Great Photo Books and Gift Books on Architecture

Browse our favorite architecture picture books

For lush photographs of the world's great buildings, explore these hefty "coffee table" books. You'll find every type and style of building, from ancient castles to modern skyscrapers. Some books even include pop-up or fold-out pages with 3-D views.

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Tourists examine the battlements on the Moorish Castle of São Jorge, in Lisbon, Portugal
The Moorish Castle of São Jorge is still a presence in Lisbon, Portugal. Tourists examine the battlements. Photo by Paul Bernhardt/Lonely Planet Images Collection/Getty Images
More than just architectural wonders, castles are rich with history and romance. These books have breathtaking photos of castles from medieval times to modern castle-like homes for wealthy eccentrics. Castles still influence modern design -- and tourism.

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Skyline of New York City, Twin Towers, Taken from New Jersey
Skyline of New York City, Twin Towers, Taken from New Jersey. Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images

Ever since the first skyscrapers appeared in Chicago, very tall buildings have inspired awe and fascination. These days the world is well aware of the developers who push toward the sky and those people who wish to destroy. The beautiful books listed here pay photographic tribute to skyscrapers around the world.

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Basilica by Palladio in Vicenza, Italy
Basilica by Palladio in Vicenza, Italy. Photo © Luke Daniek/iStockPhoto.com
Often called one of the most influential architects of all time, Andrea Palladio created some of the most stunning, graceful, and awe-inspiring country villas in the Italian Veneto region during the Renaissance. Browse this listing for photographs of his works.

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French Colonial Style Parlange Plantation, 1750, New Roads, Louisiana
French Colonial Style Parlange Plantation, 1750, New Roads, Louisiana. Photo LC-DIG-highsm-13030, Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints/Photos Div.

With majestic Greek Revival pillars, two-story balconies, grand interior ballrooms, covered porches, and imposing staircases, the grand old homes of the American south express grandeur and poignancy of a bygone era.

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Steiner Street and Alamo Square, a famous Victorian location in San Francisco, California
Steiner Street and Alamo Square, a famous Victorian location in San Francisco, California. Photo by David Clapp/Photolibrary/Getty Images
A "painted lady" is a grand old Victorian house with its architectural details painted in a complex multi-color scheme. The paint color books listed here include several painted lady collections which are both entertaining and inspirational.

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Taos Pueblo in New Mexico
Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. Photo by Wendy Connett/Robert Harding World Imagery Collection/Getty Images
The smooth, sculptural shapes and rich earthen colors of adobe homes make them especially photogenic. These books have color photos of old and new houses constructed with adobe.

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The Classic Florida Style of Taylor and Taylor

Interior design by Taylor and Taylor, Miami designers, of Seraphim Point house at Ocean Reef
Interior design of Seraphim Point house at Ocean Reef by Taylor and Taylor, Miami, Florida designers. Photo © Taylor & Taylor. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Architects have been documenting and explaining design since Vitruvius' De Architectura in 30 BC. Today, most of the very famous architects—such as the Pritzker Laureates—have published multiple picture books of their own works. More exciting, however, are books by the regionally famous architecture teams like Taylor and Taylor in Miami. These books are often filled with some of the most gorgeous photos of very accessible architecture and design. Check them out.

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