Fantastic Read #2 - The Architecture of Happiness

I must admit this book is pretty intense at times but the writing style is really lovely and is really helpful if you're looking to develop your architectural vocabulary.

It can be a daunting read for a student who had only just begun to engage within the world of architecture otherwise it can be an excellent challenge for a person who wants to think outside of the normal four walls that constrain their architectural thoughts and decisions.

I rate this book:

- In terms of topics that it covers: 3/5
It is mostly focused on the philosophy behind western ideals of architecture, it doesn't cover African or Asian topics.
- In terms of images and examples: 5/5
There are detailed examples and descriptions throughout the book.
- In terms of usefulness: 5/5
This is a difficult thing to judge in a book that isn't a necessity however would be a very interesting read, but it is pretty specific and so if you are particularly interested in how architecture can relate to the well-being and happiness of people, this book would be incredibly useful otherwise not so much.

I definitely recommend this for the deep thinker who wants to think about western relationships with the architecture of their homes.

The formal synopsis:
"What makes a house beautiful? Is it serious to spend your time thinking about home decoration? Why do people disagree about taste? And can buildings make us happy? In "The Architecture of Happiness", Alain de Botton tackles a relationship central to our lives. Our buildings - and the objects we fill them with - affect us more profoundly than we might think. To take architecture seriously is to accept that we are, for better and for worse, different people in different places. De Botton suggests that it is architecture's task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be. Turning the spotlight from the humble terraced house to some of the world's most renowned buildings, de Botton considers how our private homes and public edifices - from those of Christopher Wren to those of Le Corbusier and Norman Foster - influence how we feel, as well as how we could learn to build in ways that would increase our chances of happiness. "The Architecture of Happiness" amounts to a beguiling tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture."

Link to book on

If you have any books to suggest please email me at: tjdesignz [at]
Fantastic Read #2 - The Architecture of Happiness Fantastic Read #2 - The Architecture of Happiness Reviewed by NG on 10/05/2011 03:02:00 pm Rating: 5

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