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It’s been a while  since we delved into the book reports here at BUILD, and over the past year we’ve acquired some good reads and resource adds to our library. These are just a few we think you should check out for yourself.

Scandinavian Modern Houses 3: The Spirit of Nordic Light by Udsen Vibe, $85
Living Architecture

We’ve never been the type to hide our love of Scandinavian architecture and design, so it’s safe to say that this bad boy hits the sweet spot. The glossy photos and eye-catching designs span cover to cover and allow the reader to lose themselves in the ever-changing traditions of Nordic design.


DBOOK. Density, Data, Diagrams, Dwellings by Javier Mozas and Aurora Fernandez Per, $122

DBOOK deals not only with the density inherently found in our most prized works of modern urban infill, it is also a tome dense with information. The diagrams, drawings, text, and photos all work in harmony to deliver more than flashy looks. If there is one book in the group that highlights the need for information to drive modern design, this is the one.


HOUSE by Diane Keaton, $85

Keaton (yes, the actress) delves into her love of industrial remnants which have been transformed into modern homes. Each residence draws on simplicity, elegance, and nostalgia to make meaningful space. The photos are astounding, engaging, plentiful, and absorbing, making this book feel right at home on any coffee table that can bear its weight.


Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses by Steven Park, $25
Princeton Architectural Press

This handy guide provides a fresh look at the designs and diagrams of one of the mid-century’s legendary architects. The minimal drawing style pairs well with the cleanliness of Corbu’s work, and has allowed us to look at it with fresh eyes.


Jim Olson Houses by Michael Webb, $65
The Monacelli Press

This monograph of the locally renowned architect covers a range of projects from around the country, including his own residence in Seattle. Pages are filled with sleek photos of elegant residences designed for site sensitive living. Take a deep dive into Olson’s work, and marvel at his use of highly customized detailing and the unavoidable wall of glass.


West Coast Modern by Zahid Sardar and Matthew Millman, $50
Gibbs Smith

Regional designs are distilled into glossy photographs that catalog homes situated in the diversity of geographies that compose the West Coast. The range of novel material uses and dynamic spatial moves makes this an easy one to flip through when we’re in search of new and inventive ways to resolve age-old dilemmas. Again, the photos do the talking in this beast of a book.


A QUICK NOTE: We adamantly support local bookshops and are loyal supporters of urbanism and community. We encourage you to vote with your money and support exceptional book stores like Peter Miller Books in Seattle, William Stout Architectural Books in San Francisco, Powell’s Books in Portland and many more around the country that foster culture and community.

A QUICK DISCLAIMER: We don’t read all of these books from cover to cover -as we’re very busy designing and building things most days. Our reviews are based on a variety of aspects such as how we use the books in our office and how often they end up open on our desks (as opposed to passively sitting on the bookshelf). The reviews are often based on skimming the books or mining them for specific information. We’re not professional writers or book reviewers; we’re just architects that can’t stop talking about architecture. Got a book suggestion or want to involved in the play by play? Hop onto our Twitter account.