Bruno Mathsson: Architect and Designer
By Dag Widman, Karin Winter, and Nina Stritzler-Levine
A leading figure in Swedish modernism, Mathsson (1907–1988) designed sensuous furniture and environmentally sensitive buildings long before energy efficiency became design's new mantra. His special blend of ergonomics and aesthetics can be seen in the graceful woven chairs on the cover. The book serves as the catalog for a traveling exhibition, which will debut at the Bard Graduate Center in March and continue on to Seattle's Swedish Cultural Center in the summer. Yale University Press; $60

Architecture Now! Vol. 2
By Philip Jodidio
A starstruck but handy sequel of new works from A to W (that's Allmann Sattler Wappner to Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects). Taschen; $12.99

The Archaeology of Tomorrow: Architecture and the Spirit of Place
By Travis Price; foreword by Wade Davis
An argument for architecture beyond the material from a practitioner who has reached for environmental excellence and humanism for more than 30 years. Ten Speed Press; $45

Louis I. Kahn: Beyond Time and Style: A Life in Architecture

By Carter Wiseman
This portrait of the brilliant, elusive architect is a fitting sequel to Nathaniel Kahn's documentary My Architect: A Son's Journey. Wiseman, the widely published writer and lecturer whose previous efforts include the insightful and intimate literary portrait I.M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture as well as Twentieth-Century American Architecture: The Buildings and Their Makers, conducted more than 100 interviews to document his study of the man behind the Louis Kahn buildings—a poor immigrant with complex romantic relationships who rose to the apex of architecture and more than held his own among such monumental clients as Jonas Salk and Paul Mellon. W.W. Norton; $48

Carlo Scarpa Architecture and Design
Edited by Guido Beltramini and Italo Zannier; photographs by Gianantonio Battistella and Vaclav Sedy Rizzoli
To mark the centenary of Scarpa's birth, the authors provide a definitive catalog of this master of 20th century Italian modernism. More than 200 illustrations show all 58 structures designed by the “Frank Lloyd Wright of Italy,” including the Olivetti showroom in Venice, the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, and a range of glass designs. Rizzoli; $65

The Eighth Wonder of the World
By Leslie Epstein
A novel worth an architect's time if only for the controversial characterization of Amos Prince, a fictional Arizona architect who flees to Italy in the 1930s and wins a competition to design a monument to Mussolini. The author's fantastic architectural aspirations for the 500-story skyscraper Prince starts to build include a structure anchored by an asteroid and built of prefabricated units delivered by blimp. However bizarre, the design elements are far less unsettling than the currents of fascism and anti-Semitism that infuse a story of gargantuan design with human failings. Handsel Books; $24.95

Andrea Palladio's Villa Cornaro in Piombino Dese
Edited by Branko Mitrovic and Stephen R. Wassell
This limited-edition volume focuses on Villa Cornaro, one of Palladio's most important works, in which the architect developed the protruding pediment portico that became the signal feature of Palladian architecture across Europe and in the United States. The book, which is illustrated in double-gatefold drawings, includes the first major surveys since the 18th century, made with modern technology over a 10-day period in 2003. Essays explore the proportional system and the classical orders of the villa, the size of the foot measurement used by Palladio, the design of principal doors and staircases, and subsequent adaptations when Villa Cornaro was likely used as a Masonic lodge. By striving for an accurate survey, the scholars hope to shed new light on how Palladio achieved his stated goal of designing buildings so that “the parts will correspond to the whole and to each other.” Acanthus Press; $100