5 books like Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm

By Patrick Macleamy,

Here are 5 books that Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm fans have personally recommended if you like Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Architecture Unbound: A Century of the Disruptive Avant-Garde

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

This book is an incredibly impressive feat—20 years in the making, 876 pages—and is necessary to understand the architecture that defines our era. One of America’s most respected architecture critics, Giovannini has spent decades writing about the work of such seminal architects as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Thom Mayne of Morphosis—and so many others that he came to know personally. Giovannini is the perfect person to craft this history. His erudite prose breaks down complex concepts into themes and timelines, putting architecture that resists context into comprehension. I also always love a book that takes its “objectness” into consideration. Weighing in at around 8 pounds, the object’s trapezoidal shape bucks orthogonal conventions—a perfect reflection of the work discussed in its pages. 

By Joseph Giovannini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Architecture Unbound as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Architecture Unbound, noted architecture critic Joseph Giovannini proposes that our current architectural landscape ultimately emerged from transgressive and progressive art movements that had roiled Europe before and after World War I. By the 1960s, social unrest and cultural disruption opened the way for investigations into an inventive, antiauthoritarian architecture. Explorations emerged in the 1970s, and built projects surfaced in the 1980s, taking digital form in the 1990s, with large-scale projects finally landing on the far side of the millennium. Architecture Unbound traces all of these developments and influences, presenting an authoritative and illuminating history not only of the sources…


Book cover of Truth and Lies in Architecture

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

For an architect to take an incisive, unflinching look at his own profession is refreshing and enlightening. Francis-Jones positions architecture’s strengths and failings in reflection to society, politics, equity, aspiration, ecology, power, and defiance. As a promoter of architects and what they do, I’m happy to see a title that places architecture in a broader scope, and in the same breath as other creative expressions, such as film, music, and literature. He raises questions and observations about the nature of architects and architecture that make one think: Is there any truth in architecture? Why are we driven to build so tall? Why do architects feel so sad, overwhelmed, and helpless? Conversely, within its rubric of architecture, Truth and Lies is a book about us—about how people engage and disengage from society and the consequences that ensue. 

By Richard Francis-Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Truth and Lies in Architecture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"'Truth and Lies in Architecture' delves deep into the soul of architects and their work." - Naser Nader Ibrahim, Amazing Architecture
This is a collection of provocative essays that journey into the vexed circumstance of contemporary architectural practice. The nature of the great cultural, social, political, environmental, and consumerist challenges facing the contemporary architect are explored, interpreted, and questioned, while drawing connections from architecture theory, philosophy, science, literature, and film sources in an attempt to negotiate the territory between the truth and lies in architecture.

These essays written by a leading Australian architect represent a level of comprehensive critical awareness…


Book cover of Gesture and Response: 25 Buildings

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

This is a personal peek at the work of a major firm by the “P” of KPF, one of the world’s leading skyscraper designers. Pedersen’s unpretentiousness and generosity of spirit are evident in the prose that accompanies the work. To my delight, the first building is 333 Wacker in Chicago, which, as a young art student living there, I saw being built. It became one of my favorites in a town legendary for its architecture. Buildings are personal to those who design them, and Pedersen tells intimate stories behind each of his 25 favorite designs. The surprise is that these are not precious little projects, but mostly very large, complex buildings for major clients, such as Samsung, World Bank, and Gannett. That said, the last of the projects featured is a jewel box of a house—the one he built for himself and his late wife of 60 years, to whom…

By William Pedersen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gesture and Response as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The work of Kohn Pedersen Fox is international in scope, collaborative in design, and a product of individual voices focused on a single objective - making an architecture, of our time, which creates strong bonds with the the specific place it occupies.

While William Pedersen founded the firm, with partners Gene Kohn and Shelley Fox, he never aspired to be a 'director of design.' They had the components with Gene's entrepreneurial drive, Shelley's management and Bill's design leadership - to be a large firm. 'Directing' the work of a large firm was not Bill's desire, instead he wanted to focus…


Book cover of Etudes: The Poetry of Dreams + Other Fragments

Julie D. Taylor Author Of Spa: The Sensuous Experience

From my list on the art and profession of architecture.

Who am I?

Books are my passion; architecture relates to my profession. The combination, for me, is pure joy. I get such pleasure building my personal library of architecture, design, art, and photography books. After having been a magazine editor and writer, I founded Taylor & Company in 1994, to promote the value of architecture and design. My respect for architects is deep—they create something that must function in all ways and are still able to express themselves creatively. The books I’ve selected are all written by architects, giving me an extra layer of admiration for their talents to express themselves in other media. 

Julie's book list on the art and profession of architecture

Julie D. Taylor Why did Julie love this book?

An award-winning architect and poet, Marx explores creative ideas through poetry and watercolors, giving a very different way to view the art and craft of architecture. The paintings have a mysterious calm to them—evoking the work of Giorgio de Chirico—and are poetic in themselves. And then, you get actual poetry alongside the paintings! Graphic artist Jeremy Mende’s layout of the poems adds yet another layer of artistry. The tactility of the book as an object is delightful. Printed on thick watercolor paper, the book appears as a precious portfolio of secret thoughts and dreams. 

By John Marx,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Etudes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Marx's watercolours, first published in the Architectural Review, are a captivating example of an architect's way of thinking. Subtle and quiet they are nonetheless compelling works in how they tackle a sense of place, of inhabiting space and time all the while resonating with the core of one's inner being. There is an existential quality to these watercolours that is rare to be found in this medium. Something akin to the psychologically piercing observational quality of artists like De Chirico or Hopper.

As architects strive to communicate their ideas, it is interesting to explore the world of Marx's watercolours…


Book cover of Immersed: The California Houses of Feldman Architecture

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Author Of At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

From my list on design on inspired living on the West Coast.

Who are we?

At Home in the Wine Country coauthors Heather and Chase love the open, nature-focused attitude toward living that California does so well. Heather worked in the field of architecture for 25 years and is the author of The New Architecture of Wine. Chase has been a western lifestyle writer for 30 years and is the author of 14 books, including Modern Americana, American Rustic, Cabin Style, and Bison. As writers and consultants they work with publishers, magazines, and design, hospitality and wine clients to craft and convey their stories. Heather and Chase live in spectacularly scenic Marin County, halfway between San Francisco and California's iconic wine country.

Chase's book list on design on inspired living on the West Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did Chase love this book?

The new monograph of the work of one of our favorite architects from our book — San Francisco-based Feldman Architecture. It's a look at 20 years of the firm's work, a collection of homes that both reflects and defines what it means to live authentically within the landscape of Northern California. We particularly love how the architects design for site, whether the home is situated high on a ridge, nestled amongst oaks or tucked within a cityscape, and their masterful use of materials. Their Surf House, overlooking the ocean in Santa Cruz, is lined inside and out with local Monterey cypress. An existing San Francisco Edwardian was transformed by the addition of a central staircase with skylights bringing light deep into the interior. Butterfly House speaks to the land trust on which it dwells as a sustainably-minded home designed as three separate volumes united by a butterfly roof. No matter…

By Vladimir Belogolovsky (editor), Aaron Betsky (editor), Daniel P. Gregory (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Immersed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Immersed - The California Houses of Feldman Architecture is an indepth look at 20 years of the firm's defining residential work spanning three areas: Urban, Suburban, and Rural. Feldman Architecture, a vibrant San Francisco-based studio, aims to create authentic, sitesensitive, sustainable spaces through a deeply collaborative process. This book, which includes commentary from Aaron Betsky and Daniel P. Gregory, as well as an interview with Vladimir Belogolovsky, situates Feldman Architecture's work within the northern California design canon and illustrates how the firm's voice subtly translates across diverse geographies and contexts. Jonathan Feldman, in closing, reflects upon the values and aspirations…


2 book lists we think you will like!

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