Top 8 Books for Architectural Detailing

During my course, one of the hardest things to find was good architectural details to use as precedent studies. This seems to still be the case. However, there are some good books out there, and I would recommend always having a couple of them to hand.

We are excited to announce that we have our own ebook series “Understanding Architectural Details” which is available now.

The book Full package

Architecture in Detail II

This book features case studies on various buildings with photographs and useful cutaway sections, with some details. It is good for broadening your understanding of how elements of the building are put together, lots of images, which is what you want. It also contains drawing notes on each construction, with dimensions/quantities of materials.

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Detail in Contemporary Residential Architecture

Another book packed full of construction details and notes. One to seek out in your uni library. There are other books in this series including Detail in Contemporary Timber Architecture and Detail in Contemporary Glass Architecture.

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Architectural Details 2003: DETAIL Magazine

Another book packed with details and notes. I turned to this a few times during my course. It is by the makers of DETAIL magazine, which if you have not come across yet I highly recommend. It always features inspiring buildings, great photographs and really useful detail drawings. Your uni library may stock it but they do a good student price for 6 issues and 2 ‘green’ issues which I subscribed to and didn’t regret it for a minute. I would say the magazines are better than the book.

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Building Construction Handbook

Moving away from the flashy images, this book is old skool! In a good way. Although it may, at first glance seem dated, they have released this new edition for 2012, so it is up to date with regs and so on.  This is one of the books I bought for my course and found I was referring to it regularly. It is packed full of hand drawn details and covers every aspect of building construction.

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Construction of Houses

This book is focused on residential housing but is really useful to gain a basic understanding and knowledge of resi housing. It has a mix of detailed photos, 3d sections and cutaways and describes the general elements of the construction of houses well. A must for your collection particularly if you are foundation course or 1st year.

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Timber Frame Construction

If you are interested in or doing a project involving timber frame, this is the book for you. By Trada, it focuses on every element of the timber frame construction with useful details and photographs.

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Timber Construction Manual

I spent my final year on a project that was of timber construction, and this was my holy grail. Great book, full of useful info and picture, and of course details. It’s an expensive book, so check to see if it is in your library.

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Glass Construction Manual

Along the same vein as the previous book, this is a construction manual for all things glass. There are others in the series too.

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If you come across any books that you think will help your fellow students when it comes to detailing, please feel free to share! Either comment below, or drop us an email and we can add it to the list.

My favourite Tools and Resources

I have curated a list of some of the tools and resources I would strongly recommend for anyone studying or working in Architecture.