100 books like Turkish Architecture and Urbanism through the eyes of Le Corbusier

By Enis Kortan,

Here are 100 books that Turkish Architecture and Urbanism through the eyes of Le Corbusier fans have personally recommended if you like Turkish Architecture and Urbanism through the eyes of Le Corbusier. 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 Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan: The Role of Traditional Japanese Art and Architecture in the Work of Frank Lloyd Wright

Simon Unwin Author Of Analysing Architecture: the Universal Language of Place-Making

From my list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice.

Who am I?

As a student fifty years ago I struggled with architecture. I have spent my whole career as an architect and teacher trying to understand how it works. All my books are intended to convey that understanding to others as clearly as I can. I believe that architecture is a universal language of place-making, simply and directly expressed in the traditional architectures of different cultures around the world, and lifted into the realms of poetry by some gifted individuals. For many years I taught at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, Wales. I am currently Professor Emeritus at The University of Dundee in Scotland. 

Simon's book list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice

Simon Unwin Why did Simon love this book?

All of my recommendations are about the ways modern architects have learnt from traditional architecture. The first appeared when I began working on the first edition of Analysing Architecture back in the 1990s. It is Kevin Nute’s exploration of the ideas that Frank Lloyd Wright gleaned from encounters with traditional Japanese architecture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nute’s book influenced my perception of architectural creativity as not fitting neatly into separate historical/stylistic categories, but as a realm of possible cross-fertilisation across cultures.

By Kevin Nute,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is the first thorough account of Frank Lloyd Wright's relationship with Japan and its arts. It presents significant new information on the nature and extent of Wright's formal and philosophical debt to Japanese art and architecture.

Eight primary channels of influence are examined in detail, from Japanese prints to specific individuals and publications, and the evidence of their impact on Wright is illustrated through a mixture of textual and drawn analyses.


Book cover of From Shinto to Ando: Studies in Architectural Anthropology in Japan

Simon Unwin Author Of Analysing Architecture: the Universal Language of Place-Making

From my list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice.

Who am I?

As a student fifty years ago I struggled with architecture. I have spent my whole career as an architect and teacher trying to understand how it works. All my books are intended to convey that understanding to others as clearly as I can. I believe that architecture is a universal language of place-making, simply and directly expressed in the traditional architectures of different cultures around the world, and lifted into the realms of poetry by some gifted individuals. For many years I taught at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, Wales. I am currently Professor Emeritus at The University of Dundee in Scotland. 

Simon's book list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice

Simon Unwin Why did Simon love this book?

This book focuses on Japanese traditional architecture and its influence on present-day architects. By drawing a line from traditional Shinto architecture to the work of the modern architect Tadao Ando it shows that rather than being distinct categories, modern and traditional architecture share a historical continuum, and that, in a way, great architectural ideas never die. It also brings to attention approaches to space and light that any architect might beneficially explore in contemporary design.

By Gunter Nitschke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Shinto to Ando as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This thorough and meticulous study of Japanese architecture is based on thirty years of field research by the architect and urban planner, Gunter Nitschke. A major anthropological survey, it traces the imperial, religious and domestic architecture in connection with the rituals and rites of Japanese society from Shinto to the modern day in the form of architecture by the renowned Tadao Ando. This collection of essays explores two threads of the evolution of Japanese architecture: the styles and the rituals which have perservered through the centuries, maintaining a traditional stronghold, and the styles and rituals which have adapted to the…


Book cover of Elements For Self-Knowledge

Simon Unwin Author Of Analysing Architecture: the Universal Language of Place-Making

From my list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice.

Who am I?

As a student fifty years ago I struggled with architecture. I have spent my whole career as an architect and teacher trying to understand how it works. All my books are intended to convey that understanding to others as clearly as I can. I believe that architecture is a universal language of place-making, simply and directly expressed in the traditional architectures of different cultures around the world, and lifted into the realms of poetry by some gifted individuals. For many years I taught at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, Wales. I am currently Professor Emeritus at The University of Dundee in Scotland. 

Simon's book list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice

Simon Unwin Why did Simon love this book?

Konstantinidis was a leading modern architect in Greece. Filled with his own sketches and photographs, he put this book together to illustrate his debt to the traditional architecture of his own country. It implies a line of shared relationship with landscape and materials going back thousands of years, to Callicrates and Ictinus (architects of the Parthenon) and beyond. I like that this book includes pictorial sketches and plans of traditional buildings, as well as constructional details showing the uses of materials readily available from the land.

By Aris Konstantinidis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elements For Self-Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Artless Word: Mies van der Rohe on the Building Art

Simon Unwin Author Of Analysing Architecture: the Universal Language of Place-Making

From my list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice.

Who am I?

As a student fifty years ago I struggled with architecture. I have spent my whole career as an architect and teacher trying to understand how it works. All my books are intended to convey that understanding to others as clearly as I can. I believe that architecture is a universal language of place-making, simply and directly expressed in the traditional architectures of different cultures around the world, and lifted into the realms of poetry by some gifted individuals. For many years I taught at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, Wales. I am currently Professor Emeritus at The University of Dundee in Scotland. 

Simon's book list on traditional architecture and its contemporary practice

Simon Unwin Why did Simon love this book?

Two of the biggest names in twentieth-century architecture. Thoroughly researched, Neumeyer’s book explores the thought processes of the first, the generally taciturn German architect Mies van der Rohe. It includes a discussion of his fascination with traditional African architecture and its clear relationship between form and the constructional potential of specific materials (timber, grass, stone, rope, mud…) which of course translates into Mies’s own work with modern materials (welded steel and plate glass). But there is a lot more to this book than that; too much to cover here.

By Fritz Neumeyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German


Book cover of Istanbul Eats: Exploring the Culinary Backstreets

Andrew Sparke Author Of Abuse Cocaine & Soft Furnishings

From my list on making you love Istanbul.

Who am I?

Strangely as an English writer who loves skiing, the one place in the world in which I feel most at home is the old town of Istanbul. I’ve been there so many times and every visit inspires me to write. One trip provided the opening sentences of my first novel, another the middle chunk of my second novel, Copper Trance & Motorways, and yet another a suite of poems. Despite the historical sites it’s not a particularly beautiful city but it has a vitality like an electric charge and the hospitality of most Turks is amazing. When I’ve been struggling with writer’s block it's taking off to Istanbul that’s unstuck me.

Andrew's book list on making you love Istanbul

Andrew Sparke Why did Andrew love this book?

I confess, I like food. I’m also keen to use cafes and restaurants where the emphasis is on cheap, tasty, and nutritious fare rather than forking out for establishments where a hefty bill is occasioned as much by expenditure on the decoration, linen, and silverware as the quality of the cooking. This is not a book about the westernised hotels and restaurants but about back street locantas serving lentil soup and stewed chicken with bottles of Turkish red wine or even just Coca-Cola and selling satisfying lunches for a pittance (thanks of course in part due to the impact of Turkish inflation on the exchange rate). This book is why even if you’re on a city break in Istanbul as a family you won’t need to rely on self-catering or standardised hotel dinners. There’s a wonderful English language bookshop near the Grand Bazaar that’ll sell you a copy of this…

By Ansel Mullins, Yigal Schleifer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A guide to the best food spots in Istanbul, now fully revised and expanded. Written by the acclaimed experts at Istanbul Eats, which was named Saveur's "Best Culinary Travel Blog" in 2012.


Book cover of Turkish Awakening: A Personal Discovery of Modern Turkey

Lisa Morrow Author Of Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries

From my list on the heart & soul of Turkey and its people.

Who am I?

I’m a Sydney, Australia born sociologist and writer and back in 1990 I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. After three months in the country I was hooked. I now live in Istanbul and write about the people, culture, and history. Using my less than perfect Turkish language skills I uncover the everyday extraordinary of life in modern Istanbul and throughout the country, even though it means I’ve accidentally asked a random stranger to give me a hug and left a butcher convinced I think Turkish sheep are born with their heads on upside down.

Lisa's book list on the heart & soul of Turkey and its people

Lisa Morrow Why did Lisa love this book?

Turkish Awakening is the result of Alev Scott’s desire to discover the land of her mother’s birth and explore contemporary Turkish life and politics. Scott combines personal insights with an objective gaze to focus on a confusing and often contradictory culture, to try to unravel the complex relationships between modernity and religion unfolding in Turkey today. She chats with taxi drivers, examines how sex work and transgender inhabitants coexist, sometimes uneasily, next door to conservative Muslims recently relocated from the country, and explores the impact of popular soap operas featuring the newly rich on the aspirations of ordinary Turks and international tourism. The rise of the ruling Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP – Party for Justice and Progress) is covered as well as Turkey’s changing relationship with the EU. The book ends with Scott’s observations about the protests that sprang to life in Gezi Park in Istanbul and then spread…

By Alev Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Born in London to a Turkish mother and British father, Alev Scott moved to Istanbul to discover what it means to be Turkish in a country going through rapid political and social change, with an extraordinary past still linked to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and an ever more surprising present under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

From the European buzz of modern-day Constantinople to the Arabic-speaking towns of the south-east, Turkish Awakening investigates mass migration, urbanisation and economics in a country moving swiftly towards a new position on the world stage.

This is the story of discovering a complex country…


Book cover of Turkish Letters

Lisa Morrow Author Of Inside Out In Istanbul

From my list on exploring and understanding Istanbul.

Who am I?

I’m a Sydney, Australia born sociologist and writer and back in 1990 I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. After three months in the country I was hooked. I now live in Istanbul and write about the people, culture, and history. Using my less than perfect Turkish language skills I uncover the everyday extraordinary of life in modern Istanbul even though it means I’ve accidentally asked a random stranger to give me a hug and left a butcher convinced I think Turkish sheep are born with their heads on upside down.

Lisa's book list on exploring and understanding Istanbul

Lisa Morrow Why did Lisa love this book?

Living in a world where we can look at images of places we’re planning to travel without even going there means it’s easy to forget the importance of letters sent from foreign countries. Especially ones as well written as these. Ogier De Busbecq was an ambassador for the Hapsburg Empire in the court of Suleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century, but his observations, comments, and snippets of gossip read like he was in Istanbul last month. He had a keen eye for detail and nothing escaped his notice – palace machinations, dirty politics, and even prison conditions, gleaned from the time he spent incarcerated.

By Ogier De Busbecq,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Intelligent but unpretentious, gossipy yet honest, inquiring and unprejudiced - de Busbecq is the sort of man we would all like to meet on our travels. As Habsburg ambassador to the 16th-century court of Suleyman the Magnificent he missed nothing: the intrigue of Roxelana at court, the unloading of Spanish prisoners of war, the yoghurt diet of country Turks, the brutal realities of 16th-century realpolitik, and the charming, but expensive, habit of being wecomed with gifts of flowers by Janissary guardsmen. De Busbecq brings Constantinople, at the heyday of Ottoman power, bursting into life. This is eyewitness history at its…


Book cover of The Scribe

Kay Camden Author Of Unquiet

From my list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance.

Who am I?

I’ll admit I’m a terribly picky reader. My specific taste doesn’t seem to fit in one genre and is sometimes hard to nail down—literary prose with genre tropes, softly-integrated worldbuilding, adventure that leaves room for reflection, and a love story subplot that’s more mental than physical. I love anti-heroes and angst and stories that get a bit dark—but not too dark. When I find it, I’m hooked and obsessed, and I feel like I’m twelve years old again, reading late into the night with a flashlight under the covers. That exprience is what I’m always hunting for, and what I attempt to recreate in my own writing. 

Kay's book list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance

Kay Camden Why did Kay love this book?

I love books that start in the world we know and gently transport the reader into the supernatural. The magic in The Scribe is ancient and the war is underground, but everything feels so natural and real. And how the hero and heroine interact—the reluctance, the tension, the life-or-death alliance. This isn’t instalove, it’s the inescapable love that connects them soul to soul. And when it’s not just the hero who’s haunted but also the heroine, there’s an added dimension to the story that feeds what I crave. The dialogue feels true to life, and the characters come alive on the page. The blend of these elements—fantasy, adventure, and romance—is perfect here, and how they play off one another is like magic.  

By Elizabeth Hunter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Sexy, well-written, and suspenseful." Hidden at the crossroads of the world, an ancient race battles to protect humanity, even as it dies from within.

To the outside world, Ava Matheson is a successful travel photographer from a privileged background. But Ava's spent a lifetime battling voices in her mind she can't understand, and her fractured family has convinced her she'll never belong.

Malachi is an Irin scribe, descended from an angelic race and sworn by blood and magic to defend humanity from the Grigori, the sons of fallen angels who could ravage the world. A chance meeting in Istanbul will…


Book cover of Strolling Through Istanbul: The Classic Guide to the City

Andrew Sparke Author Of Abuse Cocaine & Soft Furnishings

From my list on making you love Istanbul.

Who am I?

Strangely as an English writer who loves skiing, the one place in the world in which I feel most at home is the old town of Istanbul. I’ve been there so many times and every visit inspires me to write. One trip provided the opening sentences of my first novel, another the middle chunk of my second novel, Copper Trance & Motorways, and yet another a suite of poems. Despite the historical sites it’s not a particularly beautiful city but it has a vitality like an electric charge and the hospitality of most Turks is amazing. When I’ve been struggling with writer’s block it's taking off to Istanbul that’s unstuck me.

Andrew's book list on making you love Istanbul

Andrew Sparke Why did Andrew love this book?

For Istanbul the best walking guide ever. This book seamlessly conducts a visitor around the city’s sights, weaving stories from its history into street-by-street locations and managing above all else to avoid the sin of becoming boring. It makes you want to see every stretch of pavement and every building mentioned in the book. The only warning is it’s a thick paperback and you’ll want to take notes from it in advance rather than carrying it around with you.

By John Freely, Hilary Sumner-Boyd,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Strolling Through Istanbul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic guide to Istanbul by Hilary Summer-Boyd and John Freely - the 'best travel guide to Istanbul' (The Times), 'a guide book that reads like a novel' (New York Times) - is here, for the first time since its original publication thirty-seven years ago, published in a completely revised and updated new edition. Taking the reader on foot through this captivating city - European City of Culture 2010 - the authors describe the historic monuments and sites of what was once Constantinople and the capital in turn of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, in the context of the great…


Book cover of The Mask of Dimitrios

Andrew Kaplan Author Of Blue Madagascar

From my list on spy thrillers that are about more than spies.

Who am I?

I never planned to be a spy thriller writer. One day an editor suggested I write genre fiction. “Pick a genre you read just for fun,” he said. For me, that was spy novels. I had some background (military intelligence, journalist in Europe, Africa, etc.) and John Le Carré had shown that spy novels could be serious fiction. An encounter in the Amazon jungle sparked my first spy thriller, Hour of the Assassins. Then came Scorpion, Homeland, and the rest. What’s the attraction? Intelligence agents lie better than most because their lives depend on it. But if you dig hard enough, you get small truths. Big ones too.

Andrew's book list on spy thrillers that are about more than spies

Andrew Kaplan Why did Andrew love this book?

Eric Ambler was the first author to write with realism and authenticity about the world of spies. His work often features ordinary people who are not criminals or professional spies, but who suddenly find themselves caught up in that murky world. In this novel, while in Turkey, mystery writer Charles Latimer meets Colonel Haki, who shows him the body of a notorious criminal, Dimitrios, in the Istanbul morgue. Intrigued and sensing a story, Latimer investigates Dimitrios’ career, which will turn out to be a lot more intriguing and dangerous than anything he bargained for. Ambler’s thrillers keep you on the edge and this one, which includes a ride on the Orient Express, will have you furiously turning the pages. Dimitrios set the standard for every spy thriller that followed. 

By Eric Ambler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mask of Dimitrios as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Istanbul, architecture, and Turkey?

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