10 Essential Books for an Architecture Student, We Highly Recommend

10 Essential Books for an Architecture Student, We Highly Recommend
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Books are a guiding source that develops one’s thinking ability while at the same time providing information on various concepts. Similarly in architecture studies, students are expected to have well-rounded information on a variety of subjects and domains. In a day and age where there is no end to knowledge, finding the appropriate and most beneficial content material can seem to be impossible without exhaustive research.

In this article, we aim to assist the students in providing a starting point to purposeful and suitable reading material that will open up the world of architecture and provide references, case studies, and data resources for their educational projects. These are 10 essential architecture books that our experts recommend:

1. Sir Banister Fletcher's: History of Architecture Hardcover – 1 January 1999

  • This book gives a better understanding of the history of architecture in terms of architectural growth and development throughout the world. This is achieved by placing the buildings in their social, cultural, and historical settings.
  • It is a good addition for architectural students as is it the first major work to include an overview of architectural achievements in the 20th century.
  • It gives students an important knowledge base to develop their architectural learning.
  • The book contains original copyright references to ground its material as close to the original work as possible, thereby reducing errors.
  • In this 20th edition, one can find new chapters on the contemporary architecture of the Middle East, South-East Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Indian Subcontinent, Russia and the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

2. Building Construction: Metric Volume 1, 5e: Metric - Vol. 1 Paperback – 1 January 2013

  • This book deals with the various aspects of building construction. It provides reference material for students for a better construction understanding of structures.
  • It explains principles and sound methods of construction and advance building techniques and systems.
  • The content comprises types of constructions, materials, and building techniques.
  • This is an essential book for students of architecture and engineering as it simplifies complex concepts through illustrations and diagrams.

3. Manual of Tropical Housing and Building Paperback – 1 January 1975

  • It is designed to explain the theory of climatic design and how practical and contextual solutions can be derived from it.
  • It can be used as a guidebook by practitioners and students to ensure their designs have a positive impact on the human body.
  • The author of this book, Koenigsberger worked in urban development and planning in various countries thereby ensuring that this book comes from good and experienced knowledge understanding.
  • The book is included in the curriculum in both architectures as well as environmental studies.
  • It also gives one many options for alternative and sustainable building materials and their subsequent impact, creating aware professionals.

4. Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning Hardcover – 1 July 2017

  • Known as the ‘Silver Bible’, Time Savers Standards is the go-to book for all interior design references.
  • It is a vast and relevant compilation of standards of design for architects, designers and professionals in the related fields.
  • It contains standard interior details for all types of functions and uses.
  • Owing to the authors’ practical background, the book has detailed knowledge of everything from standard furniture to architectural woodwork.

5. Laurie Baker: Truth in Architecture Paperback – 1 May 2015

  • Authored by the father of Green Architecture, this book reveals a good insight into a so-called architecture with a human face.
  • With his unique artistic views, Laurie Baker’s art pieces help generate an introspective quality, a valuable skill required as an architect.
  • This book is a true reflection of its author, his philosophy, and the importance of indigenous building traditions that have the power to inspire.
  • It gives one an overview of his life, a description of his works, and the theories he put in place for the entire fraternity making it a valuable learning source, especially for budding architects.

6. Town Planning Paperback – 1 January 2015

  • The authors of this book explain the prominent principles of Town Planning applicable to cities.
  • It does so by citing examples of the best Indian planned cities in a simple language and practical manner.
  • This book with its planning knowledge proves to be an excellent and useful way of imparting town planning education.
  • The entire content is well planned and organized into concise chapters for ease of understanding and retaining.

7. The Great Ages of World Architecture (With Introduction to Landscape Architecture) (2018-2019) Session Paperback – 1 January 2018

  • The Great Ages of Architecture covers the maximum part of the History of Architecture subject course for architectural students making it an essential textbook for studies.
  • It explains in detail the schools of architecture relevant around the world that help in contextualizing current patterns in the field.
  • Each age of architecture is depicted with elaborate detail with its unique and stylistic characteristics.
  • The historical knowledge helps to provide an understanding of modern and contemporary architecture and how it evolved over a period of time.
  • It is an indispensable book for students and also introduces them to Landscape Architecture.

8. Strength of Material: Mechanics of Soilds Paperback – 30 November 2006

  • Strength of Material is a sought-after and all-inclusive book for architecture undergraduates.
  • The book focuses on the quality of materials with a magnified understanding of stresses, strain, inertia, force, beams, etc.
  • It has a collection of examples and their solutions which are an extension to the understanding of the concepts discussed in the book.
  • The language of the content is kept simple for understanding by a wider audience.

9. The Urban Pattern City Planning and Design 5Ed (Pb 2005) Paperback – 1 January 2005

  • The Urban Pattern gives an insightful peek into city planning and design.
  • It aims to unfold the different concepts of design and planning at the urban scale with suitable case studies and examples.
  • The author of the book through his writing inspires the students and professionals in the allied fields to look for more creative planning and design solutions to the urban issues at hand.
  • The book also responds to the constraints and opportunities that have arisen due to contemporary development in both the public and the private sectors providing nuanced knowledge at an urban level to the students.

10. Architects' Data Paperback – 12 July 2019

  • This bestseller is a must-have book for those being introduced to architectural studies.
  • It contains concise data on the design and development of any building project.
  • The content is categorized by building types and consists of considerations for function and siting.
  • With a vast amount of data and illustrations, it has over time proved to be the go-to book for anything related to any building type and typology.


This was a noteworthy collection of books authored by experts in the fields of architecture, planning, design and construction, making them top the list of highly recommended books for architecture students. Each book has a subject matter that assists the students to gain additional information apart from their course curriculum and develop a better understanding of architectural concepts and themes.

The books offer an insight into multiple streams allowing the student to have a rational understanding of basic content material in architecture. This further allows them to make a value judgement while picking up more specialised writings on the subject or theme of their choice.

Hope this list helps you give a kick-start to your learning process. With this, we look forward to your comments and suggestions. Do let us know about your favourite picks or any essentials we might have missed out on!

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