Books make great gifts for those who love to read, as well as those who just love to flip through pages of beautiful images. And what better gift for architects (or friends and family of architects) than a book on design? We've gathered a selection of new titles, available now, to ease your last-minute holiday shopping.
Ideal for the traditionalist (or those who like a good debate), The Future of the Past—A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation (W.W. Norton & Co., $60), by preservationist Steven W. Semes, makes a comprehensive argument in favor of "new traditional" architecture that preserves the style and character of historic buildings rather than disturbing and decontextualizing them with "stylistically dissonant" architecture. Semes, associate professor and academic director of the Rome Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, maintains that preserving context is paramount and that new buildings as well as additions to old buildings should harmonize with existing structures.
Architecture in Times of Need (Prestel, $39.95), edited by Kristin Feireiss, documents the post-Hurricane Katrina projects and progress made in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward by the Make It Right Foundation. Photographs, renderings, floor plans, and sketches of the Make It Right houses are featured alongside commentary by the high-profile international architects who designed them, as well as essays on the overall design process and on the project's "Cradle to Cradle" approach to redeveloping and reconstructing the neighborhood. The book might be the perfect gift for anyone interested in the shifting paradigms of post-disaster design or lovers of New Orleans.
Fans of Pritzker Prize-winner Richard Meier's designs may appreciate the most recent collection of his work, found in the monograph Richard Meier Architect: Volume 5 (Rizzoli New York, $80). Including an introduction by architecture critic and author Kenneth Frampton, an afterword by New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger, and a postscript by American artist Frank Stella, Richard Meier Architect: Volume 5 highlights the signature style of Meier's designs while tracking its evolution and refining from his earlier works. Through more than 400 pages of photographs, drawings, and architectural plans, the book surveys 30 of Meier's residential, commercial, and civic projects.