10 Books Every Young Architect Must-Have

10 Books Every Young Architect Must-Have
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Books help us develop our thoughts, gives us endless knowledge and lessons while keeping our minds active. We bring to you an assortment of books for young architects that will boost your creativity, provide companionship and at the same time inspire you out of that rut!

This range is appropriate for all architects and designers who are on the lookout for quality research that boosts cognitive mental stimulation. We have listed a wide variety of educational, well-examined, and entertaining books appropriate to transfer you into a unique world of imagination. Keep a lookout in the end for the editor’s pick of the perfect book to start your ingenious journey with. Find below the list of books for young architects:

1. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (The MIT Press) Hardcover – 31 August 2007

  • This resourceful book is written by an expert architect who has recognized the importance of the basics of architecture.
  • This book is valuable for students and young practitioners alike to refresh their basics effortlessly and promptly.
  • It explicates varied concepts like “ How to draw a line”, color theory, the difference between traditional and modern buildings, etc. across the length of the book relevant for those new in the architecture field.
  • Each subject matter is explained in a two-page format, with a brief write-up supported by illustrations.

2. The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book updated & revised: Everything Interior Designers Need to Know Every DayPaperback – Illustrated, 9 January 2018

  • This elemental book on interior design references and specifications explores the fundamentals for planning and finishing interior projects of all scales.
  • This book is in a crisp and up-to-date format with industry standards making it a vital handbook for young designers, students, and even experienced professionals.
  • The chief design topics discussed in the book are fundamentals, space, surface, environments, elements, and resources.
  • These topics are supported with specifications, illustrations, charts and digital information for ease of understanding.
  • Through these subject matters, the book covers the minutest data and facts needed to successfully complete any interior design project.

3. The Architecture Reference & Specification Book updated & revised: Everything Architects Need to Know Every Day Paperback – 9 January 2018

  • The Architecture reference and specification book is a noteworthy manual ideal for young architects and designers commencing their careers.
  • This compact and latest design guide aids young professionals in implementing architectural projects of all sizes.
  • This is an easy to comprehend architectural guide as compared to the bulky reference books which are difficult to navigate through.
  • The book covers all indispensable topics that especially a young architect needs to know.
  • The topics discussed in the book are computer standards and guidelines, architectural drawing types, systems and components, form and organization, architectural elements, building codes, etc.

4. Architecture: A Visual History Hardcover – 4 February 2021

  • Architecture: A Visual History is a wide-ranging book that covers the most spectacular architectural buildings ranging from historic to modern.
  • It covers more than 350 of the world’s most beautiful built architecture like the Louvre, the Colosseum, Sydney Opera House, the Gherkin, etc.
  • This book demonstrates these marvelous buildings through 500 photographs and 13 CGI artworks.
  • Each building has close-up, detailed photographs along with clear descriptions and cross-sections which educates inspires, and gives the reader a visual treat.
  • This book is sure to interest young architects and motivate them at the same time by transferring them into a world of architectural marvel.

5. The Image of the City (Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies Series) Paperback – Illustrated, 15 June 1964

  • The image of the city is the classic work by the celebrated author Kevin Lynch on the assessment of city form.
  • Lynch explores the meaning of the city, to its residents, town planners, etc., and helps young architects to understand the complexities of different layers of a city.
  • Young designers have a possibility to view this book as a theoretical guidebook for building and rebuilding cities by investigating a new criterion- imageability, introduced by the author in the book.
  • This analysis is quintessential for architects, planners, and even the residents to evaluate any city form and thereafter use it for rebuilding cities.
  • The author has substantiated his research with studies of Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey.

6. Invisible Cities (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 2 October 1997

  • This book is the author’s compilation of the fragmentary urban images as described to his host Kublai Khan, the Chinese ruler.
  • The book is thought provoking and attention-grabbing account of the author from his imagination.
  • This book is an entertaining description of urban design and cityscapes which will captivate young architects
  • The fine details about the drainage, water pipes, flooring about cities conclude that the author is talking about only one city i.e Venice.

7. Towards a New Architecture (Dover Architecture) Paperback – 1 February 1985

  • This book is written by the illustrious architect- Le Corbusier, the man behind the modern movement of architecture.
  • It is an unabridged English translation of the French edition of Le Corbusier’s book- Towards a New Architecture.
  • This book is a compilation of essays written by Corbusier covering his technical and aesthetic theories, his views on the Architectural fraternity, economics, relation of form and function.
  • These essays or articles are a snippet of the mastermind behind some of the most outstanding buildings of the 20th Century.
  • The book is in a concise format illustrated with 200 line drawings and photographs of Le Corbusier’s work is sure to stimulate young minds.

8. The Architecture Of Happiness Paperback – 27 March 2014

  • This tasteful book discovers the relationship of people with their houses and their furnishings.
  • It is an unusual yet interesting take on the psychology of architecture and design with even philosophical insights.
  • The author unravels the bond between people and their houses by studying buildings across the world. He examines medieval to modern structures to bring out his take in an informative yet entertaining manner.
  • This book is ideal for young architects who are starting out to enable them to look at their surrounding built structures more holistically.

9. Ten Books on Architecture Paperback – 1 January 2005

  • This set of ten books are an illustrated reproduction of the 1914 edition of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio’s Ten Books on Architecture, translated by Morris Hicky Morgan.
  • It is the most comprehensive treatise dating to the first century B.C on architecture.
  • These extensive books have influenced architects and designers for hundreds of years and inspired many important buildings across the world.
  • These books serve as historical databases and references to ancient design philosophies, principles, construction methods, and aesthetics.
  • These books not only provide testimonies for ancient architecture but are exceptional resources for architectural understanding and learning which can also be applied to modern buildings.

10. Architecture: Form, Space, & OrderPaperback – 14 November 2014

  • Architecture: Form, Space, and Order by Francis D.K Ching is an introduction to the basic vocabulary of architecture which explains the elements of design in a crisp manner.
  • This brilliantly illustrated book is a must-have for all architects especially the young practitioners who should have this book handy at all times.
  • This book elaborates form and space with respect to light, view, openings, etc. It also discusses enclosures, explores the organization of space, elements, relationships of circulation, as well as proportion and scale.
  • These fundamental concepts are explained with the help of images and drawings for the ease of understanding of the reader.
  • This book is perfect for young architects that help in bringing out complex elements of architecture with simplicity.


These books are all collector’s items and should find a place in every young architect’s library. We would ideally recommend you to hoard all these books because of the variety and quality of information offered in them.

However, the expert pick to start your book collection with will be the Architecture Reference & Specification Book. It is a holistic book that provides details and references sufficient for the successful completion of any tasteful architectural project.

Hope these books find their place in your library and inspire you in your professional journey! Keep us updated and let us know what were your favorite picks in the comments below.

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