aesthetic” in this expert and invigorating
guide to the field’s profound humanness.
Landscapes of Change: Innovative
Designs and Reinvented Sites. By
Roxi Thoren. 2014. Timber, $34.95
Thoren illuminates new approaches
to landscape architecture in response
to today’s most challenging infrastructure problems, celebrating visionary
landscape architects and more than two-dozen stunning, forward-looking sites
that incorporate and highlight natural
systems within urban, suburban, and
On Architecture: Collected Reflections
on a Century of Change. By Ada
Louise Huxtable. 2008. Walker, $20
Huxtable long reigned as America’s
premier architecture critic, and all her
expertise, acumen, and graceful incisiveness are on display in this retrospective
collection of her insights into the works
of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar
Aalto, and Louis Kahn—as well as her
skewering of “Skyscrapers Gone Wild.”
Richard Nickel: Dangerous Years; What
He Saw and What He Wrote. By Richard
Cahan and Michael Williams. 2015.
CityFiles, $60 (9780991541836).
Architectural photographer Richard Nickel dedicated his life to
documenting, with artistic richness and
at increasing risk, the glorious yet imperiled buildings of Louis Sullivan, and
to protesting the rampaging destruction
of urban renewal, an ultimately fatal
mission beautifully chronicled here in
Nickel’s magnificent photographs and
meticulously reproduced letters, notes,
The Flatiron: The New York Landmark
and the Incomparable City That Arose
with It. By Alice Sparberg Alexiou. 2010.
St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $15.99
Alexiou, whose grandfather was once a
co-owner of the Fuller Building, the New
York landmark known as the Flatiron,
recounts a tale of architectural innovation and the larger-than-life personalities
responsible for this iconic structure, including the visionary architect and urban
designer Daniel Burnham.
A History of Architecture in 100
Buildings. Ed. by Dan Cruickshank.
2015. Firefly, $39.95 (9781770855991).
Cruickshank takes readers on an enlightening trip through time and space
to visit 100 structures representing key
moments in the history of world architecture in both essays and striking color
photographs, making for a concise, vivid,
knowledgeable, and impassioned guide.
The House with Sixteen Handmade
Doors: A Tale of Architectural
Choice and Craftsmanship. By Henry
Petroski. 2014. Norton, $27.95
Prolific author and civil engineer
Petroski takes an unusually intimate approach to architecture in this investigation
into the history, design (secret passageway
and all), crafting, and occupation of an
old house he bought in Maine.
How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s
Toolkit. By Witold Rybczynski. 2013.
Farrar, $27 (9780374211745).
Architect and outstanding architectural writer Rybczynski takes palpable
pleasure in revealing the complex, often
contradictory demands of architecture,
illuminating “the practical as well as the
Terror and Wonder: Architecture
in a Tumultuous Age. By Blair
Kamin. 2010. Univ. of Chicago, $32
Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture
critic Kamin begins this crisp, smart,
and witty collection with the architectural decimation of 9/11 and Hurricane
Katrina, then examines what followed,
from a plague of generic commercial
and residential buildings and the foreclosure epidemic to buoyant successes,
including Jeanne Gang’s “singular”
Aqua Tower and the “blooming of green
Triumvirate: McKim, Mead &
White; Art, Architecture, Scandal,
and Class in America’s Gilded Age. By
Mosette Broderick. 2010. Knopf, $40
Broderick tells the complex and, by
turns, diligent and torrid life stories
of three adventurous and determined
Gilded Age architects––Charles McKim,
William Mead, and Stanford White, who
created American grandeur from the
Why We Build: Power and Desire
in Architecture. By Rowan Moore.
2013. HarperDesign, $19.99
Architecture resides at the intersection
of wealth, power, and art. No wonder it
can engender hubris. In his account of
why architects and, to some extent, their
clients build what they do, brash and
entertaining architecture critic Moore
both praises and condemns buildings
the world over.
Clockwise from lower left:
Jane Jacobs, from the cover of
Robert Kanigel's Eyes on the
Street; from the cover of Henry
Petroski's The House with Sixteen Handmade Doors; from
the cover of Dan Cruickshanks'
A History of Architecture in 100
Buildings; Louis Kahn drawing from the cover of Witold
Rybczynski's How Architecture
Works; photo by Richard Nickel
from Richard Cahan and Michael Williams' Richard Nickel;
from the cover of Landscapes
of Change; cover photo from
Building Art; from the cover of
Landscapes of Change.