The best architecture books of 2013

Monday 23 Dec 2013

US Correspondent Sharon McHugh gives the lowdown on the top tomes this year

As Christmas approaches, here are some must-have titles for every architect’s bookshelf.

Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light
Museum of Modern Art

Corinne Bélier, Editor
Barry Bergdoll, Editor
Marc le Coeur, Editor
9.5 x 11.75 inches, hardcover, 232 pages, 225 color illustrations
ISBN: 9780870708398
Suggested Retail Price: $55.00

Published in conjunction with the first exhibition devoted to architect Henri Labrouste in the United States - and the first anywhere in the world in nearly 40 years - this lushly-illustrated publication is the result of a four-year research project into the entirety of Labrouste’s production. It presents nearly 225 works in all media, including drawings, watercolors, vintage and modern photographs, film stills, and architectural models. Essays by a range of international architecture scholars explore Labrouste’s work and legacy through a variety of approaches, offering fresh historical perspectives on the architect and his structural innovations.

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes
Museum of Modern Art

Jean-Louis Cohen, Author
Barry Bergdoll, Author
9.5 x 12 inches, hardcover, 400 pages, 500 black-and-white and color illustrations
ISBN: 9780870708510
Suggested Retail Price: $75.00

This book is an accompaniment to the MOMA’s June 2013 exhibition, the largest ever produced on Le Corbusier. Reflecting the geographic extension of Le Corbusier’s designs and built works as well as his indefatigable wanderlust, the publication is structured as an atlas, with topographical entries allowing for the discovery of the major sites and cities in which the architect worked. Appearing 25 years after the Centre Pompidou’s landmark catalogue Le Corbusier, une encyclopédie, it is a new sourcebook, giving an account of research developed worldwide in recent decades. Featuring essays by a range of international curators, scholars, and critics, and a trove of archival images and materials from the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris, this lavishly-illustrated volume presents a wholly unique way to explore the life and work of one of the most important visionaries of our time.  

The Houses of Louis Kahn
Yale University Press

George Marcus, Author William Whitaker, Author
9.25 x 10 1/2 inches, hardcover, 280 pages, 150 black-and-white and 100 color illustrations
ISBN: 9780300171181
Suggested Retail Price: $65.00

This book documents the domestic commissions of one of the most important architects of the late century. Richly illustrated with new and period photographs and original drawings, as well as previously unpublished materials from personal interviews, archives, and Kahn’s own writings, The Houses of Louis Kahn shows how his ideas about domestic spaces challenged conventions, much like his major public commissions, and were developed into one of the most remarkable expressions of the American house.

New Museums in China
Princeton Architectural Press

Clarie Jacobson, Author
8 ½ x 11 inches, hardcover, 256 pages, 400 color illustrations
ISBN: 9781616891503
Suggested Retail Price: $50.00

New Museums in China presents fifty-one of the most innovative museums of the last ten years in beautiful photographs, detailed drawings, and insightful texts based on new interviews with an international slate of architects. This spectacular collection makes an excellent survey and sourcebook for architects, art and design enthusiasts, and Sinophiles alike. Featured museums are the best new buildings of any kind in China. Featured are the works of major architects such as David Chipperfield, MVRDV, Steven Holl, and Zaha Hadid as well as respected Chinese designers such as Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio, winner of the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The book Includes not only art museums, but also an eclectic range of museums of archaeology, automobiles, natural history, comics and animation, handcrafted paper, and clocks from the Cultural Revolution.

Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City
The Monacelli Press

Robert A.M. Stern, Author
David Fishman, Author
Jacob Tilove, Author
12.3 x 10.4 x 2.9 inches, hardcover, 1,072 pages
ISBN: 9781580933261
Suggested Retail Price: $95.00

Paradise Planned is the definitive history of the development of the garden suburb, a phenomenon that originated in England in the late eighteenth century, was quickly adopted in the United States and northern Europe, and gradually proliferated throughout the world. These bucolic settings offered an ideal lifestyle typically outside the city but accessible by streetcar, train, and automobile. Today, the principles of the garden city movement are once again in play, as retrofitting the suburbs has become a central issue in planning. Strategies are emerging that reflect the goals of garden suburbs in creating metropolitan communities that embrace both the intensity of the city and the tranquility of nature. Paradise Planned is the comprehensive, encyclopedic record of this movement, a vital contribution to architectural and planning history and an essential recourse for guiding the repair of the American townscape.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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