How to Read Architecture is based on the fundamental premise that reading and interpreting architecture is something we already do, and that close observation matters. This book enhances this skill so that given an unfamiliar building, you will have the tools to understand it and to be inspired by it. Author Paulette Singley encourages you to misread, closely read, conventionally read, and unconventionally read architecture to stimulate your creative process.
This book explores three essential ways to help you understand architecture: reading a building from the outside-in, from the inside-out, and from the position of out-and-out, or formal, architecture. This book erodes boundaries between the frequently compartmentalized fields of interior design, landscape design, and building design with chapters exploring concepts of terroir, scenography, criticality, atmosphere, tectonics, inhabitation, type, form, and enclosure. Using examples and case studies that span a wide range of historical and global precedents, Singley addresses the complex interaction among the ways a building engages its context, addresses its performative exigencies, and operates as an autonomous aesthetic object.
Including over 300 images, this book is an essential read for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of architecture with a global focus on the interpretation of buildings in their context.
“Beautifully written, Paulette Singley’s How to Read Architecture is a call to action to return to reading buildings closely. If contemporary architecture is increasingly designed for Instagram, Singley’s work is a vividly uncovers the meaning embodied in great works of architecture. This book has many uses: it will be a joyous read for sophisticated lovers of architecture, a rich manual as well as a manifesto for practicing architects, and a thorough introduction for those new to the field. Read it and start reading buildings."
Kazys Varnelis, Director of the Network Architecture Lab and co-founder of AUDC
Introduction: Ground Rules
Part 1 Reading Between the Lines
Chapter 1 Engraving
Chapter 2 Inscription
Part 2 Outside-In Architecture
Chapter 3 Terroir
Chapter 4 Scenography
Chapter 5 Criticality
Part 3 Inside-Out Architecture
Chapter 6 Atmosphere
Chapter 7 Tectonics
Chapter 8 Inhabitation
Part 4 Out-and-Out Architecture
Chapter 9 Type
Chapter 10 Form
Chapter 11 Enclosure