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Reading Architecture winning books announced

RIBA is delighted to announce the winning books from our Reading Architecture project, as voted for by 650 students across England. Read below to see which books won in each category, as well as a recommended reading list for primary and secondary schools.

Winning books for children: Ages 5 to 7

Students' choice: Number 7 Evergreen Street by Julia Patton

Teachers' choice: Number 7 Evergreen Street by Julia Patton

Best family book: The House of Happy Spirits by Geraldine Elschner

We'd also like to acknowledge the positive response Eugene the Architect by Thibaut Rassat received from SEN students and teachers trying to teach about personality development.

Winning books for children: Ages 8 to 11

Best for budding architects: Cool Architecture by Simon Armstrong

Students' choice: Step Inside Homes Through History by Goldie Hawk and Sarah Gibb

Read the reviews of Step Inside Homes Through History by participating schools.

Teachers' choice: The Homes We Build by Anne Jonas

Read the reviews of The Homes We Build by participating schools.

We'd also like to acknowledge From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers by Christine Paxmann which came second in several categories.

Winning books for young people: Ages 14+

Best for aspiring architects: Making Marks - Architects' Sketchbook the Creative Process by Will Jones

Read the reviews of Making Marks by participating schools.

Students' choice: Archi-Doodle by Steve Bowkett

Read the reviews of Archi-Doodle by participating schools.

Teachers' choice: The Elements of Modern Architecture - Understanding Contemporary Buildings by Antony Radford, Amit Srivastava and Selen Morkoc

We'd also like to acknowledge The Architectural Drawing Course by Mo Zell for its practical tools and model making tips.

Recommended reading list: Primary school

The below recommendations for primary age students are based on the reviews submitted by students. Each book has a suggested reading difficulty (low is suitable for younger readers and has lots of pictures, high has more text or complex vocabulary so suitable for more advanced readers). Each book also has the key topics or themes it covers and whether it caters for those with low, medium or high interest in architecture.

Downloadable reading list for primary schools (PDF)

13 Architects Children Should Know by Florian Heine

  • Nonfiction
  • Reading difficulty: High
  • Focus on architecture: High
  • Subjects: Architects, architecture styles and famous buildings

Building a Home by Polly Faber

  • Fiction
  • Reading difficulty: Low
  • Focus on architecture: Medium
  • Subjects: Construction, architects and careers

Cool Architecture by Simon Armstrong

  • Nonfiction
  • Reading difficulty: High
  • Focus on architecture: High
  • Subjects: Architects, design, humour, careers and drawing

Eugene the Architect by Thibaut Rassat

  • Fiction
  • Reading difficulty: Medium
  • Focus on architecture: High
  • Subjects: Architects, SEN, mental health and nature

From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers by Christine Paxmann

  • Nonfiction
  • Reading difficulty: High
  • Focus on Architecture: High
  • Subjects: Architecture, art, history and geography

Great Streets of the World by Mia Cassany

  • Nonfiction
  • Reading difficulty: Low/Medium
  • Focus on architecture: Low
  • Subjects: Communities, countries, culture and geography

The House of Happy Spirits by Geraldine Elschner

  • Fiction
  • Reading difficulty: Medium
  • Focus on architecture: Low/Medium
  • Subjects: Art, Hundertwasser and nature

Number 7 Evergreen Street by Julia Patton

  • Fiction
  • Reading difficulty: Low
  • Focus on architecture: Low
  • Subjects: Community, neighbourhood and nature

Roberto the Insect Architect by Nina Laden

  • Fiction
  • Reading difficulty: Low
  • Focus on architecture: Medium
  • Subjects: Architects, insects and materials

Step Inside Homes Through History by Goldie Hawk

  • Nonfiction
  • Reading difficulty: Medium
  • Architecture focus: Low
  • Subjects: History, British architecture and fashion

The Homes We Build by Anne Jonas

  • Nonfiction
  • Reading difficulty: Medium
  • Architecture focus: Medium
  • Subjects: Geography, climate and countries

Recommended reading list: Secondary school

The below recommendations for secondary age students are based on the reviews submitted by students. Each book highlights key topics or themes it covers, how much text or visual information there is, and what it is best used for.

Downloadable reading list for secondary schools (PDF)

Archi-Doodle by Steve Bowkett

  • Information presented: Visually
  • Complexity: Low
  • Good for inspiration or skill development
  • Links to art, drawing and perspective drawing

British Architectural Styles by Trevor Yorke

  • Information presented: Mixture of text and visuals
  • Complexity: High
  • Good for knowledge development
  • Links to history and architecture styles

From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers by Christine Paxmann

  • Information presented: Mixture of text and visuals
  • Complexity: Low
  • Good for knowledge development and inspiration
  • Links to architecture styles, global architects and history

Making Marks - Architects' Sketchbooks the Creative Process by Will Jones

  • Information presented: Visual
  • Complexity: Low
  • Good for inspiration
  • Links to design process, portfolios, art and architects

Soft City: Building Density for Everyday Life by David Sim

  • Information presented: Text
  • Complexity: Medium/high
  • Good for knowledge development and careers
  • Links to global design, sustainability, cities, population growth and megacities

The Architectural Drawing Course by Mo Zell

  • Information presented: Mixture of text and visuals
  • Complexity: Medium
  • Good for knowledge development, careers and skill development
  • Links to drawing skills, model making, careers, university and materials

The Elements of Modern Architecture- Understanding Contemporary Buildings by Antony Radford, Amit Srivastava and Selen Morkoc

  • Information presented: Mixture of text and visuals
  • Complexity: High
  • Good for knowledge development and inspiration
  • Links to design, structures, processes and global buildings

Visual Communication for Architects and Designers by Margaret Fletcher

  • Information presented: Mixture of text and visuals
  • Complexity: High
  • Good for knowledge development, skills and inspiration
  • Links to skills, ICT, software, presentation, design and inspiration

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