Solitary Refinements: A Summer Reading List

Even the introverts among us are straining under the burden of relentless social distancing. There are few bright spots in our current scenario, but one pastime is a particularly welcome escape from solitary confinement: reading. Quite a few compelling titles about architecture and design have just been released or are in the pipeline for this fall. And there are a some already published books that have renewed relevance to our new reality.

Architect Donald M. Rattner’s book from Skyhorse, “My Creative Space,” was published last fall, but it’s especially pertinent right now as many of us have moved our work home and must reinvent our creative lives. The subtitle of the book is “How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation.” While the book is intended for a mass market audience, Don is an accomplished residential architect who knows a thing or two about making houses work for clients—no doubt even other residential architects and custom builders could pick up a few pointers from his collected wisdom.

Many excellent architecture titles originate from Princeton Architectural Press, including architect Tom Kundig’s four monographs. His most recent, “Tom Kundig: Working Title,” was released last month. It’s a hefty 368 page collection of his residential and commercial work, from custom homes in Costa Rica, Australia, and Hawaii to several wineries in British Columbia, a visitor’s center for a cheese maker in Oregon, and the headquarters for a steam shower manufacturer in New York. Your $80 takes it home.

When he was done curating his own monograph, Tom chipped in and contributed a foreword to CLB’s upcoming monograph from ORO Editions, “Inspired by Place.” The firm, which has bases in Wyoming and Montana, has designed many notable custom homes, a number of significant commercial buildings, and has branched into commercial interiors as well. Its book, due late this fall, is 180 pages and lists for $75.

Another upcoming book to put on your wish list is “Triangle Modern Architecture,” by architect/writer Victoria Ballard Bell. It focuses on the emergence of North Carolina’s Triangle region as an important player in modern architecture. Coming in September from Oro Editions, the 250 page book lists for $50.

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