At the end of last year I posted a bunch of holiday gift books found at the then-new site New Metaphor Books, which specializes in rare art and design books. Recently I combed through their Architecture section to highlight ten more rare books that some of my readers might desire.
Architektur der Dogon: Traditioneller Lehmbau und Kunst in Mali
Although the text is only in German, this book has some great drawings and photos on the traditional Dogon dwellings in Mali.
Atlas of Shrinking Cities
Literally the size of an atlas, this book illustrates beautifully data on forty cities around the world that are shrinking even as more and more people migrate to urban areas.
Ben van Berkel: Mobile Forces/Mobile Kräfte
The first monograph on the work of Ben van Berkel – "less a conventional architectural monograph than a theoretical statement about finding novel forms for architecture outside of the profession."
Artist Michael Rakowitz is the author of one of the most unique architectural installations: paraSITE, an inflatable shelter for homeless people that attaches to building exhaust vents. The book documenting the project is as modest as the installation itself.
Construction and Design Manual: Architectural and Program Diagrams 1
This first edition "Construction and Design Manual" features 48 projects by 10 architects documented through diagrams – from simple arrow diagrams to sober graphs, surreal collages, and computer animations.
Formal Structure in Indian Architecture
Eight historical buildings and structures – reservoirs, step-wells, religious complexes, a palace, and even a small city – are thoroughly documented in this large-format book.
Michael Wolf: The Transparent City
Photographer Michael Wolf took to the rooftops of Chicago to document the Loop's changing skyline, peering into the transparent curtain walls of the city's modern high rises in the process.
Quiet Light: An Installation of Isamu Noguchi's Akari Light Sculptures
Catalog for an exhibition of Noguchi lamps at Takashimaya in New York City. Layout was designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and their contribution is documented with a floor plan and essay.
Steven Holl: Idea and Phenomena
A large-format book from Lars Müller focuses on six of Steven Holl's projects, documented with plenty of watercolors and other process imagery.
Ten Canonical Buildings: 1950-2000
This hard-to-find book analyzes a number of projects through lots of drawings that layer b/w plans, sections, and axons with red markups that highlight their unique formal aspects.