Research and reference websites for architecture projects and papers

Writing a research paper on any subject begins with general research on your topic. Architecture students who are doing research can successfully conduct their research online with the many research websites related to their chosen subject. The best research sites and reference sites on architecture cover a wide variety of topics within the discipline, providing many ideas for architecture projects and research papers.

Online Library

Conducting research on architecture is made easier with the plethora of tools and sites on the web. A simple keyword search is enough to obtain hundreds of sites from which to choose. To get started on your search for information about architecture visit Questia where thousands of full-text books and articles on hundreds of subjects may be accessed and read online.

Questia houses many books on architecture. Among them is, Architecture: A Very Short Introduction by Andrew Ballantyne. For Ballantyne, architecture emerges from our sense of home and culture. What is natural to us may suddenly feel strange when we travel to a new environment. The design of buildings is influenced by how we feel about a particular place.

According to Ballantyne, “In architecture, as in any other culture, our sense of ‘how things should be’ develops from our experience. Each gesture that we make means something, but the meaning depends on the culture in which the gesture is understood. Architecture is gesture made with buildings.”

Ballantyne’s Introduction includes a detail glossary of terms and a timeline of the world’s architectural accomplishments from the pyramids of Egypt, to:

  • The Taj Mahal
  • The Woolworth Building in New York, which was the tallest building in the world until 1930
  • The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (1997) designed by Frank Gehry

Architecture Archive

Architecture Research is a research guide developed at Tulane University’s Southeastern Architecture Archive. Its log of posts covers such diverse topics as:

  • Access
  • Castles
  • Cast iron
  • Infrastructure
  • Solar energy

Many of its posts include historical information such as this October 27, 2011 post titled, “Heated City of Abundant Life,” in which excerpts from a 1937 issue of the architectural journal, Pencil Points, describe a futurist version of New York City.

“Buildings, built of glass that admits light without images, are set well back from the street and well apart to permit maximum light, and terraces, thus created, are utilized, according to district, for sports, restaurants, etc. All terraces are heated by individual reflectors.”

Urban Research

If urban studies is your interest, you will want to check out the Urban Research blog where you will find information and insight on the subject of design within urban environments. Accompanied by beautiful illustrative photos, the Urban Research blog is filled with posts culled from the web such as this description of southwest architecture by V.B. Price titled, “Albuquerque’s Environmental Story.”

“Pueblo Deco is a new term coined by architecture historian Marcus Whiffen of Arizona State University. It refers to the American regional development of the 1920s European Art Deco style, which resulted in such buildings as the KiMo Theater in Albuquerque with its profusion of Indian motifs. Pueblo Deco is the melding of the ancient and the up-to-date,” Price said.

Centers of Interest

The Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) is an international association of architectural research centers committed to the expansion of the research culture and supporting infrastructure in architecture and related design disciplines.

The Architecture Research Institute promotes cross-disciplinary research in design and urban planning that informs public policies and strategies that create livable, compact, global cities that are eco-sustainable, walkable and less automobile dependent. Its website includes a Sustainable Architectures Bibliography filled with sources for the researcher who is interested in pursuing an interest in sustainable design.

The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) is a nonprofit educational organization that works to further the public’s understanding of architecture.

Discussion forums are extremely useful to the researcher who wants to know the latest views and topics of interest on a chosen subject. ArchitectureLinked is such a discussion forum where participants discuss such topics as: sustainability, portfolios, and the use of virtual worlds as a tool in the practice of architecture.

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