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Black: Architecture in Monochrome Phaidon Editors

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A stunning exploration of the beauty and drama of 150 black structures built by the world's leading architects over 1,000 years.

A visually rich book, Black: Architecture in Monochrome casts a new eye on the beauty - and the drama - of black in the built world. Spotlighting more than 150 structures from the last 1,000 years, Black pairs engaging text with fascinating photographs of houses, churches, libraries, skyscrapers, and other buildings from some of the world's leading architects, including Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, and Eero Saarinen, David Adjaye, Jean Nouvel, Peter Marino, and Steven Holl.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 7 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 224 pp
  • Illustrations: 175 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714874722

About the author

Conceived and edited by Phaidon Editors.



"An impressively tenebrous ode to inky buildings all over the world."—ShortList

"In today's un-grimy cities, black houses are the new black, thanks to a trend that has spread from the insular world of avant-garde architecture into the broader culture." —Globe and Mail

"The masters of the architectural tome are back at it again, with Phaidon this time taking on a subject that has long fascinated the aesthetically-minded in all walks of life. Black: Architecture in Monochromedelivers exactly what you'd expect - both from the book's title and the renowned publishing house - taking a sweeping look at over 150 structures built over the course of 1,000 years, examining the use of black in the built world."—

"...Celebrates centuries of dark buildings across the globe. From ancient churches dating to modern skyscrapers, it covers more than 150 structures from obscure origins and legendary architects alike, with the excellent photography paired with enlightening text." —Uncrate

"White buildings have already had their virtues extolled in a beautiful book – now their black counterparts are being celebrated." —

"Thought-provoking... Exciting and relevant... Stunning photography accompanied by an engaging text that explores the role of black in the building's design. It's also interspersed with classic song lyrics and insightful quotes." —

"Fascinating."—Elle Decoration


"A fascinating survey of the intensity, strength and mystique of the colour black in the constructed world."—Stella Paul,

"Some of the world's most darkly beautiful buildings... A must-have tome for those with a leaning towards the dark side - design-wise at least."—Fabric

"I would [...] recommend this darkly gorgeous tome to those who feel averse to black, to confront and demystify one's demons... (if the sleek, graphic cover hasn't already piqued your curiosity). Weaving together a vast range of historical, social and cultural lessons, Paul adeptly opens up the dark world of black and highlights its fascinating record of practical and symbolic significance, past and present... A fantastic read that stands on its own even outside of a conversation about colour or architecture. I have a hunch that anyone who reads Black: Architecture in Monochrome will be seeing the light in these perfectly saturated, evocative structures... Black is a benevolent partner in the creation of whatever one wants, or needs, to build. It has the potential for limitless incarnations. Black is our friend."—

"Expands how we think about both constructing design history and experiencing architecture by using the colour black - the colour as culturally saturated as the buildings imbued with it... Interspersed throughout this thoughtful volume are captivating quotes from philosophers, artists and musicians who span as many genres as the buildings with which they are surrounded."—ID Magazine (Dubai, UAE)

"Dramatic, symbolic, but also hugely practical, painting a building black can have a variety of purposes and meanings, all explored in this fascinating book."—

"[A] visual exploration of the design evolution and beauty of black structures... Readers can revel in the work of some of the world's top architects."—Globe Style Advisor (The Globe and Mail)

"Who knew black could be so versatile? In this new book from Phaidon Press, Black: Architecture in Monochrome explores the elegance and drama of 150 black structures from around the world."—The CultureTrip

"A new (and visually addictive) compendium of black architecture throughout history... Modernist houses to bold artistic statements, from Scandinavian churches to seaside shacks, the book presents us with an almost exhaustive survey of buildings that arrestingly use black for the majority or entirety of their exterior."—Blueprint

"Any colour - so long as it's black... Explores how architecture has dealt with the beguiling and defining dark side... A snappy, timely title [...] in which we're reminded of its global prevalence."—#Legend

"It's a hallmark of Phaidon publications that accompanying quotations from the great and the good illuminate the images. Thus French symbolist Odilon Redon is adamant that "we must respect black. Nothing prostitutes it"... [A] wondrous array of black buildings... Black is a colour that can unsettle and its complex historic and cultural connotations impact powerfully on our emotional responses." —Morning Star

"Striking photographs... Insightful introduction... Confirms colour is crucial to our understanding of a built environment." —Aesthetica

"Stunning." —Self Build & Design

"[A] beguiling storm-hued monograph." —San Francisco Chronicle

"It makes a gorgeous compendium of monochromatic architecture, and the stark cover looks imposing on any surface." —Wired Online

"[You'll] want this book is for the sleek black matte cover and the 150 pieces of black architecture porn from the likes of David Adjaye and Jean Nouvel found inside." —Daily Beast

"Visually rich." —Dwell Online

"New book Black: Architecture in Monochromeimmerses us in a visual history of black buildings around the world…the book presents us with an almost exhaustive survey of buildings that arrestingly use black for the majority or entirety of their exterior." —Design Curial


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