The Architecture of Happiness

The Architecture of Happiness

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.
One of the great but often unmentioned causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of walls, chairs, buildings and streets that surround us.

And yet a concern for architecture and design is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. The Architecture of Happiness starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and it argues that it is architecture’s task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, this book has at its center the large and naïve question: What is a beautiful building? It is a tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture that aims to change the way we think about our homes, our streets and ourselves.

Baker & Taylor
A study of architecture examines how we both shape and are shaped by our private homes and public edifices and explains how our stylistic choices can be used to increase our chances of happiness.

Book News
De Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, continues to be concerned about our happiness, in this case demonstrating lucidly and convincingly that the spaces we inhabit are essential to our well-being. Tracing the way human needs and desires have been served by styles of architecture from Classical to Gothic to Modern, he argues that the stylistic choices of a society can represent both its cherished ideals and qualities it lacks. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

A thoughtful study of architecture that examines how we both shape and are shaped by our surroundings considers how our private homes and public edifices--from Classical to Gothic to minimalist Modern--reflect how we feel and explains how our stylistic choices can be used to increase our chances of happiness. 50,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2006
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780375424434
Characteristics: 280 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


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ontherideau Jan 26, 2017

A very popular book stressing the importance of beauty in architecture.
"We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness."

Jul 10, 2016

This is a short history of Western architecture and the psychology of artistic tastes. I read it in one vacation day while sitting on the beach and by the pool.

May 01, 2013

A book about architecture with no architwaddle - refreshing indeed. A good read about why art matters and how/why popular tastes change, built on a solid foundation that the buildings have to function appropriately for the inhabitants (take that, Corbusier!).

Mar 25, 2008

A very interesting book - glad it was on the Globe and Mail list of top 100


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Jul 10, 2016

How awkward to have to defend, in the face of more tangible needs, the benefits of realigning a crooked lamppost or replacing an ill-matched window frame. Pg 18


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