Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - August 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 - August 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. Patina Homes


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

Patina style imbues Giannetti client homes in a variety of architectural styles. For anyone who has loved the Giannetti books about Patina Farm, this book continues the aesthetic in a variety of styles. Steve Giannetti?s architectural designs springboard from his image of ultimate beauty?a place where modern, classical and industrial elements merge to create a unique style with a modern sense of space and emotion drawn from history. His materials palette consists of wood, metal, and stone. His color palette is a chalky patina. Twelve varied homes?ranging from a modern desert glass box and a beachfront contemporary to a historic East Coast farmhouse and a Provencal-style home in California?show how Steve has used these themes to solve unique architectural challenges. Steve has collaborated with his wife, Brooke, as well as other designers on the various interiors.

  • Author: Steve Giannetti
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (April 20, 2021)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Architecture
  • ISBN: 978-1423656845
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches

                 

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


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - August 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

                 

4. At Home: A Short History of Private Life


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - August 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

                 

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


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - August 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

                 



6. The Stahl House: Case Study House #22: The Making of a Modernist Icon


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

The Stahl House: Case Study House #22, The Making of a Modernist Icon is the official autobiography of this world-renowned architectural gem by the family that made it their home. Considered one of the most iconic and recognizable examples of mid-century modern homes in the world, the Stahl House was first envisioned by the owners Buck and Carlotta Stahl, designed by architect Pierre Koenig, and immortalized by photographer Julius Shulman. This 1960 glass-and-steel home in the Hollywood Hills has come to embody the idealism of a generation in search of the American dream. As one of the Case Study Houses designed between 1945 and 1966 under the vision of John Entenza and Arts & Architecture magazine, this was an affordable yet progressive design experiment to address the postwar housing shortage. The result—a two-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot house with glass walls that disappear into a 270-degree panorama of Los Angeles—became Koenig's pièce de résistance. The Stahl House broke rules, defied building codes that discouraged building on cliffs, and expanded the possibilities of residential architecture. The glass walls blurred the boundary between indoors and outdoors. The building seemed to merge with the city itself, the lines of the structure aligning with the geometry of the city's gridded streets. "Los Angeles becomes an extension of the house and vice versa," Koenig said. "The house is just a part of the city." The book shares the never-before-told inside story by the Stahl family's adult children who grew up there and still graciously give home tours to fans from around the world. Through extensive research and interviews, historical information and personal photos are featured. This includes Buck Stahl's initial vision of the home with his own DIY schematic model for how to build on the complicated site. It also includes blueprints, floor plans, and sketches by Pierre Koenig, as well as Julius Shulman's renowned photographs. Additionally, photographs of the house used in high-end, fashion ad campaigns and film and television are also included, cementing The Stahl House's prominence in contemporary culture.

  • Author: Bruce Stahl
  • Publisher: Chronicle Chroma (August 31, 2021)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Photography & Video
  • ISBN: 978-1797209432

                 

7. Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - August 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

                 

8. Case Study Houses (Basic Art Series 2.0)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - August 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

                 

9. The Beauty of Home: Redefining Traditional Interiors


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Residential Architecture - August 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

                 

10. 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 - August 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