Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021



Books in the residential architecture genre consist of info about the designs and building of residential properties. These include guides about remodeling and renovating multi-unit residential buildings, apartments, condos, or single-family homes. The main objective of this genre is to help residential architects to learn about multi-systems such as ventilation, air conditioning, heating, and cooling. Residential architecture differs from commercial architecture in a sense they have more creative freedom with their projects. They also include knowledge about building safe and functional homes. Domestic architecture is another common name for residential architecture. Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Residential Architecture.

1. The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

A New York Times bestseller with an "engaging narrative and array of detail” ( The Wall Street Journal ), the “intimate and sweeping” ( Raleigh News & Observer ) untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest private residence in North America, which has seen more than 120 years of history pass by its front door. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House. Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy. This is the fascinating, “soaring and gorgeous” (Karen Abbott) story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.

  • Author: Denise Kiernan
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2018)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-1476794051
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches

                 

2. At Home: A Short History of Private Life


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

From one of the most beloved authors of our time—more than six million copies of his books have been sold in this country alone - a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home. “Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.” Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has fig­ured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture. Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposi­tion imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.

  • Author: Bill Bryson
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture, Buildings, Residential

                 

3. The Very Efficient Carpenter: Basic Framing for Residential Construction (For Pros / By Pros)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

Here's your chance to become a more efficient carpenter. Larry Haun has been a production framer for more than 35 years and a teacher of apprentices for more than 20. In this book, Haun shows you, step by step, all the techniques he uses to frame a basic house, from laying down the sills to cutting the rafters. You'll learn about: cutting and installing posts and girders joisting and sheathing fluently laying out, cutting, assembling, and raising walls framing gable roofs, hips and valleys, and truss roofs building various types of stairs There is an opening chapter on tools, plans, codes, permits, lumber, and materials, and additional information throughout the book on safety and site-built tools. The Very Efficient Carpenter is no less than a complete course in basic framing.

  • Author: Larry Haun
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (October 1, 1998)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-1561583263
  • Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches

                 

4. A Field Guide to American Houses (Revised): The Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America's Domestic Architecture (KNOPF)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

Now in paperback: the fully expanded, updated, and freshly designed second edition of the most comprehensive and widely acclaimed guide to domestic architecture: in print since its original publication in 1984, and acknowledged everywhere as the unmatched, essential guide to American houses. This revised edition includes a section on neighborhoods; expanded and completely new categories of house styles with photos and descriptions of each; an appendix on "Approaches to Construction in the 20th and 21st Centuries"; an expanded bibliography; and 600 new photographs and line drawings.

  • Author: Virginia Savage McAlester
  • Publisher: Knopf; Expanded, Revised edition (November 10, 2015)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-0375710827
  • Dimensions: 6.78 x 1.53 x 9.13 inches

                 

5. Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

Welcome to the desert. Welcome home. This visually stunning tour of the world’s most amazing desert homes will inspire you to create an oasis with “desert vibes” wherever you are.  Creatives are drawn in by the extreme landscapes and limited resources of the desert; in fact, they’re inspired by them, and the homes they’ve built here prove the power of an oasis. From renovated Airstreams to sprawling, modern stucco, desert has become the new beachfront. In  Oasis , artist iO Tillett Wright captures the best of this specific culture that emphasizes living simply, beautifully, and in connection with the earth. He highlights the homes that define this desert mindset, featuring the classics like Georgia O’Keefe’s in Abiquiu, New Mexico, alongside more modern homes such as Michael Barnard’s Solar House in Marfa, Texas. With Casey Dunn’s stunning photography,  Oasis  will transport you to these relaxing refuges, where you’ll learn what elements create the balance of intentionality, ease, style, and function that these homes exude.

  • Author: iO Tillett Wright
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Illustrated edition (November 10, 2020)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-0525575153
  • Dimensions: 8.52 x 1.15 x 9.53 inches

                 



6. Get Your House Right: Architectural Elements to Use & Avoid


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

Sick of McMansions? Marianne Cusato, creator of the award-winning Katrina Cottages, is a champion of traditional architectural principles: structural common sense, aesthetics of form, appropriateness to a neighborhood, and sustainability. She presents the definitive guide to what makes houses look and feel right, revealing the dos and don'ts of livable home design. Hundreds of elegant line drawings--rendering the varieties of architectural features and displaying “avoid” and “use” versions of the same elements side by side--make this an indispensable resource for designing and building a timelessly beautiful home.

  • Author: Marianne Cusato
  • Publisher: Sterling; Illustrated edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Genre: Engineering & Transportation, Engineering
  • ISBN: 978-1402791031
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 10.7 inches

                 

7. The Beauty of Home: Redefining Traditional Interiors


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

The Beauty of Home combines refined elegance and innovative simplicity for a fresh, new perspective on traditional interior design. Magic doesn’t necessarily follow a formula, but perhaps it does have a framework. Marie Flanigan’s interiors are timeless and soulful―immediately recognizable, yet also reflective of her clients’ individual stories. Dive deeper into the nine elements that define her work, including archi­tecture, illumination, composition, and surprise. Peek behind the curtain as Marie reveals her creative process and the essential elements for curating her signature blend of approachable elegance. Uniting poetry with purpose, this book uncovers the true beauty of home. Marie Flanigan is an award-winning interior designer whose achievements have positioned her as a household name. Originally trained as an architect, Marie seamlessly unites structure with style, unlocking a unique level of depth through her mutual consideration of an interior and its setting. For more than a decade, Marie has crafted well-articulated spaces that expertly reflect the stories of those who dwell within. Marie’s projects elevate the everyday, soulfully revealing the true beauty of home.

  • Author: Marie Flanigan
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith; Illustrated edition (September 8, 2020)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-1423654667
  • Dimensions: 10 x 1 x 11.75 inches

                 

8. Neutra


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

In the architecture of Richard Neutra (1892–1970), inside and outside find their perfect modernist harmony. As the Californian sun glints off sleek building surfaces, vast glass panel walls allow panoramic views over mountains, gardens, palm trees, and pools. Neutra moved to the United States from his native Vienna in 1923 and settled in Los Angeles. He displayed his affinity with architectural settings early on with the Lovell House, set on a landscaped hill with views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Mountains. Later projects such as the Kaufmann House and Nesbitt House would continue this blend of art, landscape, and living comfort, with Neutra’s clients often receiving detailed questionnaires to define their precise needs. This richly illustrated architect introduction presents the defining projects of Neutra’s career. As crisp structures nestle amid natural wonders, we celebrate a particularly holistic brand of modernism which incorporated the ragged lines and changing colors of nature as much as the pared down geometries of the International Style. About the series Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Architecture series features: an introduction to the life and work of the architect the major works in chronological order information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts, and plans)

  • Author: Barbara Lamprecht
  • Publisher: TASCHEN; Illustrated edition (February 15, 2016)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-3836535960
  • Dimensions: 8.39 x 0.51 x 10.39 inches

                 

9. Resident Dog: Incredible Homes and the Dogs That Live There


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

Stylish, aspirational homes and the dogs that live there in a beautifully photographed celebration of style and canines, now available in a new compact edition. In this stunningly photographed book of architecturally superb houses―many of them architects’ own homes―we see how the presence of a dog brings warmth and life to the most dramatic spaces. From midcentury raw brick to a penthouse apartment, gracious Edwardian to Scandinavian modern, from beach house to country retreat, there is always room for a dog or two. They trot, nap, and sniff through every page, at times more rambunctious than their surroundings, and at others perfectly in tune with the setting. Peek inside the most breathtaking homes that feature French bulldogs, golden retrievers, Labradoodles, and more as your guides. Oblivious to designer furniture, family heirlooms or serious design aesthetics, dogs can make themselves at home anywhere. In fact, the homes in this book are even more appealing because of their resident dogs. 300 color illustrations

  • Author: Nicole England
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (October 6, 2020)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-1760761318
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches

                 

10. Case Study Houses (Basic Art Series 2.0)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - October 2021

The Case Study House program (1945–1966) was a unique event in the history of American architecture. Sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, the program sought to respond to the postwar building boom with prototype modern homes that could be both easily replicated and readily affordable to the average American. Concentrated on the Los Angeles area, the Case Study Houses included 36 model homes commissioned from such major architects of the day as Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen, A. Quincy Jones, and Ralph Rapson. Their criteria included “using, as far as is practicable, many war-born techniques and materials best suited to the expression of man’s life in the modern world.” The results of the program would redefine the modern home and extend influence not only across the United States but around the world. This compact guide includes all of the Case Study Houses with over 150 photos and plans, as well as a map showing locations of all sites, including those that no longer exist. About the series Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Architecture series features: an introduction to the life and work of the architect the major works in chronological order information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts, and plans)

  • Author: Elizabeth A. T. Smith
  • Publisher: TASCHEN; Illustrated edition (March 19, 2016)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-3836535601
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.5 x 10.3 inches