Architecture reading list

For prospective students

We advise you to read the Architecture page thoroughly. For reading and preparation advice, the following sections should be particularly useful:

Do also keep an eye on the subject resources, which provide more general guidance and examples for developing your academic interests.

For offer holders

It is expected that Architecture students will have read the following by the start of their Cambridge course:

  • Curtis, W. Modern Architecture Since 1900, Phaidon, 1982
  • Gombrich, E. The Story of Art, Phaidon, 1966
  • Kostoff, S. A History of Architecture, Settings and Rituals, OUP, 1995
  • Summerson, J. The Classical Language of Architecture, BBC Pub. 1963

As further reading, these books may also be useful:

  • Ackerman Palladio, Penguin Books
  • Ackerman Michaelangelo, Penguin Books
  • Bacherlard The Poetics of Space, Beacon Press, Boston, 1969
  • Banham Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, Architectural Press, 1960
  • Clifton-Taylor The Pattern of English Building, Faber, 1972
  • Eliade The Sacred and The Profane, Harvest Books, 1959
  • Ford The Details of Modern Architecture (2 vols), MIT, 1990, 1996
  • Frampton Modern Architecture, A Critical History, Thames & Hudson, 1981
  • Giedon, S. Space, Time and Architecture, Harvard University Presss, 1973
  • Gombrich Art and Illusion, Phaidon, 1972
  • Gordon Structures – or Why things Don’t Fall Down, Penguin, 1978
  • Harries, K. The Meaning of Modern Art, A Philosophical Interpretation, Northwestern University Press, 1992
  • Le Corbusier Towards a New Architecture, Architectural Press, 1946
  • Rasmussen London, The Unique City, Jonathan Cape, 1937
  • Rasmussen Experiencing Architecture, Chapman & Hall, 1959
  • Ray, N. Cambridge Architecture, A Concise Guide, CUP, 1994
  • Spector The Ethical Architect, Princeton Architectural Press, 2001
  • Summerson Heavenly Mansions and Other Essays on Architecture, Cresset Press 1949 (reprinted 1982)
  • Twombley Frank Lloyd Wright – His Life and Architecture, Wiley, 1979
  • Von Moos Le Corbusier – Elements of a Synthesis, MIT, 1979
  • Weston Alvar Aalto, Phaidon, 1995
  • Wittkower, R. Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism, Academy
  • Wolfe, T. From Bauhaus to our House, Farier Straus Giroux, 1981
  • Wright, F.L. An Autobiograpahy, Faber & Faber, 1945

(Some of these books may be out of print but should be available in local libraries)

For more information, please consult the Department of Architecture website.

Reading lists | For offer holders | Undergraduate study