10 Must-read books by Indian Architects

Architecture is a pretty vast field with an ocean of knowledge. It is simply not possible to understand each and every aspect of the profession as it encompasses a large number of related fields. However, there are few names in the industry who have accumulated a great deal of knowledge about the profession after spending decades in the industry which later disseminate by authoring various books. Some of these books have already become a cult and are often advised to be read during the architectural course. Surfaces Reporter has compiled a list of some of the Must read books for architects written by some of the most well-known and academically acclaimed architects and other professionals.

Balkrishna Doshi: Writings on Architecture & Identity

Rating- 5

writings-on-architecture-identity

Synopsis

Architect BV Doshi is nonagenarian architect, the only winner of Pritzer Price (Architecture Nobel) from the country, he is one of the most notabe figure of the Indian architecture community. This book covers a curated selection of BV Doshi's exceptional writings going back to 1950s. The collection encompasses 15 lectures, articles and essays made even more interesting with more than 50 hand drawn sketches by Architect Doshi.

Letters to A Young Architect

Author- Cristopher Charles Benninger

Rating- 5 

letter-to-a-young-architect

Letters to a Young Architect is a sensitive memoir of Christopher Benninger’s life in India and his personal concerns about architectural theory and contemporary urban issues. Through the medium of articles and lectures presented over the past decade, a lucid collection of essays emerge that testify the commonality of mankind’s condition. This is a collection of autobiographical narratives and ideas reflecting a man’s journey of the spirit from America to India and the philosophical considerations that matured from his experiences. Benninger notes his encounters with gurus like Jose Luis Sert, Walter Gropius, Arnold Toynbee and Buckminster Fuller and the manner in which their personal passion for humanity shaped the lives of others. The role of Indian masters like Balkrishna Doshi, who guided him in his search, is a touching tribute to the Indian “Guru-Shishya” tradition.

Architecture in India since 1990

Author- Rahul Mehrotra

Rating- 4.7 

architecture-in-india-since-1990

Synopsis

Ar Rahul Mehrotra is a professor of Urban Design and Planning at the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University and an avid architect who has designed project from every genre. This masterpiece by him charts the complexity of India’s contemporary architectural scene over a crucial period marked by economic liberalization and the contradictions, glamour and displacement wrought by globalization. Featuring the work of more than 60 contemporary architects, illustrated with over 500 photographs, this book catches attention of everyone having interest in contemporary India.

A Place In The Shade

Author- Charles Correa

Rating- 5

a-place-in-the-shade

Synopsis

One of the most prolific architects of the Modern India with a career spanning six decades Charles Correa was not only a great architect but a master with words as well. A Place in the Shade is a collection of essays that explores architectural and urban issues in India, from the house as a machine for dealing with the country’s often hostile climate to the metaphysical role of architecture as a “model of the cosmos.”A Place in the Shade identifies the defining issues of the urbanization trends that are so rapidly transforming India.

Elements of Spacemaking

Author- Yatin Pandya

Rating- 4.4

elements-of-spacemaking

Synopsis

An Academician, activist and researcher, Ar Yatin Pandya is known for his revolutionary ideas of sustainability. The ideas of space are physically manifested in architecture through diverse elements that constitute the fundamental recognizable parts of the man-made or constructed environment. This title delves into the inherent attributes of spacemaking features such as: walls, roofs, doors, columns, windows, stairs and floors, and analysis of their implicit influences on the design of space. It charts the evolution of each element through history and their effective applications, through extensive drawings and sketches and thorough case studies from across the world.

Laurie Baker

Author- Gautam Bhatia

Rating- 4.5

laurie-baker

Synopsis

This book by Ar Gautam Bhatia narrates the life and works of celebrated architect Laurie Baker who has made India his home and got fame due to being one of the rearest few to have designed and built buildings as diverse as fishermen's huts, computer institutes, auditoriums, film studios and tourist centres. His distinctive brand of architecture, usually moulded around local building traditions (especially those of Kerela, his adopted home state in south India), is instantly identifiable and has, unsurprisingly, revolutionized traditional concepts of architecture in India. Baker's architecture is responsive, uses local materials and lays stress on low-cost design. The book is full of sketches, plans, photographs and some of Baker's own writing and provides a comprehensive view of his journey as an architect.

Path Uncharted

Author- BV Doshi

Ratings - 5

path-uncharted

Synopsis

An autobiography of BV Doshi, this autobiography  is a personal recounting of BV Doshi's remarkable journey unfolding across continents over more than 80 years.

Raj Rewal Innovative Architecture and Tradition

Rating-5

raj-rewal

Synopsis

Designer of some of the most celebrated buildings of the Modern India like the Nehru Pavilion, the SCOPE office complex, the Asian Games Village, Raj Rewal is an architect who revel in the beauty of traditional materials. Through a repertoire of residential, housing, public and institutional buildings, his work is characterized by his concern for the climate, the promotion of craftsmanship and new technologies, and the creation of humane architecture. The book is a monograph of the complete works of the architect.

Dialogues with Indian Master Architects

Author- Narendra Dengle

Rating- 5

dialogues-with-indian-master-architects

Synopsis

In these free-wheeling public Dialogues, seven of India's seniormost architects who have played a significant role in shaping the country's architecture, urban design and planning describe how they resolved for themselves the problem of being inspired by events leading up to industrialization in the West and creative movements there, and finding relevant solutions in this country of diversity, ancient history, that had become independent from colonial rule. The discussions with Achyut P. Kanvinde, Raj Rewal, Anant Raje, Hasmukh C. Patel, Balkrishna V. Doshi, Uttam C. Jain and Charles Correa tackle social contextual issues, urban design concerns and personal observations.

The Spirit of Indian Architecture

Author- D.K.Bubber

Rating- 5

the-spirit-of-indian-architecture

Synopsis

This book addresses several issues for the very first time and reveals many finding about Indian archtecture in details never researched or published anywhere before. Indeed this project is the culmination of the writer`s lifetime`s work. The book brings to a sharp focus the relevant and logical, and refuses to tread the path of the herd. The narration is Lucid, direct and replete with many scientific facts. The book is also rich in visual content and contains more than hundred drawings, plans, illustrations, examples and actual case studies.

*All ratings are based on Amazon Book Review.

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