No more pyramids!
Pharaohs still had big, beautiful tombs, but they were long, low buildings, not pyramids.
Instead, they built temples
But mostly people in New Kingdom Egypt were building temples to the gods. Architects had learned to how to build big open buildings with stone columns and stone roofs – they didn’t need to build solid pyramids anymore.
Houses for the gods
Egyptians thought of these temples as houses for their gods. They put statues of gods inside the temple, and treated them like people – they dressed them in beautiful clothes every morning, brought them meals, took them out for walks and boat rides, and asked them for help with their problems.
Inside Egyptian temples
Mostly only priests and temple slaves went inside the actual temples, so they were mainly designed to be impressive from the outside.
Egyptians built many temples out of limestone or sandstone. Usually an Egyptian temple had two rows of columns leading up to a very impressive entrance, often with obelisks or giant statues, or both, and a big solid wall.
Once you were through the gate, you were in a courtyard, and across the courtyard there was another door, and another courtyard with a row of columns holding up a roof all around the edge.
After that courtyard, you came to another double row of columns, which led to yet another courtyard with a roofed porch around the edge, and finally to the inner hall of the god, which was filled with a forest of columns.
But mostly ordinary people had to stay outside the temple altogether, and even rich people only got to the first couple of courtyards.
Compare to Chinese temples
People in Egypt were building these temples about the same time as the Shang Dynasty in China was building their first temples. But the Egyptian temples were all built of stone. In China, Shang Dynasty temples had wooden columns and thatched roofs.
Pyramid, by David Macaulay (1982). His architectural drawings are great, and his explanations are simple and clear. Easy reading.
Eyewitness: Pyramid, by James Putnam (2000). Easy reading. Good photographs.
The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt (Yale University Press Pelican History of Art), by William Stevenson Smith and William Kelly Simpson (revised edition 1999). Standard college textbook.