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What does a library say about the mind of its owner? How do books map the intellectual interests, curiosities, tastes, and personalities of their readers? What does the collecting of books have in common with the practice of architecture? Unpacking My Library provides an intimate look at the personal libraries of twelve of the world’s leading architects, alongside conversations about the significance of books to their careers and lives.

 

Photographs of bookshelves—displaying well-loved and rare volumes, eclectic organizational schemes, and the individual touches that make a bookshelf one’s own—provide an evocative glimpse of their owner’s personal life. Each architect also presents a reading list of top ten influential titles, from architectural history to theory to fiction and nonfiction, that serves as a personal philosophy of literature and history, and advice on what every young architect, scholar, and lover of architecture should read.

 

An inspiring cross-section of notable libraries, this beautiful book celebrates the arts of reading and collecting.

 

Unpacking My Library: Architects and Their Books features the libraries of:

 

Stan Allen

Henry Cobb

Liz Diller & Ric Scofidio

Peter Eisenman

Michael Graves

Steven Holl

Toshiko Mori

Michael Sorkin

Bernard Tschumi

Todd Williams & Billie Tsien

 

Peter Eisenman’s Recommended Titles:

 

Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

Le Corbusier, Vers une Architecture

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture

Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York

Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology

Andrea Palladio, The Four Books on Architecture

Walter Benjamin, Illuminations

James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

William Faulkner, Light in August