Victoria Meyers

Architect / United States / Hanrahan Meyers Architects (hMa)

Victoria Meyers’s Book List

I selected my books for many reasons. Some books have followed me around for a very long time (I started reading Frank Lloyd Wright’s writings when I was seven or eight.). Some books on the list were given to me by relatives whom I was close to (The Poetry of Robert Frost, given to me by my aunt). Complete Poems and Selected Letters of Michelangelo catalogues a life that I can relate to—suffering because of the design process! Some books got me through dark times with good advice, others with their amazing humor (John Cage and Andy Warhol).

12 books
Stephen Hawking

Great physicists put our lives on this small planet into perspective. How many people could live with Hawking’s disabilities? He does it and he thrives as the greatest living physicist. I find Hawking an incredible inspiration.

Le Corbusier

What can I say? Le Corbusier is “the man.” I regard this book as a primer for the future architect. There is one part of the book that has always stood out for me. Le Corbusier advises young architects to travel to Rome, and to get a “‘letter of permission” to pass through the Vatican Gates, in order to see the back of St. Peters (“the only place where you can see Michelangelo’s handiwork”). I did so, and it blew me away. The book gives a lot of great advice that you can’t get anywhere else.

John Cage

John Cage is one of my heroes, and he’s incredibly funny. When I need inspiration, when I need to laugh, I read this book.

Rosalind Krauss

Rosalind Krauss wrote many of the best essays on contemporary art in the 20th century. I love her writing, and I especially appreciate that she’s a woman.

Michelangelo Buonarroti
Creighton Gilbert Translator
Robert N. Linscott Editor

Not that I see myself as anywhere near his equal, but I can relate to his struggles. I know how it feels to ruin dinner with your family because you’re struggling with clients who have not paid, or who demand too much. I know how it feels to write notes to clients, asking to be paid, or asking for more time. It all makes perfect sense to me, and is somehow very reassuring to think that Michelangelo struggled with so many of the mundane aspects of design that plague me as well.

The Dalai Lama
With Howard C. Cutler

This book gets you through rough times. The Dalai Lama has a lot of very sound advice. He never gets ruffled. He always puts things into perspective. A lot like reading Warren Buffet, actually.

Frank Lloyd Wright
Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer Editor
Introduction by Kenneth Frampton

I followed many of the bits of advice given by Wright in the five volumes of his collected writings and elsewhere, including getting an undergraduate degree in civil engineering (Wright never studied architecture. Instead, he took courses in engineering.)

Robin Evans

A great set of essays. A must to have on your shelf if you plan to teach architecture. Each essay renews your vision about the true basics of design. What is a dome? What is proportion? Robin Evans lays it all out, with engaging prose, and doesn’t miss any of the relevant points. He’s a genius.

Andy Warhol

This is much like John Cage’s book, Silence. A great book by a great 20th-century artist, written with a bitingly funny sense of humor. It puts it all into perspective.

Robert Frost
Edward Connery Lathem Editor

The aunt who gave me this book was my favorite relative. She was my great-aunt, and still tied to the family’s older traditions. She even had an old horse-drawn sleigh in her garage/barn! She was the family matriarch, and my family spent every Christmas Day at her house, until she left us. I cannot read Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” without thinking about her, or getting a tear in my eye. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, and the works of Frost and the painter Andrew Wyeth had a strong influence on my development as an artist.

Dylan Thomas

One of my all-time favorite holiday books. Written with great flair, poetic, and really gives a sense of what it was like growing up as a child in Wales, on Christmas Day.

John Pawson

I see this as a perfect architectural monograph. It uses few words, and very clearly describes a series of attitudes toward form, materiality, and space.

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