Summer Reads

John Hill
8. July 2021
Photo: World-Architects

With summer break upon us, World-Architects has rummaged through numerous recently published books on architecture and related fields to find ten recommendations for summer reading.

Summer reading lists tend to list books that are breezy, easy to read affairs meant to be flipped through while lounging at the beach. Architecture books don't fit that mold, so this list takes a different approach, finding books that are intelligent, insightful, and, with at least one exception, relatively small for architecture books. This means most of these books are portable — ready to be carried along with you wherever you spend your summer break. The alphabetical list with commentary is below.

Photo: World-Architects

Archetypes

The first book in Standpunkte’s new cooperation with Park Books is a slim book of David K. Ross's dramatic photographs of unlikely subjects: full-scale mock-ups of wall assemblies at construction sites. Shot at night, the boldly illuminated images reveal the mock-ups as objects in and of themselves but also as representations of the buildings to come. A few essays follow the photographs of mock-ups for projects designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Steven Holl Architects, SO-IL, and others. 

Archetypes

Archetypes
Photographs by David K. Ross
With contributions by Reto Geiser, Sky Goodden, Ted Kesik, and Peter Sealy. Edited by Reto Geiser

21 x 28 cm
120 Pages
90 Illustrations
Hardcover
ISBN 9783038602217
Standpunkte/Park Books
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Growing Up Modern

In 2015, Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster traveled with their nine-month-old son to France, Germany, and the Czech Republic to visit four modernist house and have conversations with the individuals who grew up in them. It's a great idea that reveals personal insights into modernist masterpieces, such as Hans Scharoun's Schminke House, through both the conversations and new photography inside the buildings. Floor plans annotated with the childhood memories are a great addition to this beautiful book. 

Growing Up Modern: Childhoods in Iconic Homes

Growing Up Modern: Childhoods in Iconic Homes
Edited by Julia Jamrozik & Coryn Kempster

18 x 24.5 cm
328 Pages
340 Illustrations
Hardcover
ISBN 9783035619058
Birkhäuser
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Imagining the Evident

First published in Portuguese in 1998, the English edition of Álvaro Siza's Imagining the Evident gives firsthand accounts of projects the great architect designed from the 1960s through to the 1990s. Siza's words are accompanied by his distinctive sketches, dozens of them on Casa Vieira de Castro, Galician Center for Contemporary Art, the expansion of Evora, and other projects. One of two postscripts was written for the 1998 book by the late Vittorio Gregotti.

Imagining the Evident

Imagining the Evident
Álvaro Siza

14 x 21 cm
156 Pages
67 Illustrations
Hardcover
ISBN 9789899948594
monade
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Inagawa Cemetery Chapel and Visitor Centre

Before he was a household name, David Chipperfield completed a trio of buildings in Japan around 1990. It would be nearly thirty years before he worked in the country again, designing the Inagawa Cemetery Chapel and Visitor Centre. This beautiful book documents the projects through words, photographs, and drawings. Like the place, the book is serene and carefully crafted, making it perfect for a quiet read.

Inagawa Cemetery Chapel and Visitor Centre

Inagawa Cemetery Chapel and Visitor Centre
Edited by Olivia Lawrence Bright, Chinatsu Kuma, Cecilia Sundström. Text by David Chipperfield.
Conversation with David Chipperfield, Hideyuki Osawa, Thomas Struth. Photographs by Risaku Suzuki.

18 x 25 cm
140 Pages
Hardcover
ISBN 9783960988908
Walther König
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Sigurd Lewerentz

If you're staying home this summer and saving up your energy for the fall, this hefty coffee table book on the Sigurd Lewerentz exhibition opening at ArkDes in October is ideal. Available now, months ahead of the exhibition, the monograph has three parts: a nearly 200-page biography of the Swedish architect by Johan Örn; 80 pages of photographs of Lewerentz's building taken by Johan Dehlin in the middle of 2020; and and exhaustive archive of drawings and other images that takes up more than half the book. A must for fans of Lewerentz.

Sigurd Lewerentz: Architect of Death and Life

Sigurd Lewerentz: Architect of Death and Life
Edited and with texts by Kieran Long, Johan Örn, and Mikael Andersson.
Translated from Swedish by Anna Paterson. With photographs by Johan Dehlin

23 x 30 cm
712 Pages
756 Illustrations
Hardcover
ISBN 9783038602323
ArkDes/Park Books
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Planet City

Made for the NGV Triennial 2020, Planet City is an immersive film by "speculative architect" Liam Young that imagines a single super-dense city of 10 billion people as an antidote to the climate crisis. The compact companion book intersperses images from the film with essays by a diverse range of designers, sociologists, science-fiction writers, and others offering intellectual and imaginative insights sparked by the film's speculative imagery.

Planet City

Planet City
Liam Young

10.5 x 18 cm
408 Pages
Paperback
ISBN 9780648685876
Uro Publications
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Relational Theories of Urban Form

If the prospect of reading influential books in their entirety over the summer months is not appealing, this edited anthology of important urban design texts should be tempting. Daniel Kiss and Simon Kretz pulled together eight readings used in a seminar they conducted at ETH Zurich in 2016. The focus is on the relations between people and the physical world and therefore includes excerpted texts by Christopher Alexander, Fumihiko Maki, Lucius Burckhardt, and more.

Relational Theories of Urban Form: An Anthology

Relational Theories of Urban Form: An Anthology
Edited by Daniel Kiss & Simon Kretz

15 x 23 cm
464 Pages
Paperback
ISBN 9783035620764
Birkhäuser
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Terra-Sorta-Firma

For many people summer break means sandy beaches; Fadi Masoud's book is for them. It is a visually rich cartographic study of coastal areas built upon reclaimed land — land made from imported and dredged sand. A good chunk of the book is an atlas of urban districts on reclaimed land, though it also hones in on parts of China and features some academic essays on the future of coastal areas.

Terra-Sorta-Firma: Reclaiming the Littoral Gradient

Terra-Sorta-Firma: Reclaiming the Littoral Gradient
Fadi Masoud
Foreword by Brent D. Ryan

19 x 25.5 cm
320 Pages
Hardcover
ISBN 9781948765381
Actar
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Things Fall Together

The subtitle of this book by Skylar Tibbits, founder of the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT, is A Guide to the New Materials Revolution. With the title inverting the maxim that "things fall apart," Tibbits is clearly an optimist, and in the book he charts ways that materials can be harnessed to create a future "programmable landscape." He pulls examples from his own Lab but also Gramazio Kohler Research and other like-minded designers.

Things Fall Together: A Guide to the New Materials Revolution

Things Fall Together: A Guide to the New Materials Revolution
Skylar Tibbits

13 x 20 cm
224 Pages
42 Illustrations
Hardcover
ISBN 9780691170336
Princeton University Press
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The World in a Selfie

2021 is the year millions — if not billions — of people became tourists again, following a year of quarantine and travel restrictions. Italian journalist Marco d’Eramo explores the history and contemporary phenomenon of tourism, the industry that has come to dominate the global economy and reshape cities around the world. His book delves into everything from Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad and the sewers of Paris, to 20th-century zoning and UNESCO. 

The World in a Selfie: An Inquiry into the Tourist Age

The World in a Selfie: An Inquiry into the Tourist Age
Marco d’Eramo

16 x 24 cm
288 Pages
Hardcover
ISBN 9781788731072
Verso
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