An Architectural Designer’s Bookcase

Recently I was asked by a construction student ‘what reference books do you use the most’. So boring as I am, I thought this would make an interesting short article.

Here’s a quick top 10 pick from the bookcase.

The everyday stuff:

The Architect’s Pocket Book – Great reference for a multitude of common architectural inquiries. I cannot stress this enough, although not the most definitive publication, the Architect’s Pocket Book is extremely useful. If you don’t have, get it.

The Approved Documents – Best taken from to ensure the most up to date version, these documents provide fundamental guidelines for design and construction.


The useful stuff:

The Architects Legal Handbook – A ‘must have’ book that outlines the most common legal terms, situations and framework pertaining to construction and an Architects role.

The Principle Designers Handbook – Another ‘must’ for those not up to date with the 2015 changes in CDM.

The Construction of Houses – A very useful book full of practical advice, detail drawings and on site images great for understanding traditional house construction.

Construction Technology – Seriously useful book containing a wealth of construction techniques it could take a lifetime to learn.

The Carpenters Assistant – quite ‘old school’ now, but contains some really very useful diagrams as to how complex and traditional joinery is constructed.


The fun stuff:

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School – Fun little book from Matthew Frederick containing, yes you quested it, 101 important things to know about architecture.

Archi- Doodle – An enjoyable ‘Architect’s Activity Book’, which creatively reinforces the principles of hand drawing.

Show Your Work – A fun read with some salient points about how to share your work and get noticed.


I hope that this has been helpful, but please remember that this is not an exhaustive list. There is a huge amount of books and reference materials out there on a variety of construction/architectural subjects and this is just a small selection of the more ‘generic’. If you have any questions or would like a little more information, please drop me a message.

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