Every architectural masterpiece is said to have an intrinsic essence and an aura that a person may experience while standing in its chambers or absorbing the splendour in person. For aspiring architects to comprehend what it is to notice the complexities of work, they must first understand what it is to observe the subtleties of a work, which may easily be neglected if we try to examine the same through a movie or some images.

Travelling is more than simply an experience for them; it’s more like learning how places shift from one to the next. We’ve compiled a list of great travel and architectural books for you to enjoy.

1. Destination Architecture: The Essential Guide to 1000 Contemporary Buildings – by Phaidon

Destination: Architecture is an unrivalled and comprehensive resource for anybody looking to get more out of their travels, with 1,000 of today’s most fascinating buildings by the world’s greatest architects. Without this brilliantly selected ‘who’s who of the world’s most interesting architecture, no journey, from a long weekend to a long-haul vacation, would be complete. Each structure is depicted with a single photograph and a brief description, as well as locations, websites, and hours of operation. On every continent, it’s the ideal way to discover and experience the modern constructed culture.

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Destination Architecture_©goodreads

Buy here: www.amazon.in/Destination-Architecture-Essential-Contemporary-Buildings/dp/071487535X  

2. Travel by Design – by Peter Sallick

Travel by Design by Peter Sallick is a fascinating introduction to the power of travelling to change and extend our world, using travel images from more than 150 of America’s finest architects and designers. With photos of over 100 locales in 60 countries ranging from exotic destinations and global capitals to adventurous vacations and all-American retreats, the book reminds us of the beauty and value of travel. Over 350 pictures take readers on a global voyage through urban landscapes, ancient civilizations, elegant resorts, and breathtaking natural marvels, all viewed through the discriminating and artistic eyes of today’s top creative minds.

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Travel by Design_©Assouline

Buy here: www.amazon.in/Travel-Design-Classics-Peter-Sallick/dp/1614289255  

3. 1956: Photosketches of a Slow Journey – by Dolf Schnebli

Dolf Schnebli received a Harvard travel fellowship in 1955, allowing him to travel for a year overland from Venice to India and back. He was accompanied by his wife Clarissa and a Volkswagen Beetle. His journey’s goal was to study architectural history up close, particularly the urban evolution of historic towns, ruins, and excavations. More than 50 years after his journey, Schnebly’s black-and-white photographs are being published for the first time, meticulously crafted for visual communication by the Zurich-based WBG AG.

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1956 Photosketches of a Slow Journey by Dolf Schnebli_©stoutbooks

Buy here: www.amazon.com/Dolf-Schnebli-1956-Sketches-Journey/dp/3721207009  

4. Athens disclosed (Travel to history through architecture and landscape) – by Denis Roubien

There are several books on ancient Athens available. When you arrive, a guided tour will provide you with all the information you want. But what happened to Athens in the centuries after that? What about the historic houses, churches, mosques, baths, and other oddities you come across all over?

This book, authored by an Athens expert and featuring a great number of colour images and detailed maps in addition to covering all of Athens’ important landmarks throughout history, will help you comprehend the city now and avoid feeling lost as a guest. These places have been provided as a guided tour to help you better understand and remember them. They contain interactions with intriguing people as well as other personal travel experiences that will assist you in planning your vacation away from tourist traps.

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Athens disclosed_©goodreads

Buy here: www.amazon.com/disclosed-history-through-architecture-landscape/dp/B09G9N8VKP/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2TRUS09D1TUUC&keywords=athens+disclosed&qid=1649617092&s=books&sprefix=athens+disclos%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C374&sr=1-1  

5. 150 Houses You Need to Visit Before You Die – by Thijs Demeulemeester

The popularity of architectural tourism is on the rise. You’ll get a reference book of 150 of the world’s most prominent private residences, as well as a bucket list to help you plan your next nation or city vacation, with this book. These homes are one-of-a-kind, whether it’s due to the interior design, construction, or smart design. This is the ultimate travel wish list for architecture. The writers include a vivid account of the structure and its owners, as well as architect, date, and location information for each property.

The book includes works of some of the bigshots of architecture like Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Adolf Loos, Eero Saarinen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O’Keeffe, Richard Neutra, Antoni Gaudi, and Victor Horta.

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150 Houses You Need to Visit Before You Die_©Lannoo Publishers

Buy here: www.amazon.com/Iconic-Houses-Need-Visit-Before/dp/9401462046/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3CCEDHA6UHEHQ&keywords=150+Houses+You+Need+to+Visit+Before+You+Die&qid=1649617124&s=books&sprefix=150+houses+you+need+to+visit+before+you+die%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C527&sr=1-1  

6. An Architectural Travel Guide to Utah – by  Martha Bradley Evans

An Architectural Travel Guide to Utah enables visitors and other explorers to view the state’s history, material culture, settlement, and natural beauty through the prism of its architecture. This book tells a story about Utah’s towns and rural communities, exploring neighbourhoods and other constructed landscapes with over 600 examples. This guide uses the diversity of Utah’s architecture to showcase the pluralism of its people, their compelling vision for a wonderful life, and the specific response of their built environment to the unique geography of this beautiful state, from the most prevalent vernacular cabin to the modern architecture of Abravanel Symphony Hall and the Salt Lake Arts Center.

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An Architectural Travel Guide to Utah_©bibliovault.org

Buy here:  www.amazon.com/Architectural-Travel-Guide-Utah/dp/1647690080/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2BNDIX5GAES72&keywords=An+Architectural+Travel+Guide+to+Utah+by+Martha+Bradley+Evans&qid=1649617149&s=books&sprefix=%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C612&sr=1-1  

7. Modernist Escapes: An Architectural Travel Guide – by Stefi Orazi

As the title suggests, this is a fascinating handbook that takes you to the world’s hidden treasures of modernist architecture. The venues covered in the book provide inspiring experiences for armchair travellers while also being well-suited as real-life travel destinations since all of the structures are open for a visit or perhaps a longer stay. The book was written by English designer Stefi Orazi, who has produced numerous volumes on architecture and was published by the art publishing business Prestel.

Modernist enthusiasts will want to get right into the pages of this book, which features stunning structures constructed by prominent architects ranging from Alvar Aalto to Charlie Zehnder. This book covers the complete range of modernist concepts from Bauhaus to Brutalism, with over 130 distinctive structures from throughout the world.

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Modernist Escapes An Architectural Travel Guide_©goodreads

Buy here:  www.amazon.com/Modernist-Escapes-Architectural-Travel-Guide/dp/3791386344/ref=sr_1_1?crid=32DN6F44ZMKSY&keywords=.+Modernist+Escapes%3A+An+Architectural+Travel+Guide+by+Stefi+Orazi&qid=1649617190&s=books&sprefix=modernist+escapes+an+architectural+travel+guide+by+stefi+orazi%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C564&sr=1-1  

8. Early Indian Architecture: Cities and City-Gates – by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Early Indian Architecture by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy is a study of the subject based mostly on material found in early Pali literature and depicted in the reliefs of Bharhut, Sanchi, and Amaravati. Part I deals with towns and city-gates, etc., whereas Part II focuses on Bodhi-gharas, which are depictions of the Bodhi tree with or without a temple construction. Coomaraswamy meticulously gathered the data, extracting information not just from literature but also from sculptural depictions. He has limited himself not just to early writings and material, but also to knowledge from later examples, notably forts, and so on. The details of the layout of early towns, as well as its many components, architectural words as found in early writings, and pictures with comprehensive comments on each, have rendered this book indispensable for serious study of the topic. This monograph is a must-have for archaeology, art, and architecture students.

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Early Indian Architecture Cities and City-Gates_©goodreads

Buy here: www.amazon.com/Early-Indian-Architecture-Cities-City-Gates/dp/8121505186/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3R05KREAK2DD8&keywords=Early+Indian+Architecture%3A+Cities+and+City-Gates+by+Ananda+K.+Coomaraswamy&qid=1649617244&s=books&sprefix=early+indian+architecture+cities+and+city-gates+by+ananda+k.+coomaraswamy%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C664&sr=1-1

9. The Grand Tour: Travelling the world with an Architect’s eye – by Harry Seidler 

Architect Harry Seidler has travelled the world for more than 50 years, extensively documenting the pinnacle achievements in building from 3000 B.C. to the current time. Seidler’s interest swiftly turned into a passion and, eventually, an outstanding collection of world architecture. Seidler’s images, which include many of the world’s most renowned architectural monuments, depict the history and style of architecture throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas, nation by country. “Grand Tour,” divided into chapters by country and each with a brief introduction outlining its architectural history, allows armchair travellers, students, architecture buffs, and historians to browse the world’s buildings through one man’s photographs – the results of an enthusiastic, half-century venture.

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The Grand Tour Travelling the world with an Architect’s eye_©Bodhi Tree

Buy here: www.amazon.com/Grand-Tour-Travelling-World-Architects/dp/3822825557/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?crid=26NXMI3UXAA9T&keywords=grand+tour+travelling+the+world+through+architects+eye&qid=1649617321&s=books&sprefix=grand+tour+travelling+the+worlfd+through+architects+ey%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C337&sr=1-1-fkmr0  

10. Midwest Architecture Journeys – by Zach Mortice

Midwest Architecture Journeys takes readers on a journey to some of the region’s most innovative structures, designed by architects such as Bertrand Goldberg, Bruce Goff, and Lillian Leenhouts. Although Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright are the most well-known architects in the Midwest (and the country), the region has long been a haven for both expert and amateur builders. It also includes visits to less prominent but equally daring and defining locations like indigenous mounds, grain silos, parking lots, flea markets, and abandoned warehouses. Midwest Architecture Journeys contends, via dozens of pieces written by architects, critics, and journalists, that what appears flat is colossal, and what we consider to be uninteresting is teeming with the invention.

Midwest Architecture Journeys_©midwesthome

Buy here: www.amazon.com/Midwest-Architecture-Journeys-Zach-Mortice/dp/1948742578/ref=sr_1_1?crid=10CDIMRTJDDKA&keywords=Midwest+architecture+journeys&qid=1649617362&s=books&sprefix=midwest+architecture+journey%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C360&sr=1-1

Special mentions in fiction

If you find some of these non-fictional reads to be too hard to grasp or boring, here are a couple of recommendations in the fictional genre. These books have interesting storylines and architectural and travel settings that can transport you to different places while you sip on your coffee on a couch.

  1. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino , William Weaver (Translator).
  2. The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
  3. Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton
  4. The Fountainhead by  Ayn Rand
  5. The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino

References:

  1. ArchDaily. 2022.  7 Novels Every Architect Should Read . [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2022].
  2. Goodreads. 2022.  Goodreads . [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2022].
  3. Designers & Books. 2022.  35 Books on Travel and Design . [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2022].
  4. Whitmore, G., 2022.  Travel Books To Read During The Coronavirus Shutdown . [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2022].
  5. Architecture: Form, &., Ching, F., Data, A., Neufert, E., Architecture, A., Ching, F., City, T., Rossi, A., Space, T., Bachelard, G., City, T., Lynch, K., Cities, T., Jacobs, J., A Pattern Language: Towns, C. and Alexander, C., 2022.  Must-Read Architecture Books (fiction and nonfiction) (242 books) . [online] Goodreads.com. Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2022].
  6. Binwani, R., 2022.  10 Books for architects who love travelling – 泛亚电竞赛事手游(泛亚电竞注册官网v6.3 IOS版) | Rethinking The Future . [online] 泛亚电竞赛事手游(泛亚电竞注册官网v6.3 IOS版) | Rethinking The Future. Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2022].
Author

A final-year architecture student who enjoys traveling and learning about culture, architecture, and history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and scribbling down her ideas. She attempts to capture many perspectives on the world through her writings.

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