Barry Bergdoll

Curator; Academic; Writer / Architecture / United States / Columbia University; The Museum of Modern Art

Books Every Architect Should Read

Long before I came to the conclusion that I wanted to study architectural history, I knew I wanted to collect books. Arranging my books in new classification systems in my room at home as a teenager on rainy days, I even imagined that being a librarian might be the best of all possible worlds. Ever since then I’ve had at least as many books I intend to read as books I have actually read. And ever since then I have been torn between the idea of a small collection of desert island books and a big house with every room lined in books—“dessert island” books, I suppose one could call those that would line the dining room—so that every after dinner conversation might be seasoned with reading and shared books. . . . View the complete text
1 book
W. G. Sebald

Sebald’s poetic interchange of photography and texts in counterpoint rather than illustration is to me one of the most compelling projects in late 20th-century literature. The relationship to architecture is of course only tangential, but his are the only books that when I finish, my temptation is simply to start again. The opening lines about 19th-century architecture, beginning in Antwerp, reveal that often the greatest texture of architectural appreciation comes from the least expected places.

comments powered by Disqus