The Architecture of Happiness and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£4.66
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by thriftbooks-USA
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: All items ship from the USA.  Arrival time is usually 2-3 weeks. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Spend Less. Read More. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Architecture of Happiness Paperback – 8 Apr 2008

44 customer reviews

See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 8 Apr 2008
£4.66



Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage International; Reprint edition (8 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307277240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307277244
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.3 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 643,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alain de Botton is the author of Essays in Love (1993), The Romantic Movement (1994), Kiss and Tell (1995), How Proust can Change your Life (1997), The Consolations of Philosophy (2000) The Art of Travel (2002), Status Anxiety (2004) and most recently, The Architecture of Happiness (2006).


Product Description

Review

Clever, provocative and fresh as a daisy (Literary Review)

Full of splendid ideas, often happily and beautifully expressed . . . an engaging and intelligent book (Independent)

Genuinely thought-provoking (Time Out) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Alain de Botton is the author of three works of fiction and five of nonfiction, including How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, and The Art of Travel. He lives in London.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Sundberg on 11 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
Alain de Botton probes deeply into our thoughts and ideas about the buildings around us with amazing clarity. He puts words to feelings you might have had in the back of your mind but ignored because you didn't know whether they could be expressed. When you read his words you feel enlightened and grateful for the experience. You go back into the world with a more refined set of tools to process it with.
Most books on architecture are about history and appreciation of aesthetic and cultural details. His book cuts right through that layer. What we find beautiful is the promise of an intelligent kind of happiness. A home should be a setting that reminds us of our deepest, most genuine values, our concern for others and for the environment. What we search for in architecture is not so far from what we search for in a friend.
How wonderful to have these truths subtly and intricately revealed to us as a way of counteracting all the information about fashion and design, pumped into our brains on a daily basis. There are beautiful black and white photos and engravings throughout the book to illustrate his observations.
I loved this book, read it slowly and savoured it and will definitely be reading it again. If people of de Botton's calibre, with such depth, humour and insight, were running the world there would be hope for the human race.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 15 Jun. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book can be considered a well balanced guide to the major philosophical and theoretical debates which affect every architect-in-training in forming their own opinions and which have been debated over the past centuries. Everything from "what is archtitecture" downwards.

Contains just enough of each point of view to enable ideas to be formed, or to guide further research, without telling you what to think. Its a composition rather than a manifesto. Every ten pages or so there is a gem of a quote. And just as you start thinking, "but what does that mean for..." you turn the page and there it is, with quotes and references and everything you need to start making up your own mind.

If as an undergrad you're only likely to read one book on theory this year, and want to avoid becoming a specialist on [insert obscure german author your tutor wants an essay on], read this for the whole picture. Its really accessibly written too. And has pictures (good heavens!). And big margins.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
73 of 85 people found the following review helpful By P. Badham on 23 April 2006
Format: Hardcover
Botton has often flirted dangerously with a reputation for pretension, fortunately assuaged by his fresh combination of genuine erudition and earthy humour, plus his extraordinarily lucid written style. However, after the wonderfully fluffy 'Art of Travel', his humour deserted him with 'Status Anxiety' , a book which managed to frivolously embroider basic assumptions with faux-sophisticated connections with art and economics.

'The Architecture of Happiness' happily restores Botton's status of benign self-help guru. Still lacking in the humour of earlier works, this volume makes some genuinely profound statements on virtue and beauty as applied to our exteriors and interiors. It is still written in Botton's academic, philanthropic tone and is a real page-turner too.

Recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J. Mason on 9 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
An interesting read, but rather than rock any architectural boats it is firmly on the modern architects side.

I suspect the title is specifically chosen to lure in those who wonder why beauty is such an anathema to modern architecture and artists. Alain de Botton seems to be happy to fall into the modern illness of searching for difference rather than asthetics.

Each chapter one gets lifted up by some relevation of why we think the way we do about Architecture only to be flattened by the assurance that we can't have such and such in our day and age.

It is surely not the problem of architecture that it can't produce great modern edifices but that it can't produce humane structures for the everyday person without resort to pastiche or brutalism. At the heart of this is the egotism of architecture which sees it self as an artform rather than a servant to humanity.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Secret Spi on 14 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed Alain de Botton's book on the psychology and philosophy of architecture. As a book I read for pleasure, rather than associated with study, I found that the structure worked very well. The author meanders around some of the questions and issues that have confronted those involved in architecture for centuries and offers views, further questions and sometimes conclusions. What do human beings seek in buildings? What are architectural ideals and how do these change over time? What role does the provenance of the architect or the context of the building play?

Maybe it would have been valuable to have clearer sections on the different purpose of buildings - as homes, as places of worship or as places of work. I would find it particularly interesting to see how a building conceived as a church can later metamorphose into a home - or how, with an increasing blur between workplace and home, a "home office" can be designed. In addition, although the book is sub-titled "The Secret Art of Furnishing Your Life", there is little within about actual furnishings and interior decoration - maybe the subject for a future book?

As with all this author's books, the intelligent and joyful writing elevates you into another sphere of consciousness which has you looking far more closely at the buildings around you the next time you are out and about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback