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Architecture reading list

For applicants

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

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