References for the study and practical application of the classical language
Via Michael Mesko and Stephen Chrisman
June 29, 2020
This compendium, curated by instructors Michael Mesko, ICAA Board Member and Education Chair, and Stephen Chrisman, ICAA Fellow and Principal at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, serves as a guide to building a library of foundational texts for the student, practitioner, and anyone interested in classical and traditional architecture as a contemporary discipline. The mix of older and recent resources is an excellent starting point for deeper study.Texts are sorted by subject area. The most current English-language edition of each work is given where possible. Additionally, whenever possible, links to public domain online editions are provided.For additional texts, we invite you to explore the ICAA's digital rare books archive, as well as to peruse the ICAA Research Library's online catalog.
Alberti, Leon Battista. The Ten Books of Architecture.
Palladio, Andrea. The Four Books on Architecture.
Serlio, Sebastiano. A Treatise on Architecture.
Vignola, Giacomo Barozzi da. Canon of the Five Orders of Architecture.
Vitruvius. The Ten Books of Architecture.
Chambers, William. A Treatise on the Decorative Part of Civil Architecture. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003.
Cordingley, R. A. Orders of Architecture. New York: Dover Publications, 2015.
Gibbs, James. Rules for Drawing the Several Parts of Architecture. Gale Ecco, 2010.
ICAA. Classical Architecture: A Handbook to the Tradition - the ICAA Classical Primer.
Rattner, Donald M. (1993). “Moldings: The Atomic Units of Classical Architecture”. Traditional Building 6, vol. 4 (1993): 72-3.
Walker, C. H. Theory of Mouldings. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007.
Ware, William. R. The American Vignola: A Guide to the Making of Classical Architecture. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1994.
Adam, Robert. Classical Architecture. New York: Abrams, 1991.
Curtis, Nathaniel C. The Secrets of Architectural Composition. New York: Dover Publications, 2011.
Cusato, Marianne. Get Your House Right: Architectural Elements to Use & Avoid. New York: Sterling, 2007.
D’Espouy, Hector. Fragments from Greek and Roman Architecture. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1981.
Gromort, Georges. The Elements of Classical Architecture. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2001.
Harbeson, John F. The Study of Architectural Design. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2008.
Semes, Steven. Architecture of the Classical Interior. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2004.
Stratton, Arthur. Form and Design in Classic Architecture. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2004.
Congress for the New Urbanism. Charter of the New Urbanism. 2nd edition. Edited by Emily Talen. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2013.
Hegemann, Werner, and Elbert Peets. The American Vitruvius: An Architects’ Handbook of Civic Art. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2010.
Krier, Léon. The Architecture of Community. 2nd edition. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2019.
Shepherd, J.C., and G.A. Jellicoe. Italian Gardens of the Renaissance. Fifth Edition. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1997.
Jones, Owen. The Grammar of Ornament: A Visual Reference of Form and Color in Architecture and the Decorative Arts. New York: Princeton University Press, 2016.
Meyer, Franz Sales. Handbook of Ornament. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1957.
Speltz, Alexander. The Styles of Ornament. Translated by David O’Connor. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1959.
Bass, Steve. Beauty Memory Unity: A Theory of Proportion in Architecture and Design. Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Books, 2019.
Fletcher, Rachel. Infinite Measure: Learning to Design in Geometric Harmony with Art, Architecture, and Nature. Staunton, VA: George F. Thompson Publishing, 2013.
Curl, James Stevens. Classical Architecture: An Introduction to Its Vocabulary and Essentials, with a Select Glossary of Terms. Second Edition. Chrysalis, 2001.
Curl, James Stevens, and Susan Wilson. The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture. Third Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Porphyrios, Demetri. Classical Architecture. Second Edition. London: Andreas Papadakis Publisher, 2007.
Summerson, John. The Classical Language of Architecture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1966.Watkin, David. A History of Western Architecture. Sixth edition. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2015.
Butler, A. S. The Architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens, Vols. 1, 2 and 3. Mulgrave: Antique Collectors Club, 1989.
McKim, Charles Follen, William Rutherford Mead, Stanford White, and Richard Guy Wilson. McKim, Mead & White: Selected Works 1879 to 1915. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2018.
Platt, Charles. The Architecture of Charles A. Platt. Introductions by Royal Cortissoz and Charles D. Warren. New York: Acanthus Press, 1998.Scamozzi, Ottavio Bertotti. The Buildings and Designs of Andrea Palladio. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2014.
Schinkel, Karl Friedrich. Sammlung architektonischer Entwürfe. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 1989.
Letarouilly, Paul. Edifices de Rome Moderne. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2016.
Stuart, James and Nicholas Revett. Antiquities of Athens. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.
Guptill, Arthur. Drawing and Sketching in Pencil. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2007.
Magonigle, H. Van Buren. Architectural Rendering in Wash. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921.
McGoodwin, Henry. Architectural Shades and Shadows. Washington, DC: American Institute of Architects Press, 1989.
Varon, David Jacob. Indication in Architectural Design: A Natural Method of Studying Architectural Design with the Help of Indication as a Means of Analysis. New York: The William T. Comstock Company, 1916.
Knobloch, Philip. Architectural Details from the Early Twentieth Century. Washington, DC: American Institute of Architects Press, 1991.
Ramsey, Charles George and Harold Reeve Sleeper. Traditional Details for Building Restoration, Renovation, and Rehabilitation: From the 1932-1951 Editions of Architectural Graphic Standards. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 1998.
Snyder, Frank M. Building Details. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2007.
This reading list is presented as part of the 2020 Driehaus Summer Studio Retrospective, a four-week series of daily online content inspired by the ICAA's Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program and the many students who have been impacted through its unique course of study. You can find additional programs in this series here.The ICAA expresses gratitude to The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust for its sponsorship of these programs.
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