04 Apr 10 must-have books on architecture to give (or self-gift) as gifts.
The British architect Ralph Erskine said that “the function of buildings is to improve human relationships: architecture should facilitate them, not make them worse”. From Serrano Font we recommend these books on architecture that we recommend to have on the shelf of any studio.
Design and beauty lovers, these are the best gifts (or self-gifts). With this list, the only complicated thing is to choose.
100 buildings of the 20th century. The Now Institute (Editorial Gustavo Gili S.L.)
From Zaha Hadid to Rafael Moneo and Carme Pinós, more than forty internationally renowned architects invite us to discover their favourite works. This little gem is an exceptional survey of the best architecture of the 20th century through multi-family dwellings, airports and museums described in brief texts and illustrated with photographs and drawings of elevations, perspectives and floor plans. 100 buildings of the 20th century has been published by The Now Institute, an urban research centre of the Department of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of California (Los Angeles), and translated by Carlos Lanuza.
Arthur Casas. Architecture
Rizzoli publishes the works of Arthur Casas, one of Brazil’s most prolific and innovative architects. By the hand of the acclaimed photographers Filippo Bamberghi, Fernando Guerra, winner of Architectural Photographer of the Year 2015, and the artist Mauro Restiffe, the photobook compiles the works of the architect in major world capitals since the 1980s. A bet that will not leave you indifferent to the work of the fervent defender of the symbiotic relationship between architecture and interior design.
BIG. Formgiving. An Architectural Future History
A sure hit as a gift (or as a self-gift). The final installment of the TASCHEN trilogy in which Ingels takes a look into the distant future of architecture and addresses major design trends and the development of artificial intelligence, sustainability and interplanetary migration to shape the future. Architecture lovers, make room in the collection, BIG is big.
Kelly Wearstler publishes with Rizzoli New York the book that, without a doubt, is a must-have for lovers of interior design and the American staid. A full-colour tour through the best works of an icon who has set precedents in the sector. You’ll get more than just inspiration from its pages.
Arquitectura de andar por casa: A book to understand and enjoy the only art in which you live, eat and sleep, by Luis Lope de Toledo.
Launched last October, Arquitectura de andar por casa is one of those essential volumes that invite us to delve into the relationship between each person and their surroundings in a simple, even naïve way. Luis Lope de Toledo’s work is a book against forgetting architecture, because despite perceiving it in monuments and mansions, we do not always realise that we really live within it. With the help of pop culture references such as Friends or The Simpsons, the author takes us by the hand through the basic elements of each home to tell us their stories and infinite possibilities.
The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton
Happiness depends on the idea we have of ourselves, and this is projected onto everything that surrounds us, including, of course, architecture. Under this premise, Alain de Botton’s essay The Architecture of Happiness takes us on a journey through the buildings that have marked the history of architecture, including the brutalist houses of Le Corbusier and the colourful work of Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Buildings that innovate but, above all, build bridges between the individual and happiness through symmetry, curves, lines, strokes and colours.
Wonders of architecture (DK)
From the futurism of the Burj Khalifa to the legends that the Stonehenge complex still whispers today, via the most colourful mosques of Iran, Wonders of Architecture is much more than a journey: a collection of architectural icons for dreamers, travellers, lovers of contrasts that maintain a global and eternal dialogue. The book not only combines stunning photographs with floor plans, 3D or illustrations, but also reveals the engineering prowess behind each of these settings.
Gaudí: The Complete Works (Editorial Taschen)
Founded in 1980, the Taschen publishing house is one of the great references in art, design and architecture. A good example is its guide to Antonio Gaudí, published in 2020 and an exquisite showcase of the Catalan master and iconic works such as Casa Vicens, Casa Batlló and, especially, the Sagrada Familia. Gaudí’s legacy here envelops us in the form of updated photographs, full-colour illustrations and authors who throw their own analysis through concise and powerful texts. The ultimate gift for architecture lovers (and amulet to consolidate the supposed completion of the Sagrada Familia in 2026).
Architectural Digest At 100: A Century of Style
Every day we bring you the latest news on architecture and design from around the world, but if you want to have us on your bookshelf next to your favourite magazine, this review of the best examples of international design is a must. In this editorial work by AD you will find from the personal spaces of Michelle Obama or David Bowie to the works of essential architects such as Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Lloyd Wright or India Mahdavi, among many others. More than a guide, it’s a treasure trove.
Paris: Capital of Guerlain
From Flammarion, art and fashion expert Laurence Benaïm is the author of the book that takes us to the Expositions Universelles in Paris and reveals Guerlain’s collaborations with the architects, designers, decorators, artists and craftsmen of the French capital. Inside you will find an exquisite collection of never-before-published photographs, illustrations and archives. A must for lovers of the brand and French savoir faire.