Never Shout: Hugh Newell Jacobsen’s Book List

By Steve Kroeter September 18, 2012

Hugh Newell Jacobsen

Architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen: Jacobsen Architecture (Washington, D.C.)

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In his more than 50 years of practice, architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen has been recognized for his eloquent modern residential work (20 awards from Architectural Record alone) that draws inspiration from vernacular American forms and local sites. “I endeavor to design buildings that belong, make the site look better and, hopefully, never shout,” he writes in his “Design Philosophy.” *

At the same time he has designed libraries in Athens and Cairo; U.S embassies in Paris and Moscow; museums in Washington, D.C, Vermont, and Oklahoma; buildings for college campuses; and a winery. He has been one of only six architects to work on the U.S. Capitol in the history of the building.

His Designers & Books list (he says in his book list introduction that his personal library consists of “over 4,000 titles”) recalls some of the many locations and residential forms that he has been drawn to. His selections encompass books on architecture from Nantucket to Florida, and extend from Swedish houses to the tropical modernist structures of Brazil and India.

He also includes Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture, originally published in 1905, calling it “the great book! It lives up to its title”; and Derek Ostergard’s From Mackintosh to Mollino: Fifty Years of Chair Design, which Jacobsen says is “a valuable survey.”

Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect: 1993–2006, 2007 (Rizzoli International Publications)

Jacobsen’s work, which has received 114 awards for design excellence, is the subject of three monographs, including the most recent, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect 1993–2006, published in 2007 ((Rizzoli International Publications). The architect is the editor of A Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C., first published in 1965 and revised many times since then.

What is Jacobsen reading now? He tells Designers & Books that it’s Stephen Longstreet’s We All Went to Paris: Americans in the City of Light 1776–1971, about the city that inspired the plans for Washington D.C., and has attracted notable Americans for generations, among them Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.



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