We share some of our most popular book reviews from throughout 2023

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BD’s book reviews bring together some of the brightest and best reviewers in the industry with the latest publications and must-read books. 

If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas present for that special architect in your life, or just looking to treat yourself, we have a wealth of reviews for you to explore and enjoy.

Caruso St John’s Collected Works, Volume 2: ‘A genuine insight into their motivations and interests’


Giles Heather finds that this latest volume of collected works sheds fresh light on the practice’s profound interest in history and alternative modernisms.

The Architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens – Volume 1: Country Houses


This reissued volume on Lutyens’ country houses is a vital resource and spur to further research, writes Jeroen Geurst.

The Church Architecture of Richard Twentyman


Andy Foster reviews a new book celebrating the work of one of the Midlands’ pre-eminent modern architects.

London of the Future


Chris Dyson is challenged and inspired by a new book that plots multiple future trajectories for London.

Housing Atlas: Europe 20th Century


This timely publication offers a reminder that the value of innovation is not in being different, but in imagining and creating new models from which others can learn, writes Bob Allies.

The architecture of Kay Fisker: ‘These titles should be compulsory reading on every architecture course’


Matthew Wickens reviews two recent books on Kay Fisker, the renowned Danish architect.

Becoming Urban: The Mongolian City of Nomads


The challenges of a rapidly urbanising Mongolia are dissected and addressed in a new book, reviewed by Katharine Heron.

High Street: How our town centres can bounce back from the retail crisis


A new book on high streets invites us to see the retail crisis in a different light, and seek out innovative ways to reinvent our urban centres, writes Jennie Savage.

Out of Architecture: The Value of Architects Beyond Traditional Practice


Stephen Lovejoy reviews a new book that dissects the industry, while celebrating the value that architects can bring elsewhere.

Encounterism: The Neglected Joys of Being In Person


A new book by Andy Field reminds Karl Singporewala of the vital importance of in-person interactions.

Part of a City: The Work of Neave Brown Architect


Matthew Wickens enjoys a new book “by architects, for architects” about Neave Brown.

Monumental Lies: Culture Wars and the Truth about the Past


Debates around public monuments are a potential minefield. A new book can help us navigate this complex territory, writes Emma Dent Coad.

Jan Kaplický: For the Future and For Beauty


A new book on Jan Kaplický brings a much needed focus on his life and work, write Rachel Stevenson and David Miller.

Drawing Attention: Architecture in the Age of Social Media


A new book by Hamza Shaikh explores the outer limits of architectural illustration and reminds Karl Singporewala of the value of print in a digital age.

Designs on Democracy: Architecture & The Public in Interwar London


A new book by Neal Shasore offers a fascinating insight into the evolution of the profession, writes Matthew Wickens.

How we celebrate the coronation: Designs for a new reign


Emma Dent Coad is at first intrigued and then dispirited by the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s publication.

A Bittersweet Heritage: Slavery, Architecture and the British Landscape by Victoria Perry


Jeremy Musson finds that a new book on architecture and slavery is informative, but wonders where it leaves the debate about how to manage the built heritage that is its legacy.

Edward Cullinan Architects, by Kenneth Powell


A new book reveals the ‘somewhat eccentric sensibility of an often very good architect’, finds Patrick Lynch.

At Home in London: The Mansion Block, by Karin Templin


Giles Heather finds a new book on the London mansion block uplifting, but wonders whether the contemporary typology needs to be better defined.

Thrive: A Field Guide for Women in Architecture


Indujah Srikaran describes Sumita Singha’s new book as one that she wishes she’d had during her own education.

Modern Buildings in London by Ian Nairn

Ian Nairn

Emma Dent Coad welcomes the republication of Nairn’s classic book on modernist London.