ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gifts for Architects - part 1

Updated on March 30, 2014

Presents for Architects and Building Lovers

What on earth can an innocent bystander find as the perfect present for an architect or architecture lover?

As the friend or relative of an architect you know the sad truth: architects are picky and hard to shop for.

But here's help! A few ideas for graduation, birthday, and holiday presents that your building-ophile may love.

Roman dome
Roman dome

Let's Start - - -

With the overtly Architectural

These are gifts that are the most obviously architectural. Gifts that have, you know, buildings on 'em or such.

Whenever you're searching through bookstores or catalogs, here are a few magic names,subjects, periods, or phrases to look for, which have a high rate of return in leading to architecturally interesting things:

Art Deco

Art Nouveau

Bauhaus

Alexander Calder

Cities (as in the Architecture of Paris/Rome/etc.)

Classical (as in Architecture)

Countries (as in the Architecture of France/Italy/etc.)

Craftsman Style

DeStijl

Charles and Ray Eames

Antonio Gaudi

Frank Gehry

Gothic cathedrals

Michael Graves

Greene and Greene

Inigo Jones

Le Corbusier

Riccardo Legoretta

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Mid-century Modern

Mies van der Rohe

Modernism

William Morris

Neo-Classical

Isamu Noguchi

Andrea Palladio

John Ruskin

Robert Stern

Louis Sullivan

Tadao Ando

Robert Venturi

Frank Lloyd Wright

Architecture Toys

Why be so solemn? So serious? Why not an architecture toy to play with on the desk top - or the nursery floor?

Antiquity Architectural Blocks
Antiquity Architectural Blocks

Build your own Parthenon.

 
LEGO 21002 Empire State Building
LEGO 21002 Empire State Building

Or build your own skyscraper.

 
le Corbusier sketch (believed public domain)
le Corbusier sketch (believed public domain)

A sketch by architect le Corbusier

Gift Books

Architecture may have been invented just to fill beautiful coffee-table books. But some of these are more than pretty pictures.

The Architecture of Happiness
The Architecture of Happiness

A thoughtful read on design and its emotional effects.

I'm in the middle or re-reading this right now and I'm struck again by how wise and how nuanced Alain de Botton's discussion of architecture, beauty, and our emotional responses to these are. A Must Read!

 
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and Its History (Dover Architecture)
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and Its History (Dover Architecture)

A wonderful, wonderful house house. (I wish this popped up!)

 
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

A fascinating real-life design solution to a tough problem. I read this with great interest - while traveling, which tests a book's attention grabbing ability. Without spoilers, there's a great CLASSIC! innovative engineering solution to the dome problem. Really clever idea.

 
The Architecture Pop Up Book
The Architecture Pop Up Book

It's architecture and it pops up - 'nuf said. Love this book.

 
Versailles: A Garden in Four Seasons
Versailles: A Garden in Four Seasons

An absolutely lush photography book of Versailles' gardens throughout the year. I own it and love it.

 
Paris Changing: Revisiting Eugène Atget’s Paris
Paris Changing: Revisiting Eugène Atget’s Paris

Atget's photos are classic -it'd be fascinating to see how the city has changed. Besides, Paris is gorgeous.

 
How Architecture Works: A Humanist's Toolkit
How Architecture Works: A Humanist's Toolkit

I'm reading this now and it's a terrific book! Like all Rybczynski's wriing it's clear, well-written, and thoughtful... but this is also the best explanation I've seen for how architects think and what the Art of modern buildings is all about. Higly recommended! for students, practicing architects, and anyone who wants to understand what it is they're going on about!

 

Keep 'em Sketching

Sketching with pencil, pen, or, better still, watercolors will keep your architect (or you) happy for hours! Sketching is the perfect activity for vacations and spare minutes... perfect for really studying and understanding architecture and landscapes.

This book on watercolor sketching is specifically written for architects and designers. Its text is spare and to-the-point - its illustrations are lavish, beautiful, and wonderfully instructive.

A jewel of a book!

Small enough to carry into the field and useful in the studio too.

Watercolor Sketching: An Introduction
Watercolor Sketching: An Introduction

Truly an inspiring book. The best way to study architecture is to sketch it.

 

Architectural (and Art) Book Stores

Look through some of these specialty bookstores for those hard-to find architectural tomes.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim museum
Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim museum

Frank Lloyd Wright sketch of the Guggenheim museum.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Our most famous American architect. And one of the most influential too.

Frank Lloyd Wright Collection - Willits Mantel Clock by Bulova
Frank Lloyd Wright Collection - Willits Mantel Clock by Bulova

This is a rather elegant and understated clock.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright on eBay

What goodies can eBay find on the master architect Frank Lloyd Wright today?

A Rohde Art Deco watch from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
A Rohde Art Deco watch from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Modern Times

A watch an architect would love.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has many architectural gifts - this is one of the most beautiful (click on the pic to jump to their webpage).

Bauhaus Design

The Bauhaus school (1919-1933) was one of the springboards of the new Modernist style that profoundly changed architecture and continues to inflence designers today.

Bauhaus
Bauhaus

A history of the school.

 

Classic Modern

There's a clean, undecorated, sculptural shape to Modernist designs.

Alfi Modern Classic Thermal Carafe, Shiny Black, 32-Ounce
Alfi Modern Classic Thermal Carafe, Shiny Black, 32-Ounce

I love the combined geometries of this pitcher.

 
Spine Book Tower
Spine Book Tower

Cool way to stack up those architectural tomes! Books as sculpture.

 
Lenox Tuscany Classics 48-Ounce Pierced Pitcher
Lenox Tuscany Classics 48-Ounce Pierced Pitcher

How elegantly simple and fluid a shape - with the clever, minimalist handle.

 

Mid-Century Modern on eBay

What mid-century modern goodies are on the market today?

a Brno style chair from MetroRetro
a Brno style chair from MetroRetro

Architectural Furniture

Now this would be a BIG present... but maybe that's what's needed.

Mid-century modern furniture - the real thing, the collectible, original,genuine stuff - from a company in Houston that started on Ebay, then added a brick-and-mortar showroom and warehouse. (Backwards, huh?) MetroRetro. Nowadays they sell furniture from the website and in person.

I haven't bought from them myself, but I HAVE pressed my nose to their showroom window in pure wanting... (See that nose-print? Mine.) They have a constantly changing inventory of cool architectural Modern furniture. Click on the pic to reach their home page.

Kimball Art Museum
Kimball Art Museum

Sketch of the Kimball Art Museum, Fort Worth by Andrew Lewis

Museums with Architecture/Art/Book Shops

Great museums often have good architectural book sections - and may have other interesting goods too.

Kimbell Museum of Art shop link
Kimbell Museum of Art shop link

Perfectly Architectural Mouse Pad

From Louis Kahn's Kimbell Museum of Art

A close up photo of some of the most beautiful concrete in the world.

a Craftsman Style Motawi ceramic tile
a Craftsman Style Motawi ceramic tile

Architectural Tile

Ceramic tiles can be a beautiful piece of art.

These hand-crafted tiles, by Motawi, evoke the wonderful Craftsman Style tiles and structural terracotta of the turn of the last century.

(Click on the picture to reach the tile maker.)

Illustration from John Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture, click on the pic to read it at Project Gutenberg.
Illustration from John Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture, click on the pic to read it at Project Gutenberg.

Architecture on eBay

What pops up under the "Architecture" category today?

The Loop Chair by Sophie de Vocht for Casamania
The Loop Chair by Sophie de Vocht for Casamania

There are some terrific blogs on contemporary design. One of my favorites is that of Soodie Beasley. (Click on the pic!)

Cosanti bells from Arcosanti
Cosanti bells from Arcosanti

Architectural Bells

Visionary architect Paolo Solari may be almost as famous for his bells as for Arcosanti, his amazing megastructure-building-city in Arizona.

What Does eBay Have That's Architectural?

(Never any telling what pops up...)

Like This Lens?

If you enjoyed your visit to the strange world-view of architects and feel like tipping your hat (or tossing a bouquet), please click a "Like" button below. One is for Squids, but the Facebook "Like" works for everyone. Or, you know, tell your friends. Email your Mom. Or leave a message.

All much appreciated!

Need More Suggestions? Or Have a Few?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Real classy lens on architectural details.

    • profile image

      Jenny18 5 years ago

      You have provided very good information regarding architectural, Superb work done, thanks for sharing with us :)

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @Jenny18: Thanks for visiting! Glad this is helpful.

    • Heatherseesthel profile image

      Heatherseesthel 5 years ago

      My best friend is an architect and this is a great lens for explaining how she thinks! Thanks for all the great explanations and suggestions, cdevries! I will keep this page bookmarked for sure. And as someone who works in the lighting industry, selling to designers, this will be helpful in explaining how a particular fixtures interacts with the space. Bravo!

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @Heatherseesthel: Glad it seems useful! Thanks for visiting.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      My brother in law is an Architect, thanks for the tips, blessed..:)rob

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @Close2Art LM: Glad this was helpful - thanks for visiting!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      You have an inspirational collection of gifts for architecture lovers, or architects. It is a little hard to chose a gift for them but your lens is a great resource.

      Thanks

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @Michey LM: Thanks! I was hoping that, even if a visitor doesn't find their gift here, that they'd get a feeling for general "architectural" taste. Glad you could visit!

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @waldenthreenet: Thanks- and congrats to you too.

      Greek Temples! I have a thing for Roman ruins, but haven't seen Greece yet. Sigh.

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 5 years ago

      Superb! Love this lens!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Architectural designs are exciting to see all in one place like this. :)

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I am so happy to know about your page - my sister in law is an architect, and I have never dared to buy anything architectural for her. (She is easy to get presents for, so that isn't a problem, but I have never felt brave enough to give her a present that would really delight her in this front.) Already found one - thanks!

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 5 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: So glad it's useful. Architects CAN be hard to shop for... especially since they tend to have "champagne tastes and beer budgets."

    • profile image

      Aprilkielb 5 years ago

      new design and well as planning are the main virtue of an architect.

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Very good lens! Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      antoniow 4 years ago

      Very nice lens, well done! Squidlike

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      Hi! I love Gothic, Art Nouveau, and some modern architecture.... 1950 products as well

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 4 years ago

      @Michey LM: Me too. I like examples of most styles (eclectic, that's me!) Thanks for visiting.

    • km-architects profile image

      km-architects 4 years ago

      All of these, and a pint of Guinness, please!

    • i Dia1 profile image

      i Dia1 4 years ago

      Huge selection. Very nice.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      These are such thoughtful gift ideas.

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 4 years ago

      @CoolFool83: Thank you! Finding gifts for architects can be really tricky. Thanks for visiting.

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 4 years ago

      Great gift ideas here. I don't know any architects, but if I ever do, I know where to come for gift ideas!

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 4 years ago

      @kimark421: Thanks! And thanks for visiting my lenses.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing great information to us. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

      autobahnindustries.com/

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so much for visiting!

    • violet6 profile image

      violet6 4 years ago

      Great ideas! I'll have to keep a few of these in mind for my architect husband.

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 4 years ago

      @violet6: So glad they're helpful. Thanks for visiting.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 3 years ago

      Interesting and great gifts. Thanks for sharing!

    • cdevries profile image
      Author

      cdevries 3 years ago

      @Bercton1: Thanks!

    Click to Rate This Article