing Contemporary Memorials by Spencer Bailey (Author), David Adjaye (Contributor)

Published by Phaidon, the 240-page book explores the design of memorials around the world from the late twentieth century to today. Presenting an extraordinary and charming collection over more than 60 exceptional structures, the book "contextualizes the projects and address the emotional aspects of memorialization." 

Starting with a moving foreword by Sir David Adjaye, it includes memorials built since 1982 and contains important works from Berlin to Washington, D.C., from Montgomery, Alabama to Santiago, Chile, all urging readers never to forget. 

The works of David Adjaye, Tadao Ando, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Peter Eisenman, Daniel Libeskind, Maya Lin, Snøhetta, and Peter Zumthor are also featured in this book. The book presents over 200 photographs which provide a glamorous journey to the nature of memorials. 

Read more about the book on WAC

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

5. The Art Of Earth Architecture: Past, Present, Future by Jean Dethier 

Published by Princeton Architectural Press, the 512-page book dives into our material world and examines remarkable structures demonstrating "a wide-ranging applications and sustainability aspect of raw-earth building material" over a global survey. Focusing on raw-earth masterpieces around the world, it discusses the ecological significance of the material. 

Spending his fifty years by researching this landmark global survey, Dethier presents an in-depth theoretical, visual and informative study by examining several temples and palaces of Mesopotamia, the Great Wall of China, large-scale urban developments in Tenochtitlan in Mexico, the medinas of Morocco, and housing in Marrakech and Bogota.

The book is narrated by hundreds of photographs, illustrations, architectural drawings and essays where the cultural aspects of "raw-earth construction" from twenty experts is broadly discussed. 

"Jean Dethier has dedicated his life to the research, safeguarding, and development of earth structures around the world. Dethier worked at the Centre Pompidou as a curator of influential architectural exhibits for thirty years. Winner of the prestigious Grand Prix national de l'architecture, he sat on the jury of the 2016 Terra Award, the first international prize for contemporary earthen structures."

Read more about the book on WAC

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

6. Ando. Complete Works 1975–Today. 40th Anniversary Edition by Philip Jodidio 

Published by Taschen, the 512-page book was released as the 40th Anniversary Edition of Taschen. The book, written by Philip Jodidio, revisits the unique aesthetic of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando

Compiling a unique collection of works of the architect, the books features Ando's stunning projects, including Shanghai Poly Grand Theater and the Roberto Garza Sada Center in Monterrey, Mexico, as well as his award-winning private homes, churches, museums, and apartment complexes to cultural spaces throughout Japan, South Korea, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, and the USA. 

Each project is presented through rich photographs and architectural drawings that explore "Ando’s unprecedented use of concrete, wood, water, light, space, and natural forms."

Read more about the book on WAC

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

7. In Search Of African American Space: Redressing Racism by Sara Caples (Author), Radiclani Clytus (Author), Yolande Daniels (Author), Ann Holder (Author), Everardo Jefferson (Author), Wallis Johnson (Author), Elizabeth Kennedy (Author), Rodney Leon (Author), Marisa Williamson (Author), Jeffrey Hogrefe (Editor), Carrie Eastman (Editor), Scott Ruff (Editor), Ashley Simone (Editor), Tina M. Campt (Foreword)

Published by Lars Müller Publishers, the 256-page book examines African American experience in relation to architecture. Focusing on the nature of African American space, the book discusses this creative relationship in the form of speech and performance by revealing historical records and personal and collective memory to unfold these instances. 

Divided into three sections, the book is illustrated with vintage adverts, maps, posters and architectural plans, and organized thematically. 

Read more about the book on WAC.

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

8. Practiceopolis: Stories From The Architectural Profession by Yasser Megahed  

Published by Routledge, the 286-page book was released as a graphic novel about the contemporary architectural profession, "acting as the protagonist in the form of an imaginary city called Practiceopolis." 

Diving into the nature of the architecture profession, the book "depicts and dramatises the value conflicts between the different cultures of practising architecture and between the architectural profession and other members of the building industry as political conflicts around the future of Practiceopolis."

The writer discusses the captivating stories from other stakeholders' point of view, starting from construction industry, manufacturer to other members of design.

Read more about the book on WAC.

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

9. What Is Co-Dividuality? Post-Individual Architecture, Shared Houses, And Other Stories Of Openness In Japan by Fabienne Louyot (Author), Salvator-John A. Liotta (Editor)

Published by JOVIS, the 144-page book examines "the concept of "co-dividuality," an architecture that expresses a new response to joint living in the age of post-individualism, social media and the sharing economy."

Focusing on the context of Japan, it brings the main question into discussion: "how architects are designing for communal living in a country enduring the diminishment of private space: Japan".

While offering a broad discussion over the new "spatial ergonomics" of architecture where shared spaces are increasing in the domain of architecture, the book explores the internal dynamics of domestic space as well as the multi-faceted dimensions of private and public spaces. 

Consisting of 6 chapters, the book features projects by Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa, Shigeru Ban, Sou Fujimoto, Satoko Shinohara, Ayano Uchimura, Taichi Kuma, Junya Ishigami, Suppose Design, Naruse Inokuma and others.

The book starts with a foreword of Kengo Kuma.

Read more about the book on WAC.

Top 10 Architecture Books Of 2020

10. Soviet Cities: Labour, Life & Leisure by Arseniy Kotov (Author), Damon Murray (Editor), Stephen Sorrell (Editor)

Published by FUEL Publishing, the 240-page book documents a series of modernist architecture of Soviet-era captured by Russian photographer Arseniy Kotov. It depicts striking visuals starting from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan to the grim monolithic high-rise dormitory blocks of inner-city Volgograd, Kotov captures the essence of the post-Soviet world. 

Captured in different seasons and atmospheres, the building are commonly photographed in winter time, during the “blue hour,” "which occurs immediately after sunset or just before sunrise."

"At this time, the warm yellow colors inside apartment-block windows contrast with the twilight gloom outside." "To Kotov, this atmosphere reflects the Soviet period of his imagination."

Read more about the book on WAC.