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ArchitectureWeek Book Center

New books and classics, too, on architecture, building, architects, design, construction, design media, and more...

As noted by the editors of ArchitectureWeek.  Suggestions and submissions are welcome.

Books / Urban Planning / History

The Metropolis of Tomorrow
Author: Hugh Ferriss
Publisher: Dover Publications, Inc.
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $11.96
ArchitectureWeek— The metropolis of the future—as perceived by architect Hugh Ferriss in 1929—was prophetic in vision. An illustrated essay on the modern city and its future, Ferriss’ book incorporated his philosophy of architecture. The book includes illustrations of features that appear today in many innovative and densely populated urban areas. 59 illustrations.

Planning for Disaster: How Natural and Manmade Disasters Shape the Built Environment
Author: William Ramroth
Publisher: Kaplan Business
Year: 2007
Amazon Price: $19.95
ArchitectureWeek— The way city planners, architects, engineers, and politicians plan and design cities, buildings, and infrastructure has been fashioned to some degree as a reaction to disasters. This book traces the effect of natural and manmade disasters on urban planning, design, and engineering. Special attention to the Loma Prieta Earthquake (1989), the Oklahoma City Bombing (1995), the 9/11 Terrorist Attack (2001), Hurricane Katrina (2005), as well as catastrophic events of earlier centuries.

The Power of Ideas: Five People Who Changed the Urban Landscape
Author: Terry Lassar and Douglas R. Porter
Publisher: Urban Land Institute
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $34.95
ArchitectureWeek— Profiles of five eminent urban visionaries whose work and thinking has influenced America's cityscapes: Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former U.S. senator; Vincent J. Scully, architectural historian; Joseph P. Riley, mayor of Charleston; Gerald Hines, founder of Hines; and Richard Baron, chairman of McCormack Baron Salazar.

Ornaments of the Metropolis: Siegfried Kracauer and Modern Urban Culture
Author: Henrik Reeh
Publisher: The MIT Press
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $32.68
ArchitectureWeek— For Siegfried Kracauer, urban ornament was the medium through which city dwellers interpreted the metropolis. His essays deciphered the subjective experience of the city by viewing fragments of the city as dynamic ornaments. Reeh argues that Kracauer's writings suggest ways in which the subjective can reappropriate urban life. The book includes photographs of ornament in Paris, Frankfurt, and other cities.

Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000
Author: Dolores Hayden
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Year: 2003
Amazon Price:
ArchitectureWeek— In Building Suburbia Hayden elaborates on the development of communities like: Levittown, a community of standardized homes in Long Island; the Walt Disney Company's Town of Celebration, an exclusive suburb that blurs the line between fantasy and reality in Orlando; and Seaside, Florida, an area designed for "extended porch-sitting, leisurely strolling and sharing time with those you c are most about." She also describes the possibility of the future with MIT's "House_n," the prototype of an interactive digital home. Most of all she emphasizes the benefit of preserving and rejuvinating existing neighborhoods.

Better Places, Better Lives: A Biography of James Rouse
Author: Joshua Olsen
Publisher: The Urban Land Institute
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $29.88
ArchitectureWeek— Explores the life of urban planner James Rouse, who influenced American developments through his vision of, and experiments with, planned communities, the "festival marketplace," and affordable housing.

The Code of the City : Standards and the Hidden Language of Place Making (Urban and Industrial Envir
Author: Eran Ben-Joseph
Publisher: The MIT Press
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $27.00
ArchitectureWeek— In The Code of the City, Eran Ben-Joseph examines the relationship between standards and place making. He traces the evolution of codes and standards and analyzes their impact on the modern city and its suburbs, arguing that it is time for development regulations to reflect site-specific and localized physical design.

Sprawl Kills: How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health and Money
Author: Joel S. Hirschhorn
Publisher: Sterling & Ross Publishers, Inc.
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $19.72
ArchitectureWeek— This book demonstrates how sprawl has killed our environment by gobbling excessive amounts of land, open space, and green space. It is killing millions of Americans because it promotes sedentary living and bad diets, and it robs them of time because of the time wasted in traffic.

The City Assembled - The Elements of Urban Form Through History
Author: Spiro Kostof
Publisher: Thames & Hudson, Inc.
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $23.07
ArchitectureWeek— A noted architectural historian and astute observer considers the parts that make up the city through time — walls, urban divisions, public places, the street, and the urban process. The book ranges through time and space and presents the fruits of a lifetime of looking.

Global City Blues
Author: Daniel Solomon
Publisher: Island Press
Year: 2003
Amazon Price: $29.50
ArchitectureWeek— An assessment of how the power and seductiveness of modernist ideals led 20th-century architects astray and a proposition for the kind of world we should be making for people, through New Urbanism, as a counterbalance to sprawl, urban disintegration, and placelessness of American cities.

Urban Forms: Death and Life of the Urban Block
Author: Philippe Panerai, Jean Castex, Jean Charles Depaule, Ivor Samuels
Publisher: Architectural Press
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $43.30
ArchitectureWeek— This influential French work, now translated into English, argues that modern urbanism has upset the morphology of cities, abolished their streets, and isolated their buildings. The authors investigate the "urban tissue," the complex relationships between site and built form.

Author: Volker Welter
Publisher: MIT Press
Year: 2002
Amazon Price:
ArchitectureWeek— Analysis of the work of 19th century Scottish town planner and biologist Patrick Geddes. His theories of the city are still relevant to contemporary European debates about architecture and urbanism.

Space and Place in the Mexican Landscape: The Evolution of a Colonial City
Author: Fernando Nunez, Carlos Arvizu, and Ramon Abonce; Malcolm Quantrill, editor
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Year: 2007
Amazon Price: $40.00
ArchitectureWeek— Mexico's rich culture, full of symbol and myth, beautiful cities, and evocative ruins, is an excellent place to study how metaphysical conceptions influence the ways human societies create their built environment. The authors, "metaphysical archaeologists," consider ideas that give the constructed spaces and buildings of Mexico especially, of Querétaro, their particular ambience. They show how the transformation of world view affects the urban evolution of a Mexican City.


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