Detailed Bibliography for ‘The LEGO Architect’ book

This is an enhanced bibliography for my book The LEGO Architect, with more references than the abridged bibliography included in the book. (I’ve highlighted my favorite references in the list below.) It is meant as a reference for people who want to dig deeper into these subjects, and includes selected quotes which caught my attention during my research. The primary sources for this book were books and documentary videos, although online research using the Wikipedia and other resources is inevitable. (I have referenced a few of the online resources I used, but am unable to include all of them.)

To prepare the book, I researched a single Architectural style at a time. While the book is organized chronologically, the chapters were researched, written, edited and rewritten in a looser order. (I prepared the first drafts of two chapters before selecting a publisher: Art Deco, then Neoclassical) The remaining chapters were written as follows: Brutalism, Postmodernism, High-Tech, Prairies, then re-writes of Art Deco and Neoclassical chapters. This bibliography has been organized into groups based on subject matter and architectural style. Since there is a lot of overlap in the recent history of architecture, each reference had a broader influence than the category it’s in. Notably, many of the books about Postmodern architecture include many of the works which I included in my “High-tech” chapter.


Claude-Nicolas Ledoux: Architecture and Social Reform at the End of the Ancien Régime
Claude-Nicolas Ledoux: Architecture and Social Reform at the End of the Ancien Régime(1990)by Anthony Vidler.

Photographs and Engravings of completed buildings and unrealized works by the influential architect.
European Architecture 1750-1890 (Oxford History of Art)
European Architecture 1750-1890 (Oxford History of Art)(2000)by Barry Bergdoll.

One of many “Oxford history of Art” books about a specific period in architectural history, these books do a good job of breaking a single stylistinc period into smaller chapters based on regional or aesthetic trends. The chapters fall roughly chronologically which helps understand how a style developed over time.

Pg. 15 has a useful sidebar about Piranesi and the Grand Tour. “In Rome after 1740 he began engraving views of the city and its ruins, capturing the imaginations and purses of artists and aristocrats on the Grand Tour.”

Neoclassicism and Romanticism: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Drawings: 1750-1848
Neoclassicism and Romanticism: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Drawings: 1750-1848(2008)by Rolf Toman.

Not a great book, but it was central to my early exploration of the style. It is organized by country/region which was interesting.
Palladio: The Complete Buildings
Palladio: The Complete Buildings(2008)by Wundram, Pape, Marton.

Great photos and some illustrations of his classic works. I drew sketches of some of his motifs to explore the proportions. (NOTE: The copy I read was an earlier edition.)
The Architecture of the Eighteenth Century (World of Art)
The Architecture of the Eighteenth Century (World of Art)(1986)by John Summerson.

While dated, this book had the most useful chapter text which starts with the rise and fall of the Baroque, and follows the transition back to classicism.

Pg 7. “(i) The first half of the century was pervaded by the spirit and forms of the Baroque, while the second half was the age of Neo-classicism. (ii) The characteristic building types of the first half were churches and palaces, while those of the second half were public and institutional buildings.”

Pg 10 includesthe scathing quote byColen Campbell against the Baroque: “endeavored to debauch Mankind with his odd and chimerical Beauties, where the Parts are without Proportion, Solids without their true Bearing, Heaps of Materials without Strength, excessive Ornaments without Grace, and the Whole without Symmetry.”

Pg 11. “The distinctions were, approximately , between a rational and literal use of the antiaue – ‘rational’ here implying a conception of the antique as having evolved out of building needs and therefore capable of continued modification, and ‘literal’ implying an acceptance of antique forms as unalterable absolutes.”

Pg 77. “The real nature of Neo-classicism in architecture is in a combination of the ideal of ‘noble simplicity’ with that of a rational application of the classical elements.”

Pg 80. “it was not the stylistic product of a school of architects in one country but rather an ideological movement to which individuals in several countries contributed and whose principles were easily communicable.”

The Four Books of Architecture (Dover Architecture)
The Four Books of Architecture (Dover Architecture)(1570/1965)by Andrea Palladio.

One of two primary source when it comes to Neoclassical architecture, this book may have had more impact on the style than the classical Greek and Roman buildings it describes.
The Neoclassical Sourcebook
The Neoclassical Sourcebook(1991)by Caroline Clifton-Mogg .

A good mix of chapter text and photographs organized into sections about public and residential architecture, then organized by region.

Pg. 11. “an era that was characterized in part by its reaction to what has come to be seen as the vapidity of the rococo.”


Arts & Crafts Houses II
Arts & Crafts Houses II(1999)by  James Macaulay.

This book includes a long chapter with photos and draftings for Gamble Hosue, the Arts & Crafts masterpiece by Green & Greene.
Country and Suburban Homes of the Prairie School Period
Country and Suburban Homes of the Prairie School Period(1913 / 1982)by H. V. von Holst.

This is a reprint of a 1913 book featuring photos and floorplans for at least 50 homes by various architects of the early Prairie period including Tallmadge & Watson, Robert C. Spencer Jr, and Walter Burley Griffin.
Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Houses
Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Houses(2006)by  Alan Hess & Alan Weintraub.

This is a beautiful book with very good exterior photogrpahs and absolutely gorgeous interior shots of many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s incredible Prairie houses. It was the photos in this book which made me want to build a LEGO model based loosely on Willits House.
In the Cause of Architecture
In the Cause of Architecture(1987)by Frank Lloyd Wright, et al..

This is a collection of articles written by Frank Lloyd Wright for The Architectural Record. It is interesting to read about his work from his perspective.

Pg. 54. “A building should contain as few rooms as will meet the counditions which five it rise and under whichs we live, and which the architect should strive continuially to simplify … really there need be but one room, the living room with requirements otherwhise sequestered from it or screened within it by means of architectural contrivances.”

Prairie Style
Prairie Style(1999)by Dixie Legler & Christian Korab.

There are lots of books celabrating the Prairie homes by Frank Lloyd Wright, whereas this book stands out for including beautiful interior and exterior photos of many homes by his contemporaries such as Purcell & Elmslie, Louis Sullivan and others.
The Early Work of Frank Lloyd Wright
The Early Work of Frank Lloyd Wright(1911 / 1983)by Frank Lloyd Wright.

This book includes the archiiectural drawings for Frank Lloyd Wright’s first major pulication of works which happened in 1911 in Germany. It was interesting to see the floorplans as drafted by Wright and his team.
The Prairie School: Frank Lloyd Wright and His Midwest Contemporaries
The Prairie School: Frank Lloyd Wright and His Midwest Contemporaries(1972)by Harold Allen Brooks .

This book has a good overview of the materials and forms used by the Prairie architects, as well as photos of some of the less common Prairie designs by Wright’s contemporaries.


American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture
American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture(2010)by Alice T. Friedman.

This is, as you might expect, a book filled with glamorous photos of Modern Architecture, with an emphasis on the International Style and Case Study Homes.
Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II: From Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas
Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II: From Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas(2013)by Martin Filler.

A sequel to Martin Filler’s excellent book. It revisits a few architects and exploring some new ones.

Pg 4. “Although Penn Station’s stupendously grand waiting room was decked out with all the elaborate masonry detailing of the Classical copybook, the concourse-where travelers descended to the train platforms on the level beneath it-dispensed with stone cladding and left the building’s steel supports exposed.”

Makers of Modern Architecture: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry
Makers of Modern Architecture: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry(2007)by Martin Filler.

This book is a collection of interesting, well written and detailed essays about several of the most important architects that preceded, created and followed in the footsteps of modern architecture. It isn’t really an introductory text and uses a lot of architectural terms, but it is a great way to get a deeper look at an architect after being exposed to their work for the first time.

Pg xiv. “To be sure, after World War I the pioneering advocates of the Modern Movement had also declared that the building art was going through an epochal break, nothing less than the end of history in a literal sense, because they believed that eternal architectural perfection had at last been attained.”

Pg xv. “…had nothing to do with ideology and everythign to do with economics: the new way of construction was simply much cheaper and more profitable than earlier, more ornamented modes.”

Pg 5. Louis Sullivan chapter: “Most important, however, was Sullivan’s understanding of the necessity for undifferentiated, easily convertible office space throughout all the stories of the shaft: it was this innovation that drew clients to him…”

Pg 49. Philip Johnson in 1959 about Mies van der Rohe: “Mies based his art on three things: economy, science, technology; of course he was right. It’s just that I am bored. We are all bored.”

Pg 54. Quote by Mies van der Rohe: “In architecture, the proportions that are important are not always the proportions of the things themselves. Often it is the proportions between the things that are important. There may be nothing there, but the proportions are still there.”

Masters of Modern Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius
Masters of Modern Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius(1977)by Edwin and Joy Hoag.

This is another good collection of essays about influential Modern Architects that holds up well to more recent texts.

Pg xii. “Wright, oldest by a decade or so and a man with nearly as much arrogance as genius , was a fover of the lwan, dedicated to the harminy of structure and site.”

Pg. xiii. “Mies was the acknowledged master of skin and bones building–the strength of steel for skeleton, the veil of glass.”

Pg 7. “In John Ruskin’s ‘The SevenLamps of Architecture’, Frank [Lloyd Wright] was exposed to the notion that art and architecture are natural expressions and, as such , are controlled by laws of integrity and morality.”

Pg 14. Frank Lloyd Wright said boxy modern houses were “coffins for living.”

Mies van der Rohe
Mies van der Rohe(2006)by Claire Zimmerman.

At under 100 pages, this is not a deep read on the architect, but like most Taschen books, it has very good photographs.
Modern Architecture (Oxford History of Art)
Modern Architecture (Oxford History of Art)(2002)by  Alan Colquhoun.

Less photos and more text makes this a deeper read. It is organized into 12 chapters covering specific time and regional trends. I found good information on Case Study house program in chapter 12.
Modern Architecture / 2
Modern Architecture / 2(1991)by Manfredo Tafuri.

A good selection of less frequently seen buildings in the late Modern and Postmodern styles.


Architecture After Modernism
Architecture After Modernism(1996)by Diane Ghirardo.

Another good perspective on Postmodernism with photos and narrative text.

Pg 9. “By the mid 1930’s, in many places the tenets of the Modern Movement were being eclipsed by the modernity interpreted as a monumental classicism, spurred in part by the interests and patronage of governments in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the United States.”

Pg 17. – “Following the lead of Gropius at the Bauhaus, historical studies had been excised from the curricula of most schools of architecture in the United States (although not at Venturi’s Alma mater, Princeton.)”

Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture
Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture(1966)by Robert Venturi.

A theoretical text which celebrates complex and interesting architecture rooted in history in a time when modernism was king. The book is written by Robert Venturi, who is often credited as the architect who started the Postmodern movement.

Pg 16. “Architects can no longer afford to be intimidated by the puritanically moral language of orthodox Modern architecture.”

Pg 16. quoting Paul Rudolph: “All problems can never be solved… Indeed it is a characteristic of the twentieth century that architects are highly selective in determining which problems they want to solve. Mies, for instance, makes wonderful buildings only because he ignores many aspects of a building. If he solved more problems, his buildings would be less potent.”

Michael Graves: Buildings and Projects 1990-1994
Michael Graves: Buildings and Projects 1990-1994(1995)by Nichols, Burke, Abrams.

Excellent photographs of some of the most elegant buildings by Michael Graves. This book made me aware of two of his buildings that I really like: Team Disney Anahiem and the Engineering Research Center at University of Cincinnati.
The History of Postmodern Architecture
The History of Postmodern Architecture(1988)by Heinrich Klotz.

Lots of photos and context for the (then) still young Postmodern movement.

Pg 128. “At first glance we note two main movements, which have taken on seemingly irreconcilable positions in their programmatic struggle: “high tech” architecture (which is based predominantly on the expressive qualities of technological procedures and constructions, and which offers the Olympic stadium in Munich, the Expo pavilion in Osaka, and the Pompidou Center in Paris as it’s best known examples) and postmodern architecture (which takes into account the history of architecture and refers to the given factors of the whole cultural settings.)”

Pg 153. Quoting VRSB: “…gradually emerged with increasing clarity in the 1960s: the realization of architecture as a ‘vehicle of signs’…”

pg 158. Rough quote from Robert Venturi: “the decoration of the shed is at least as important as the shed itself.”

The New Paradigm in Architecture: The Language of Postmodernism
The New Paradigm in Architecture: The Language of Postmodernism(2002)by Charles Jencks.

One of the bibles of this style, this is one of many editions of the same basic content by the same author.

Pg 12. “Programmed, continuously rolling pleasure, the shunting of people into queues, pens, and moving lines, a process which was perfected by Walt Disney, has now been applied to all areas of mass tourism, resulting in the controlled bland experience.”

Pg 12. “In short, buildings today are nasty, brutal and too big because they are produced for profit by absentee developers, for absentee landlords, for absent users whose taste is assumed to be clichéd.”

Pg 34. “architectural language… must use known units of meaning… architectural ‘words’.”

Pg 35. “the classical orders were a kind of pretentious Latin, not the everyday vernacular of industrial building and sober utility.”

Pg 36. “pitched roof conventionally signifies ‘home’ in northern countries”


Calatrava: Complete Works, 1979-2007
Calatrava: Complete Works, 1979-2007(2007)by Philip Jodidio .

This is a huge gallery format book with amazing full-page photographs. I loved seeing all of his works in one book. Spending time with this book was part of the inspiration for the Train Station LEGO model featured in the book.
Eco-Tech: Sustainable Architecture and High Technology
Eco-Tech: Sustainable Architecture and High Technology(1997)by Catherine Slessor, John Linden.

Beautiful photos of high-tech buildings built prior to 1997 when the book was published. This timeframe makes this book feel like a documentary of the transition from postmodernism into somethign new. Includes the works of Renzo Piano, Santiago Calatrava, Thomas Hertzog and others.
El Croquis No. 103 Zaha Hadid 1996 2001
El Croquis No. 103 Zaha Hadid 1996 2001(2000)by El Croquis.

This is a big, awkward book for architects, featuring lots of conceptual drawings and architectural schematics. It is interesting to see behind the scenes, but this isn’t a great source for photos of her completed buildings.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao 
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2004)by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen .

A book for younger readers about the region, the architect and the amazing building. It has a nice description and some screenshots of the then cutting-edge CATIA computer aided design software.

Architecture Collections

20th-century Architecture: The Structures That Shaped the Century
20th-century Architecture: The Structures That Shaped the Century(1999)by Jonathan Glancey.

A great collection of diverse buildings across several styles. Includes common buildings and some less familiar ones.
Architecture in the 20th Century
Architecture in the 20th Century(2012)by Peter Gossel, Gabriele Leuthauser.

A beautiful 600 page collection of 20th century buildings, including many classics and many lesser known gems.
Great Buildings
Great Buildings(2012)by DK Publishing.

A beautiful book with countless great photos and large two-page spreads with visual tours. Excellent introduction. My favorite of this type of book.
The Story of Architecture
The Story of Architecture(2000)by Jonathan Glancey and Sir Norman Foster.

A good book, but pretty dated…
The World's Greatest Buildings: Masterpieces of Architecture & Engineering
The World’s Greatest Buildings: Masterpieces of Architecture & Engineering(2000)by Time-Life Guides.

A pretty decent book with a good selection of buildings, although a bit dated.
World Architecture: The Masterworks
World Architecture: The Masterworks(2008)by Will Pryce.

This is a very large book with good photos, but strongly biased towards historic buildings. It helped me discover the elegant Brutalist “Salk institute”, which is a very cool building.

Architecture Field Guides

A Field Guide to American Houses: The Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America's Domestic Architecture
A Field Guide to American Houses: The Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America’s Domestic Architecture(2013)by Virginia Savage McAlester.

Another very dry but rich reference which explores American residential arrchitecture in detail.
The Elements of Style: An Encyclopedia of Domestic Architectural Detail
The Elements of Style: An Encyclopedia of Domestic Architectural Detail(2005)by Stephen Calloway.

Dry but technically rich, this book offers numerous variations on every architectural detail – windows, stairs, doors and more. It is nicely sorted by architectural style. It would be a useful reference for a LEGO artist trying to capture the more subtle details of a specific style, especially in Minifig scale or larger.
What Style Is It: A Guide to American Architecture
What Style Is It: A Guide to American Architecture(2003)by Poppeliers and Chambers.

A very good initial exploration into different styles with useful photographic examples.


A Global History of Architecture
A Global History of Architecture(2010)by Ching, Jarzombek, Prakash.

I wanted to like this book, but it is extremely dry and inadequately visual. The book makes a point to not organize architecture into discrete “styles”, which made it much less useful for my project.
Ten Canonical Buildings: 1950-2000
Ten Canonical Buildings: 1950-2000(2008)by Peter Eisenman.

An excessively dry and at times pedantic deep dive into 10 buildings of the Modernist movement. That said, it helped me better understand the layout and construction of Venturi House and Farnsworth House.

Books for Children

13 Buildings Children Should Know
13 Buildings Children Should Know(2009)by Annette Roeder.

This short book keeps things simple by talking about just 13 buildings. The Pyramids at Giza, the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House and Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing. There are 4 pages about each building with photographs, drawings, and some basic text explaining the building, it’s architectural style and the historical context.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.