3k to spend in architecture books


Hey Archinect, figured I can get some advice here. My firm gives us an annual 'education' fund to spend on mainly architecture books and NCARB/AXP study materials. As I am leaving for grad school in a week, I have 3k left of this 'slush fund' to spend. Obviously I don't need NCARB materials yet and would rather spend it on quality books on/about architecture.

My question is, what are some books that every emerging architect should have, or lesser-known books by down-to-earth designers? I have a specific interest in local community engagement and social justice. Monographs, compilations, photo books, manifestos, literally everything is on the table. What's on your bookshelf??

Jul 23, 21 10:02 am

TheDesign of Everyday Things

Book by Don Norman

Jul 23, 21 11:49 am  · 

You have 3k to spend on books?! Would you please marry me? 

Jul 23, 21 11:50 am  · 

Lol, it's because I am still on my parent's health care plan, so I get to use that money instead on books. But yeah I'm single ;)

Jul 23, 21 1:02 pm  · 

Get some old Birkauser books. Since they shut, these have become rather special collectibles. Also, FYI, I am a dude and not even slightly gay, so it will be a marriage of convenience.

Jul 23, 21 4:20 pm  · 

3K just for book funds? What a nice firm. I don't even get 3K for end of the year bonus. I would recommend you spend those funds on the ARE referenced textbooks first. There is a reason why they are textbooks. Not just for the exams. Simply a must have for fundamental architecture knowledge.

Jul 23, 21 12:45 pm  · 
1  · 

Only 3k? Too bad, you could’ve gotten FLW’s Selected Drawings Portfolio Volume 1-3

Jul 23, 21 1:02 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

A first edition of one of Vitruvius' books perhaps?  

Jul 23, 21 1:27 pm  · 

Ramsey and Sleeper would like a word. 

Jul 23, 21 2:08 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

Not something I'm really pursuing, but every time I run across an edition I don't have for cheap I pick it up. Maybe someday I'll have a full collection of every edition.

Jul 23, 21 3:03 pm  · 
2  · 

I love it.

Jul 23, 21 4:27 pm  · 

I've liked these, wife has been getting them for me, a bunch for different materials.

Jul 23, 21 2:16 pm  · 

Some of the most helpful books I had for the ARE were ones I'd held onto from school. If you don't yet have them, I'd start buying the textbooks you might need in the future or for studying for the ARE. Downside to doing it now would be if newer editions are published, but studying from a book one or two editions out of date wasn't a big deal in most cases. The content doesn't usually change, rather the organization of it does.

In no particular order I'd recommend some of the following:

  • Sun, Wind, and Light
  • Heating, Cooling, and Lighting
  • MEEB
  • AHPP (spring for the full edition cause you have the cash, otherwise the student edition is fine)
  • Architect's Studio Companion
  • Architectural Graphic Standards
  • Problem Seeking (architectural programming textbook)
  • Programming for Design
  • Building Codes Illustrated
  • Building Construction Illustrated
  • Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods
  • That simplified engineering textbook from Ambrose and Tripeny (Not sure the exact name ... don't buy it just for the ARE. Only get it if you have structural courses left to take)
  • CSI's Project Delivery Practice Guide (updated replacement for the CSI Manual of Practice cited by NCARB for a reference material)
Jul 23, 21 2:24 pm  · 
3  · 

I also love Sir Banister Fletcher's a History of Architecture

Jul 23, 21 2:26 pm  · 

Watkins is better.

Jul 23, 21 4:28 pm  · 

Why not both?

Jul 23, 21 8:55 pm  · 
atelier nobody

With that kind of scratch, you might be able to afford a copy of the essential reference: Baker, Maxwell C. Roofs: Design, Application and Maintenance. National Research Council of Canada, 1980. If you can find a copy.

Seriously, though, the book I recommend to everyone starting out in this profession is: Wiggins, Glenn E. A Manual of Construction Documentation: An Illustrated Guide to Preparing Construction Drawings. Watson-Guptill, 1989.

Jul 23, 21 2:59 pm  · 

5th edition Architectural Graphic Standards

Jul 23, 21 7:41 pm  · 

El Croquis subscription

Jul 23, 21 8:59 pm  · 
If you can’t manage to spend it all, pick up something by John hedjuk… that will burn some cash
Jul 23, 21 11:00 pm  · 

Every architect and their dog own this ... If you havent had it already.


Jul 23, 21 11:37 pm  · 
If your story is actually true, you should stay close to this firm. Sounds like a really good place. Regarding ARE, so you even need books anymore for it?
Jul 24, 21 2:56 am  · 

Siegfried Ebeling's Der Raum als Membran (Space as Membrane)

Jul 24, 21 4:13 am  · 

start with this 

Jul 25, 21 8:56 am  · 

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