11 Best Books on Vernacular Architecture

We have compiled a list of the Best Reference Books on Vernacular Architecture, which are used by students of top universities, and colleges. This will help you choose the right book depending on if you are a beginner or an expert. Here is the complete list of Vernacular Architecture Books with their authors, publishers, and an unbiased review of them as well as links to the Amazon website to directly purchase them. If permissible, you can also download the free PDF books on Vernacular Architecture below.

1."Handmade Houses and Other Buildings: The World of Vernacular Architecture" by John May and Anthony Reid
“Handmade Houses and Other Buildings: The World of Vernacular Architecture” Book Review: This book explores the relationship between vernacular architecture and the local geology and ecology of a region. It illustrates how local weather conditions influence the design and construction of houses. The book also discusses the principles of green architecture and how it responds to the demands of climate change. Furthermore, it explains how traditional materials such as wood, stone, and grass are used to construct these buildings.

2."Vernacular Traditions: Contemporary Architecture" by Aishwarya Tipnis and Lall Ashok
“Vernacular Traditions: Contemporary Architecture” Book Review: This book explores the effects of mass migration, economic crisis, climate change, and globalisation on society. It emphasizes the impact of social and economic constraints and how they affect vernacular traditions. The book discusses how vernacular traditions have evolved to adapt to socio-cultural environments. It also explores whether vernacular architecture can be used as a model for sustainable development. The book acknowledges modern technology and examines the sustainability of vernacular architecture in the face of these challenges.

3."Invitation to Vernacular Architecture: A Guide to the Study of Ordinary Buildings and Landscapes (Vernacular Architecture Studies)" by Thomas Carter and Elizabeth Collins Cromley
“Invitation to Vernacular Architecture: A Guide to the Study of Ordinary Buildings and Landscapes (Vernacular Architecture Studies)” Book Review: This book presents vernacular architecture from different regions and time periods. It covers fieldwork and building documentation for research purposes. It explains how to measure sites and building exteriors, providing patterns and interpretations of buildings. The book discusses the cultural and historical aspects of vernacular architecture, featuring various case studies and illustrations. It is a useful reference for those interested in architecture, culture, American studies, and historic preservation.

4."Built to Meet Needs: Cultural Issues in Vernacular Architecture" by Paul Oliver
“Built to Meet Needs: Cultural Issues in Vernacular Architecture” Book Review: This book provides an overview of domestic buildings from various regions, and discusses their unique features along with the social and cultural factors that influenced their development. It includes numerous references and papers that make it a valuable resource for students, architects, and individuals involved in housing planning. The book also features case studies, research, and essays that explore different aspects of vernacular architecture, such as technology, economy, inherited skills, and belief systems. Additionally, it covers symbolism and physical needs related to housing design.

5."Lessons from Vernacular Architecture" by Willi Weber and Simos Yannas
“Lessons from Vernacular Architecture” Book Review: This book is a valuable resource that provides an in-depth look at the characteristics, social and cultural factors, and evolution of domestic buildings. The book covers various topics, including technology, economy, inherited skills, belief systems, symbolism, and physical needs. It features case studies, research, essays, and references, making it an excellent guide for students, architects, and those interested in planning housing schemes. This book highlights the importance of vernacular architecture in understanding the culture and people of past times and its relevance in modern sustainable development.

6."Vernacular Architecture (Material Culture)" by Henry Glassie
“Vernacular Architecture (Material Culture)” Book Review: The book is a well-written and comprehensive book about the history and evolution of vernacular architecture across various regions and cultures. The book explores the social and cultural factors that shaped the vernacular traditions, and how they continue to influence modern architecture. The author’s deep insights and analysis make this book an excellent resource for architects, historians, and anyone interested in the study of material culture. The book is filled with numerous illustrations and photographs that enhance the reading experience.

7."Contemporary Vernacular: Evoking Traditions In Asian Architecture" by Tan Hock Beng and William Lim S W
“Contemporary Vernacular: Evoking Traditions In Asian Architecture” Book Review: This book explores the current architectural trends in Asian countries and features architects who are reinterpreting their cultural heritage. It includes discussions on contemporary design concepts and themes such as reinvigorating, reinventing, and extending traditions. The book also showcases various illustrations and examples of these architectural directions in Asia.

8."Vernacular Architecture: Towards a Sustainable Future" by V Cristini and F Vegas
“Vernacular Architecture: Towards a Sustainable Future” Book Review: The book explores the role of vernacular architecture in promoting sustainable design practices. The authors discuss how vernacular architecture can offer solutions for sustainable development and the preservation of cultural heritage. They examine case studies from various regions around the world to illustrate how vernacular architecture can be adapted to contemporary needs while still maintaining its unique identity. This book provides valuable insights for architects, urban planners, and researchers interested in the intersection of sustainability and cultural heritage.

9."Classic Cracker: Florida's Wood-Frame Vernacular Architecture" by Ronald W Haase
“Classic Cracker: Florida’s Wood-Frame Vernacular Architecture” Book Review: The book showcases the history and homesteads of Florida’s wood frame architecture, particularly its seaside homes and adaptations of classical cracker architecture. It explores various types of houses, including double pen houses, classic dogtrot, and 4-square Georgian, as well as the unique cracker townhouse and Florida’s original architectures. The book offers insights into the floor plan adaptations and design elements of these vernacular houses.

10."Vernacular Architecture in the Pre-Columbian Americas (Routledge Archaeology of the Ancient Americas)" by Christina Halperin and Lauren Schwartz
“Vernacular Architecture in the Pre-Columbian Americas (Routledge Archaeology of the Ancient Americas)” Book Review: This book delves into the fascinating history of social relations and architecture. It covers a wide range of architectural styles and monuments, with a particular focus on vernacular architecture and dwellings. The book explores how environmental spaces have shaped cultural dynamics over time, and features American historical buildings with their rich, ancient histories. Through various case studies, readers will gain insight into the complexities of built environments and their cultural significance. The book concludes with an exploration of the archaeological perspective on architecture and its impact on society.

11."Vernacular Architecture: An Illustrated Handbook" by R W Brunskill
“Vernacular Architecture: An Illustrated Handbook” Book Review: This book offers a comprehensive guide to the history and character of vernacular architecture. The book includes numerous illustrations and examples from around the world, highlighting the diversity of building techniques, materials, and designs used in local contexts. The author discusses how these buildings have been shaped by cultural, social, and environmental factors, and provides insights into their enduring value and relevance. The handbook serves as a valuable reference for architects, historians, and anyone interested in the rich legacy of vernacular building traditions.

We have put a lot of effort into researching the best books on Vernacular Architecture and came out with a recommended list and their reviews. If any more book needs to be added to this list, please email us. We are working on free pdf downloads for books on Vernacular Architecture and will publish the download link here. Fill out this Vernacular Architecture books pdf download" request form for download notification.


Subscribe to our Newsletters (Subject-wise). Participate in the Sanfoundry Certification contest to get free Certificate of Merit. Join our social networks below and stay updated with latest contests, videos, internships and jobs!

Youtube | Telegram | LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Manish Bhojasia - Founder & CTO at Sanfoundry
Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He lives in Bangalore, and focuses on development of Linux Kernel, SAN Technologies, Advanced C, Data Structures & Alogrithms. Stay connected with him at LinkedIn.

Subscribe to his free Masterclasses at Youtube & technical discussions at Telegram SanfoundryClasses.