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Our architecture theory books focus on the methods behind various elements of building and making things and are endlessly fascinating. They're available at unbelievable prices, too.

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Theory of Architecture Books

  • Ruins

    Hans Dieter Schaal

    Product Code: BEQZX
    Hardback
    Text in English & German. Chaos and anarchy represent the opposite pole to an ordered life. Nothing works any more, everything is devastated, everything is falling apart. City walls, buildings that once afforded protection, have fallen victim to the excesses of armed conflict. Infernal threats, ambushes, fiery rain and other catastrophes were described even in the Bible. Pillaging and plunder were part of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Cruel deeds familiar from the Bible, or those described by other people or experienced personally, inspired painters in the transitional period from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, and were picked out as a central theme in their pictures. In the 18th century it became fashionable to build artificial ruins in parks and landscape gardens. Ruins became an image of human inadequacy in the attempt to come to terms with nature. 18th century landscape painters used ruin motifs in order to suggest the mysterious magic of pain, the sadness of beauty, to viewers. In the first half of the last century the world had to endure two wars that costs millions of people their lives and reduced many cities to rubble. Countless ruins remained. Few of them have survived. Overgrown with grass, ivy and Virginia creeper they now tower up out of the landscape like many others from various epochs bearing witness to those who see them of the vanity of human endeavour, of transience, of death; filling them with horror, but at the same time exuding a feeling of gloom and sadness, of melancholy. In this book, the author delivers a detailed assessment of ruins as a phenomenon in architecture, landscape design, fine art, film and the media. The result is an extraordinarily intense contribution to the theme of transience.
    • £65.55
    • RRP £69.00
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  • Architecture Depends

    Jeremy Till

    Product Code: BBZGD
    Paperback
    Architecture depends -- on what? On people, time, politics, ethics, mess: the real world. Architecture, Jeremy Till argues with conviction in this engaging, sometimes pugnacious book, cannot help itself; it is dependent for its very existence on things outside itself. Despite the claims of autonomy, purity, and control that architects like to make about their practice, architecture is buffeted by uncertainty and contingency. Circumstances invariably intervene to upset the architect's best-laid plans -- at every stage in the process, from design through construction to occupancy. Architects, however, tend to deny this, fearing contingency and preferring to pursue perfection. With Architecture Depends, architect and critic Jeremy Till offers a proposal for rescuing architects from themselves: a way to bridge the gap between what architecture actually is and what architects want it to be. Mixing anecdote, design, social theory, and personal experience, Till's writing is always accessible, moving freely between high and low registers, much like his suggestions for architecture itself.
    • £14.89
    • RRP £14.99
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  • An Organic Architecture: The Architecture of Democracy

    Frank Lloyd Wright

    Product Code: AZOGX
    Hardback
    In May 1939, the celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright visited London and gave four lectures at the Royal Institute of British Architects. The meetings were hailed at the time as the most remarkable events of recent architectural affairs in England, and the lectures were published as 'An Organic Architecture' in September 1939 by Lund Humphries. The texts remain an important expression of the architect's core philosophy and are being reissued now in a new edition to commemorate the 150th anniversary in 2017 of Frank Lloyd Wright's birth. In the lectures, Frank Lloyd Wright covers a wide range of topics including his Usonian houses, his visions for the future of cities both in North America and elsewhere, particularly in Britain, Taliesin and the Johnson Waxworks factory, the then-imminent Second World War, and the 'Future'. In doing so, his charismatic, flamboyant character leaps to life from the pages, not to mention his hugely creative intelligence, making these essays very enjoyable and entertaining.This new edition includes an insightful new essay by esteemed architectural historian, Professor Andrew Saint, which sets the lectures within context and highlights their continued resonance and appeal.
  • Rhythm in Architecture

    Product Code: AZIJQ
    Paperback
    Rhythm in Architecture is the first ever translation into English of a key early Modernist text, written by the celebrated Soviet Constructivist architect Moisei Ginzburg and first published in Russian as Ritm v Arkhitekture in 1923. Ginzburg is most famous for his Narkomfin Building in Moscow, completed in 1932, which he described as a "social condenser": a radical experiment in communal living. While Ginzburg's second book Style and Epoch, published in 1924, is often seen as the manifesto for Russian Constructivism, Rhythm in Architecture-which preceded it-can be seen as his attempt to create a synthesis in thinking about architecture as a whole, seeking to show how "the true essence of all works of architecture" are "inspired by the laws of rhythm". Rhythm in Architecture is republished in cooperation with the Ginzburg Design Practice run by Moisei Ginzburg's grandson, Aleksey and his partner Natalia Shilova. It is the first of a planned series of reprints of Ginzburg's four books, home, 1934 and Industrialising Housing Construction, 1937 as well as Style and Epoch, 1924-the only one previously available in English.
    • £19.89
    • RRP £19.95
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  • Extrastatecraft

    Keller Easterling

    Product Code: AZDFG
    Paperback
    From the skyline of Dubai to the idea of 'quality', the impact of broadband cabling in West Africa to the street plan beneath your feet Extrastatecraft is the operating system of the modern world. What can we do about it? Infrastructure is not only the underground pipes and cables controlling our cities. It also determines the hidden rules that structure the spaces all around us - free trade zones, smart cities, suburbs, and shopping malls. Extrastatecraft charts the emergent new powers controlling this space and shows how they extend beyond the reach of government. How can we find our place in their new world order, and what can we do to combat it?
    • £9.79
    • RRP £10.99
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  • Tabula Plena

    Bryony Roberts

    Product Code: AYYMC
    Paperback
    In contrast to tabula rasa urbanism, this book considers strategies for tabula plena-urban sites that are full of existing buildings of multiple time periods. Such dense sites prompt designers to work between the fields of architecture, historic preservation, and urban planning, developing methods for collaborative authorship and interlocking architectural forms. The book grew from a collaboration between the Oslo School of Architecture and Design and Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation on the planning of the government quarter in Oslo. Emerging from this process, the book asks larger questions about how we practice, teach, and theorise engagement with existing architecture on an urban scale. It contains a compilation of short essays addressing theoretical questions, a sampling of design projects offering different formal strategies for architectural design, and a series of discussions about pedagogical strategies.
    • £24.00
    • RRP £30.00
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  • Climates

    James Graham

    Product Code: AYYBC
    Paperback
    This book is a collection of essays at the intersection of architecture and climate change. Neither a collective lament nor an inventory of architectural responses, the essays consider cultural values ascribed to climate and ask how climate reflects our conception of what architecture is and does. Which materials and conceptual infrastructures render climate legible, knowable, and actionable, and what are their spatial implications? How do these interrelated questions offer new vantage points on the architectural ramifications of climate change at the interface of resiliency, sustain- ability, and ecotechnology? Climates also contains a dossier of precedents for thinking about architecture and climate change drawn from a number of leading practitioners. New approaches to understanding climate in architecture make this book invaluable.This publication is a project by The Avery Review, a journal produced by the Office of Publications at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
    • £27.89
    • RRP £28.00
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  • The Architecture of Neoliberalism

    Douglas Spencer

    Product Code: ARMYR
    Paperback
    The Architecture of Neoliberalism pursues an uncompromising critique of the neoliberal turn in contemporary architecture. This book reveals how a self-styled parametric and post-critical architecture serves mechanisms of control and compliance while promoting itself, at the same time, as progressive. Spencer's incisive analysis of the architecture and writings of figures such as Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Rem Koolhaas, Greg Lynn and Alejandro Zaera-Polo shows them to be in thrall to the same notions of liberty as are propounded in neoliberal thought. Analysing architectural projects in the fields of education, consumption and labour, The Architecture of Neoliberalism examines the part played by contemporary architecture in refashioning human subjects into the compliant figures - student-entrepreneurs, citizen-consumers and team-workers - requisite to the universal implementation of a form of existence devoted to market imperatives.
  • After Belonging

    Lluis Alexandre Casanovas Blan

    Product Code: AUTNQ
    Paperback
    After Belonging examines the objects, spaces, and territories of our transforming condition of be- longing. The global circulation of people, information, and goods has destabilized what we under- stand by residence, questioning spatial permanence, property, and identity-a crisis of belonging. Circulation brings greater accessibility to ever-new commodities and further geographies. But, simultaneously, circulation also promotes growing inequalities for large groups who are kept in precarious states of transit. The publication examines both our attachment to places and collectivities as well as our relation to the objects we produce, own, share, and exchange. It analyses the architectures entangled in these definitions through a selection of projects, texts, and case studies. This publication is the result of the work and research leading up to Oslo ArchitectureTriennale 2016.
    • £24.00
    • RRP £30.00
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  • Architecture and Ritual

    Peter Blundell Jones

    Product Code: AURLV
    Paperback
    Architecture and Ritual explores how the varied rituals of everyday life are framed and defined in space by the buildings which we inhabit. It penetrates beyond traditional assumptions about architectural style, aesthetics and utility to deal with something more implicit: how buildings shape and reflect our experience in ways of which we remain unconscious. Whether designed to house a grand ceremony or provide shelter for a daily meal, all buildings coordinate and consolidate social relations by giving orientation and focus to the spatial practices of those who use them. Peter Blundell Jones investigates these connections between the social and the spatial, providing critical insights into the capacity for architecture to structure human ritual, from the grand and formal to the mundane. This is achieved through deep readings of individual pieces of architecture, each with a detailed description of its particular social setting and use. The case studies are drawn from throughout architectural history and from around the globe, each enabling a distinct theoretical theme to emerge, and showing how social conventions vary with time and place, as well as what they have in common. Case studies range from the Nuremberg Rally to the Centre Pompidou, and from the Palace of Westminster to Dogon dwellings in Africa and a Modernist hospital. In considering how all architecture has to mesh with the habits, beliefs, rituals and expectations of the society that created it, the book presents deep implications for our understanding of architectural history and theory. It also highlights the importance for architects of understanding how buildings frame social space before they prescribe new architectural designs of their own. The book ends with a recent example of user participation, showing how contemporary user interest and commitment to a building can be as strong as ever.
  • Experimental Preservation

    Thordis Arrhenius

    Product Code: AUGWU
    Paperback
    Old things, historic things, smelly dirty things, all the things that were considered the very opposite of "contemporary," have suddenly irrupted forcefully into architecture and art, blurring their bound- aries. This book takes stock of the emerging generation behind this turn, and examines their experimental engagements with the preservation of culturally charged objects. Structured around a series of interdisciplinary dialogues among practitioners and thinkers, and illustrated with recent projects, the book provides a window into the unfolding intellectual frameworks, aesthetic modes, cultural ambitions, and political commitments that are the basis of experimental preservation.
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Attunement

    Alberto Perez-Gomez

    Product Code: ASMPP
    Paperback
    Architecture remains in crisis, its social relevance lost between the two poles of formal innovation and technical sustainability. In Attunement, Alberto Perez-Gomez calls for an architecture that can enhance our human values and capacities, an architecture that is connected -- attuned -- to its location and its inhabitants. Architecture, Perez-Gomez explains, operates as a communicative setting for societies; its beauty and its meaning lie in its connection to human health and self-understanding. Our physical places are of utmost importance for our well-being. Drawing on recent work in embodied cognition, Perez-Gomez argues that the environment, including the built environment, matters not only as a material ecology but because it is nothing less than a constituent part of our consciousness. To be fully self-aware, we need an external environment replete with meanings and emotions. Perez-Gomez views architecture through the lens of mood and atmosphere, linking these ideas to the key German concept of Stimmung -- attunement -- and its roots in Pythagorean harmony and Vitruvian temperance or proportion. He considers the primacy of place over space; the linguistic aspect of architecture -- the voices of architecture and the voice of the architect; architecture as a multisensory (not pictorial) experience, with Piranesi, Ledoux, and Hejduk as examples of metaphorical modeling; and how Stimmung might be put to work today to realize the contemporary possibilities of attunement.
  • The Architect as Worker

    Peggy Deamer

    Product Code: BAHKT
    Paperback
    Directly confronting the nature of contemporary architectural work, this book is the first to address a void at the heart of architectural discourse and thinking. For too long, architects have avoided questioning how the central aspects of architectural "practice" (professionalism, profit, technology, design, craft, and building) combine to characterize the work performed in the architectural office. Nor has there been a deeper evaluation of the unspoken and historically-determined myths that assign cultural, symbolic, and economic value to architectural labor. The Architect as Worker presents a range of essays exploring the issues central to architectural labor. These include questions about the nature of design work; immaterial and creative labor and how it gets categorized, spatialized, and monetized within architecture; the connection between parametrics and BIM and labor; theories of architectural work; architectural design as a cultural and economic condition; entrepreneurialism; and the possibility of ethical and rewarding architectural practice. The book is a call-to-arms, and its ultimate goal is to change the practice of architecture. It will strike a chord with architects, who will recognize the struggle of their profession; with students trying to understand the connections between work, value, and creative pleasure; and with academics and cultural theorists seeking to understand what grounds the discipline.
  • The Elements of Modern Architecture

    Antony Radford

    Product Code: AJXZZ
    Hardback
    This ambitious book is aimed at a new generation of architects who take technology for granted but seek to understand the principles of what makes a building meaningful and enduring. Fifty buildings by the best-known and -recognized modern architects, from Aalto to Gehry, from Le Corbusier to Hadid, are represented in illustrations that explore all facets of the buildings creation. Starting from its site, each building is analysed through its surroundings, use of natural light, volumes and massing; its programme and circulation; its details, fenestration and ornamentation, taking the reader straight to the heart and mind of the architect. Targeted at rising students and architects who seek to create architecture that transcends digital tools and techniques, The Elements of Modern Architecture is an essential reference and inspiration for many generations to come.
    • £28.49
    • RRP £29.95
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  • Why We Build

    Rowan Moore

    Product Code: AGLXH
    Paperback 16 years +
    Buildings are driven by human emotions and desires; hope, power, money, sex, the idea of home. In Why We Build Rowan Moore explores the making of buildings from conception to inhabitation and reveals the paradoxical power of architecture: it looks fixed and solid, but is always changing in response to the lives around it. Moving across the globe and through history, through works of folly, beauty, spectacle, and subtlety, Moore gives a provocative and iconoclastic view of what makes architecture, why it matters, and why we find it fascinating. You will never look at a building in the same way again.
    • £10.39
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Reading Architecture

    Owen Hopkins

    Product Code: ADOOX
    Paperback
    This innovative and unique book is a visual guide to the buildings that surround us, naming all the visible architectural features so that, unlike other architectural dictionaries, the reader doesn't have to know the name before looking it up. Clear line drawings and extensive colour photographs illustrate each of the main building types, from forts to churches, stately homes to skyscrapers. The individual structural elements and materials common to all buildings are then explained, whether in Classical, Gothic or Modernist style, before delving into the inner architectural details such as doors and windows, roofs and staircases. A comprehensive glossary completes the book. An original and accessible take on the architectural dictionary, this book takes you on a visual tour of the buildings around us, and will be useful not only to students but to anyone with a general interest in architecture.
    • £19.89
    • RRP £19.95
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  • Japan-Ness in Architecture

    Arata Isozaki

    Product Code: BENKM
    Paperback
    Japanese architect Arata Isozaki sees buildings not as dead objects but as events that encompass the social and historical context -- not to be defined forever by their "everlasting materiality" but as texts to be interpreted and reread continually. In Japan-ness in Architecture, he identifies what is essentially Japanese in architecture from the seventh to the twentieth century. In the opening essay, Isozaki analyzes the struggles of modern Japanese architects, including himself, to create something uniquely Japanese out of modernity. He then circles back in history to find what he calls Japan-ness in the seventh-century Ise shrine, reconstruction of the twelfth-century Todai-ji Temple, and the seventeenth-century Katsura Imperial Villa. He finds the periodic ritual relocation of Ise's precincts a counter to the West's concept of architectural permanence, and the repetition of the ritual an alternative to modernity's anxious quest for origins. He traces the "constructive power" of the Todai-ji Temple to the vision of the director of its reconstruction, the monk Chogen, whose imaginative power he sees as corresponding to the revolutionary turmoil of the times. The Katsura Imperial Villa, with its chimerical spaces, achieved its own Japan-ness as it reinvented the traditional shoin style. And yet, writes Isozaki, what others consider to be the Japanese aesthetic is often the opposite of that essential Japan-ness born in moments of historic self-definition; the purified stylization -- what Isozaki calls "Japanesquization" -- lacks the energy of cultural transformation and reflects an island retrenchment in response to the pressure of other cultures. Combining historical survey, critical analysis, theoretical reflection, and autobiographical account, these essays, written over a period of twenty years, demonstrate Isozaki's standing as one of the world's leading architects and preeminent architectural thinkers.

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