Architect Visit: Pulltab Design in New York

July 11, 2010 10:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

Melissa Baker and Jon Handley met as students at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts and later joined forces in New York, founding Pulltab A+D. We recently asked the design duo for a list of their five favorite architecture books; here are their top picks and why they are must-reads on any architecture aficionado's bookshelf. N.B. Also see Architect Visit: Pulltab Design in New York.

Above: The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs; $14.93 at Amazon. "This book is a powerful contribution to our work. It has given us a better understanding not only of the importance of livable spaces but also the lifecycle of buildings."

Above: Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, by Rem Koolhaas; $23.10 at Amazon. "This is a must-read for any New Yorker."

Above: On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time, by Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow; $19.14 at Amazon. "This is a book that helped us answer all those questions on why we instinctively like buildings that have age and often find ourselves falling in love with leaning barns and rusty steel windows."

Above: In Praise of Shadows, by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki; $9.95 at Amazon."A compelling book and one that has us thinking of dark wood panels, earthen and under-illuminated spaces. A good break when we have given too much thought to our love of white walls and brightly lit rooms."

Above: The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and Senses by Juhani Pallasmaa; $30.81 at Amazon. "This is the book we most often have tucked in our back pocket. A dog-eared copy of this book sits on our library shelf. Powerful, emotive, and affecting, Pallasmaa's treatise on vision and the importance of bringing back our other, no-less-important senses has us closing our eyes and breathing in the smell of freshly sawn wood and running our hands over well-worn stone."