The 10 Best architecture books

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Put some structure into your coffee-table reading matter with these weighty tomes about the buildings that surround us.

1. Rebel Cities

A collection of essays from the Marxist geographer David Harvey, placing the city at the heart of capital and class struggles. The book looks at locations from Mumbai to Sao Paulo and political moments such as Occupy and the London riots, asking how cities could be reorganised to create social and environmental change.

£9.99, versobooks.com

Get money off this book at the Independent book shop

2. A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain

Architecture journalist Owen Hatherley takes the reader on a politically loaded journey across the country in this book that looks at the impact of successive goverments on civic architecture.

£12.99, versobooks.com

Get money off this book at the Independent book shop

3. The Meaning of Home

Taking a fresh look at domestic features commonly regarded with unseeing eyes, Edwin Heathcote explores the meaning and symbolism of the things we keep around us in our everyday lives – be it a mansion or a bungalow.

£12.99, franceslincoln.co.uk

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4. Wood Architecture Now! Vol 2

Hurricanes and big bad wolves aside, wood can still be a desirable and sophisticated building material. This collection is full of dramatic yet peaceful dwellings that demonstrate the often surprising potential of wood.

£34.99, taschen.com

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5. Great Houses of London

Peek through the keyhole of some of London's finest abodes with this coffee-table catalogue of luxury living. It is full of fascinating trivia that should give all Londoners who read it something to divulge to their friends at the pub.

£40, franceslincoln.co.uk

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6. Lost London In Colour

One of those books that you could flick through for hours, this collection contains more than 250 rare colour photographs of the capital, from the 1850s onwards. It takes in many of the capital's famous landmarks, as well as local neighbourhoods, the docklands and intriguing street scenes.

£15.99, amberleybooks.com

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7. Ed Ruscha and Some Los Angeles Apartments

US artist Ed Ruscha is well known for the aesthetically cool photo books that he produced during the 1960s. This book collates 38 plates from those books, for which he cast his discerning yet deadpan eye on the city's stylised architecture.

£16.95, getty.edu

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8. Concrete

From skateparks to crematoria, this beautiful book shows how concrete can, and has, been used to build some of the most fascinating structures. As the work of architects such as Le Corbusier and Zaha Hadid demonstrate; it's not just good for car parks.

£39.95, phaidon.com

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9. Living in the Endless City

A fascinating book filled with writing by architects, urban planners, mayors and policymakers, debating the issues about urban living in the 21st century. It looks in detail at nine of the world's biggest cities, discussing everything from climate change to security.

£39.95, phaidon.com

Get money off this book at the Independent book shop

10. Going Public: Public Architecture, Urbanism and Interventions

A fascinating look at how urban and rural public surroundings can be transformed or repurposed through the work of architects. The impeccably laid-out book is full of stunning photos of projects big and small; be it a Chesterfield couch park bench or stunning observation towers.

£45, gestalten.com

Get money off this book at the Independent book shop

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