Edited by Annette Spiro and David Ganzoni / Park Books
Weighing in like a phone book, Der Bauplan is a rare compendium of architectural construction drawings by some of the world’s noted builders. Along with essays by the authors, including Mario Carpo, Philip Ursprung and Ákos Moravánsky, the book offers a look at the documents and drawings that go into making the buildings of Alvar Aalto, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Le Corbusier, Valerio Olgiati, Jean Prouvé, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Álvaro Siza, Jørn Utzon, and more than 100 other luminaries.
JUNKSPACE WITH RUNNING ROOM
By Rem Koolhaas and Hal Foster / Notting Hill Editions
“Junkspace,” Rem Koolhaas’s essay that introduced the term and concept of the same name, is paired here with Hal Foster’s rumination on it. It’s a quick read that will arm you with a widened perspective of the contemporary architectural condition and Christmas party chatter alike.
DRUOT, LACATON & VASSAL: TOUR BOIS LE PRÊTRE
Edited by Ilka & Andreas Ruby, and German Architecture Museum / Ruby Press
Technically, this book came out in 2012 (though some friends outside of Germany didn’t see it till this year), but one can never have enough of a good thing, especially during Christmas time. It’s an outsized book, filled with engrossing photographs, of a widely lauded project by a team of France’s most exciting architectural minds, which we interviewed here.
Edited by Andres Lepik / Hatje Cantz
As neocapitalism plays itself out in North America, Europe and Asia, this book—the catalog of an exhibition of the same name—lays out the most intriguing new architectural propositions coming out of sub-Saharan Africa today.
OASIS: WELLNESS, SPA AND RELAXATION
Edited by Sven Ehmann, Sofia Borges, Robert Klanten / Gestalten
I can’t stop looking at the images in this book. I’m obsessed.
PROJECT OF CRISIS: MANFREDO TAFURI AND CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
By Marco Biraghi / MIT Press
For those of us who have struggled with Manfredo Tafuri’s elliptical texts in architecture school, Biraghi has basically produced a primer. Project of Crisis is not the Coles Notes version of Tafuri’s tough tomes, but it will contextualize and explain his most important points.
THE ARTIST’S HOUSE: FROM WORKPLACE TO ARTWORK
By Kirsty Bell / Sternberg Press
There have been many forced theoretical alliances between art and architecture in recent bibliographic memory, but this book is not one of them. Bell takes the home, an architectural unit fundamental to all our experiences, and narrates it through its different guises as studios, artworks, concepts, and dwellings. See what Dahn Vo, Gregor Schneider, Andrea Zittel and Monika Sosnowska are like at home.
A QUESTION OF QUALITIES: ESSAYS IN ARCHITECTURE
By Jeffrey Kipnip / MIT Press
The collected writing of the great American architectural pedagogue and writer Jeffrey Kipnis is now upon us! He’s known for wrestling with theoreticians and philosophers like Peter Eisenman and Jacques Derrida, but his readers also know him for the way he’s able to translate complex ideas textually and embed them into the discipline at large.
Edited by Felix Burrichter and Andrew Ayers / powerHouse Books
If you don’t have a copy of this yet then then get one! PIN-UP, the world’s one and only periodical dedicated to “architectural entertainment,” puts the fun back in the fundamentals. This book is an anthology of interviews the magazine has published over the years, featuring a cast as diverse as Barry Bergdoll, Julius Shulman, Rick Owens, Oscar Tuazon, Cyprien Gaillard, and Zaha Hadid. (Full disclosure: I contribute twice therein)
THE CITY IN THE CITY – BERLIN: A GREEN ARCHIPELAGO
Edited by Florian Hertwick and Sébastien Marot / Lars Müller
For the past 30 years or so, “The Green Archipelago” was an architectural proposition by O.M. Ungers that everyone knew of, but very few actually knew well. Now with this new volume—containing original interviews with Ungers’s collaborators, facsimiles of notes, never-before-published photographs, and new essays by the editors—we should all be on the same page!