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21. Architecture: From Pre-History
22. The Art and Architecture of Ancient
23. The Story of Architecture
24. Illustrated History of Landscape
25. Building Hoover Dam: An Oral History
26. Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture,
27. A History of Egyptian Architecture.
28. Architecture and Artifacts of
29. Built by Animals: The Natural
30. New York Architecture: A History
31. Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth
32. Japanese Architecture: A Short
33. A History of American Architecture:
34. History of Architecture: From
35. The Art and Architecture of the
36. Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture
37. Early Medieval Architecture (Oxford
38. Early Christian and Byzantine
39. Architecture in Italy, 1500-1600
40. Modern Architecture (Oxford History

21. Architecture: From Pre-History to Postmodernism
by Marvin Trachtenberg
Hardcover: 606 Pages (1986-03-01)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$18.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810910772
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars architecturestudent
i had used this book for a survey history course on architecture.since we only learn about european architecture at nyit, i didnt get to use the book much, almost a waste a money, but the pictures we seen in class were taken from the book were great.

1-0 out of 5 stars My Antonia
I find My Antonia as a very boring, long book.The thing I enjoyed most about the book, not to mention the only thing, was how the characters were very in touch with their surroundings and nature.Little things in the land brought so much emotion and attitude to the characters.Besides this good characteristic everything else was very boring and told the childhood and early life of two average people.I do not recommend this book to anyone except for the extremely bored naturistic person out there.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Pictures
I used this book for an arch. history class I took. The text is useful and the pictures are beautiful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Blend
This book is an excellent blend of factual information, ease ofunderstanding, and philosophical insight for the beginning student ofarchitecture.There are other books which offer more information and/orinsight, but few which are as good for the uninitiated.

4-0 out of 5 stars Architecture by M. Trachtenberg & I. Hyman
For the past five years I have used this book to teach beginning architecture students - the first two semesters of a three-semester survey - and found the parts that I use (pre-19th century) very valuable, althoughthe discussion of post-Medieval Spanish architecture was weak.My majorcomplaint, however, is the absence of any maps!There should be several ofthem - one for each major section of the book. ... Read more

22. The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art)
by W. Stevenson Smith
Paperback: 310 Pages (1999-01-11)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$28.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300077475
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this book, Ancient Egyptian monuments, their decorations, and other works of art are reproduced. The tombs at Thebes, the temples of Luxor and Karnak, and the palaces of Akhenaten and Amenhotep II are shown. Also presented are portraits depicting kings and queens and their civil servants. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Stunning!
This textbok was perfect for our 13-day Academic Program Aboard to Egypt in January 2009. The Art amd Achitecture of Ancient Egypt breaks down each period of history into separate dynasties. This sequential approach to Egyptian history helped our undergraduate students better understand the differences in ancient architecture, artwork, and rulers. They could use the textbook as a reference to understand that the Old Kingdom funeral tombs were built in the shape of pyramids as we climbed inside Cheops at Giza. Next, they personally experienced the Middle Kingdom construction of cliffside funeral tombs while visiting Hatshepsut's Temple in Deir el Bahari. Finally, this textbook clearly presented to our students the building of New Kingdom tombs underground while gazing upon the face of King Tutankhamun lying his Valley of the Kings sarcophagus. Yale University has done an outstanding job of presenting this ancient culture in an historical context that is easily understood and grasped by undergraduate Art History students.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart... grammatically, that is...
First things first: beautiful pictures. Leave this one on your coffee table for guests to peruse though...
However, there is one major problem: the author's incredible penchant for run-on sentences. A seven-line paragraph without any commas, colons, or periods does not generally constitute an acceptable paragraph by anyone's standards... was the editor asleep? You decide....
That said, the information is interesting, albeit hard to read. The author tends to diverge from his topic with astounding frequency, then jumps back to the original topic without reason or warning, let alone a connective thought... or should I say, "connexion"... apparently the letters 'c+t' in the word 'connection' were offensive to the author's eye? I don't quite understand it either...
But it is a lovely book to look at, valuable from the artistic point of view. Buy it if you are interested in the topic, borrow it if you just think Egyptian art is pretty.

4-0 out of 5 stars 1981 edition review
This is a dense book -- what I mean is that is has a lot of material, a lot of images, and it is rather small print.This version has "new materials" from William Kelly Simpson but it is currently 20+ years old so I'd not recommend it for a new class or serious study -- things do change in the study of the ancient world as new discoveries, new techniques, and new theories develop.However, if you just want basic, great images, ad chronological order to the study of art and architecture it is perfectly fine for these purposes.I used it extensively when I was studying ancient Egypt back at Columbia University.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mastepiece of Egyptian Art
As always, the reprint of this title should be warmly welcomed. This is a high-standart, much authoritative text on Egyptian art from its origins down to the sunset of Egypt's glorious pharaonic civilization. It is not only well-writen but also furnished with lavishing plates and a lot of figures, which constitute a wealth of information. Not only for Egyptologists and Egyptofans, but for anybody interested in learning seriously about the treasures of art and architecture in the Nile Valley. Highly recommendable.

5-0 out of 5 stars very descriptive and informative
Many art and architectural treasures survive from Ancient Egypt. This book offers 400 illustrations of such treasures from the fourth millennium B.C.to the conquest of Alexander the Great. The author examines AncientEgyptian tombs, temples, palaces, decorations, and many other works of art.A recommended book for the interested student of art and of Egyptology. ... Read more

23. The Story of Architecture
by Jonathan Glancey
Paperback: 240 Pages (2003-03-06)
list price: US$25.36 -- used & new: US$20.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0751348813
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Jonathan Glancey conducts an inspiring journey through 5,000 years of magnificent buildings, from ancient Sumeria to the spectacular glass-and-steel towers of today's cityscapes. This title presents an unprecedented collection of full-colour photographs, artworks, and plans that creates a memorable story of architecture. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Happy, Happy!
Great price for the book, timely delivery, and I even recieved an e-mail from Better World Books make sure that I had recieved my book...good customer service!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fine introduction.
I was looking for a readable inroduction to varied styles and history of architecture that was jargon free but not overly simplified.This book did the job well.Perhaps Glancey could have provided a bit more text to go along with the beautiful pictures, but he still informs.

Recommended for newcomers or those with an incomplete education in the field of architecture.

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent (and opinionated) survey
THis is a very, very good introduction to the complexities of architecture, at about the freshman level of college.Starting with the dawn of civilization (in what is now Iraq), Glancey takes the reader on a tour of human history from the angle of what we build to worship, work, and live in.THe basics are covered extremely well, providing a context for further research.

Glancey writes with grace and clarity, dividing each major movement into regular cuts of two pages, each with brilliant images.While this format shoehorns things into categories that are a bit too sharply delineated, that kind of reductionism is a necessity in this kind of survey.In the latter part of the book, some of the distinctions appear artificial, but then we are in a period where no dominating style - you get post-modern, decontructivist, and organic, etc. - has emerged and the author had to make some decisions regarding how to put them in the format.To his credit, Glancey does not ignore the exceptions and quirks.

One thing I enjoyed about the book is that Glancey does not shy away from making strikingly loud judgements, many of which I did not share.Corbusier, he writes, "was the most inventive and poetic architect who ever lived."Now that is strong stuff and I would never have expected it in a routine survey! (While I can respect and understand what Corbusier did, I don't love it like Glancey.)But that is what makes this book more than a run of the mill overview - it adds flavor and stimulates.Also, while international, because Glancey is a Brit, much of it focuses on Britain and contemporary Europe, which provides a valuable contrast to more US-centric views.


4-0 out of 5 stars Great review
Great book to review the history of architecture, it is concise and well illustrated.

5-0 out of 5 stars new architecture student
As a freshman architecture student, this book was exactly at my level.The photographs are splendid, and the dialogue informative.This book provides a complete historyof architecture in every area of the world, as well as some theory.Great for anyone truly interested in architecture, but not an expert (yet!) ... Read more

24. Illustrated History of Landscape Design
by Chip Sullivan, Elizabeth Boults
Paperback: 272 Pages (2010-02-08)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$37.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470289333
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Amazon.com Review

A visual journey through the history of landscape design

For thousands of years, people have altered the meaning of space by reshaping nature. As an art form, these architectural landscape creations are stamped with societal imprints unique to their environment and place in time.

Illustrated History of Landscape Design takes an optical sweep of the iconic landscapes constructed throughout the ages. Organized by century and geographic region, this highly visual reference uses hundreds of masterful pen-and-ink drawings to show how historical context and cultural connections can illuminate today's design possibilities.

This guide includes:

  • Storyboards, case studies, and visual narratives toportray spaces

  • Plan, section, and elevation drawings of key spaces

  • Summaries of design concepts, principles, and vocabularies

  • Historic and contemporary works of art that illuminate a specific era

  • Descriptions of how the landscape has been shaped over time in response to human need

Directing both students and practitioners along a visually stimulating timeline, Illustrated History of Landscape Design is a valuable educational tool as well as an endless source of inspiration.

Amazon Exclusive: Q&A with the Authors

What are some of your favorite iconic landscape spaces?
Chip: The topiary garden at Levens Hall is so unusual and surreal. It’s survived the changing styles of landscape design over the centuries and remains a testament to wackiness.
Liz: I love the choreography of space at the Villa Lante.

Why an illustrated book?
Liz: It would be hard not to rely on images to describe space. Our book contains only hand-drawings (not photographs) which further help the reader be ‘drawn’ into a space—no pun intended!
Chip: As a kid I loved the Classics Illustrated series. Seeing an artist’s interpretation of a great narrative made it very real for me.

What makes this different from other history books?
Chip: We have included so many unique graphic features—plans, sections, elevations, perspectives, axonometrics, analytical diagrams, and storyboards—that distill and synthesize important concepts.
Liz: We really tried to present a broad context for historical works of landscape architecture. We started each chapter with a timeline of world events, and concluded each chapter with summaries of design concepts, principles, vocabularies and lists of ‘neat stuff’ that are typically not part of a traditional course in landscape architectural history.

How is studying landscape history relevant to today’s designers?
Liz: Everything we do as designers relates to what’s been done before—one can evolve a trend or totally challenge tradition.
Chip: Studying the past helps a designer build a vocabulary of form, and understand the context in which one is working.

What are some examples of using historical landscape designs in today’s design challenges?
Chip: Today’s emphasis on green architecture and sustainable design is rooted in the past. Throughout history, a culture’s survival depended on understanding the delicate balance of people and nature, garden and climate.
Liz: It’s exciting to think of how people use space and understand the landscape in a digital age. The forms and design vocabularies that will capture our culture’s values in the 21st century are still evolving.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

This is an excellent landscape history book! It is concise, insightful, beautifully written and illustrated. The time lines, vocabulary, and further studies are brilliant. It is great resource for grasping a concept which the student or person can then further explore. I am recommending it to my students at New York University in Florence.

5-0 out of 5 stars The constructive landscape embodies a vision of creative power
A history of landscape design mirrors the cultural values, belief systems, and societal imprints of different civilizations. The partnership of two UC Berkeley landscape architects has generated an amazing compendium of landscape designs that travels through time in nine fascinating chapters from prehistory to the 21st century. This chronological presentation is richly illustrated with a tapestry of graphic pen and ink drawings that captures the eye and delights the mind. Organized by century, each section opens with a pictograph reminding the reader of significant concepts of the time frame covered and is followed by a listing of noteworthy events from that historical setting. Case studies from that period are examined and each chapter concludes with a review of design principles, vocabulary and references. At various times, the reader visits different sites in Europe including Spain, Italy, France, England, and then Asia, looking at Chinese, Japanese, and Persian influences.

Finally, 20th century modernism is followed by the post-modernist trend of the 21st century with its deconstruction and reconstruction aspects and appeal for a sustainable earth. For an iconic view of landscape design through the ages, delightfully knit together with riveting text and embellished illustrations, this is an entrancing publication not only for the student and professional but also for the general public.

Reviewed by Rita Hoots

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing resource!
Illustrated History of Landscape Design is an extremely unique and refreshing take on the history of landscape architecture. The book describes famous works of landscape design throughout the world and references major historical events through intense graphics. The level of detail in the plans and sections are rich, the images are exciting, and the descriptions of vocabulary terms, concepts, and principles used in Landscape Architecture makes this book ideal for anyone wanting to know more about landscape architecture to someone who is well versed in the discipline. Most importantly, it is inspiring on so many levels to look and read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A visual history of built landscapes
This is a book that visually takes you through the built world in the most graceful manner possible.If you ever wanted to finally get an accurate perspective on the sequence of events as humans learned to evolve aesthetics and engineering you should read Boults and Sullivan's, "Illustrated History of Landscape Design".The authors are especially qualified as landscape architects and educators (she concentrated on the history and text, and he masterfully illustrated - or should I say illuminated - places and sites we all thought we knew well)... together they have created a remarkably artistic book that will change the way you view constructed cultures.

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable journey of design, history, ideas and imagination
Sullivan and Boults have produced a one-of-a-kind achievement with this remarkable volume.Though conceived as a textbook, it will have immense appeal to anyone with an intellectual curiousity about history, culture, ideas and design.It will become a collector's item for drawing afficianados, resembling more a graphic novel than a traditional history book.The narratives are insightful, going deeper than previous texts to weave storylines that set the evolution of designed landscapes into the broader context of their political, cultural and religious times. It is complemented beautifully by hundreds of imaginative drawings that illuminate the stories of iconic sites and the ideas behind them in ways photographs could never do. The result is a fascinating synthesis of words and images is at once intellectually rich, highly accessible and great fun.This book will find its way into classrooms, professional libraries and travel bags; it will inspire further study, travel, and drawing as a means of sharing ideas in both students and professionals alike.This is a real treat; I recommend it highly. ... Read more

25. Building Hoover Dam: An Oral History Of The Great Depression
by Andrew J. Dunar, Dennis Mcbride
Paperback: 384 Pages (2001-05-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874174899
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Building Hoover Dam is the most intriguing book ever written about one of the modern architectural wonders of the world.Andrew J. Dunar and Dennis McBride skillfully interweave first-hand accounts of a fascinating group of eyewitnesses.Their stories create the richest existing portrait of the building of Hoover Dam and its tremendous effect on the lives of those involved in its creation:the gritty, sometimes grisly realities of living in cardboard boxes and tents during several of the hottest Southern Nevada summers on record; the fearsome carbon monoxide deaths of tunnel builders who, it was claimed, had died of "pneumonia"; the uproarious life of nearby Las Vegas versus the tightly controlled existence of the workers in the built-overnight confines of Boulder City; and of course the astounding accomplishment of building the Dam itself and completing the task not only early but under budget! ... Read more

26. Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History (Readings in Conservation)
by Ada Gabucci
Paperback: 144 Pages (2002-05-09)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892366567
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Rome continues to be the monumental expression of a legend. It is the eternal city where all roads of the ancient world converged, and through the millennia has been the model for the very concept of a universal empire. Through art, architecture, and urban planning, the empire expanded with an exceptional synthesis of technology, politics, law, and propaganda, conquering Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East. Accompanied by masterpieces of architecture, sculpture and painting and the words of illustrious figures, Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History follows the arc of the city and its civilization from their beginnings to their height and decline. Included are discussions of the emperor Augustus; the Julio-Claudian dynasty; the ill-fated town of Pompeii; the architecture and planning of the metropolis; the art and architecture of the provinces of Europe and North Africa; and the fall of the Western Empire and the establishment of the Byzantine Empire as the heir of Rome. ... Read more

27. A History of Egyptian Architecture. The Empire (the New Kingdom) From the Eighteenth Dynasty to the End of the Twentieth Dynasty 1580-1085 B.C.
by Alexander Badawy
 Hardcover: 548 Pages (1968-01-28)

Asin: B0007EN826
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28. Architecture and Artifacts of the Pennsylvania Germans: Constructing Identity in Early America (Pennsylvania German History and Culture) (Pennsylvania ... (Pennsylvania German History and Culture)
by Cynthia G. Falk
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2008-10-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$36.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 027103338X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
How did a mid-eighteenth-century group, the so-called Pennsylvania Germans, build their cultural identity in the face of ethnic stereotyping, nostalgic ideals, and the views imposed by outside contemporaries? Numerous forces create a group's identity, including the views of outsiders, insiders, and the shaping pressure of religious beliefs, but to better understand the process, we must look to clues from material culture. Then we will move toward understanding what influenced Pennsylvania German communities and Pennsylvania Germans as they constructed identities for themselves.

Cynthia Falk explores the relationship between ethnicity and the buildings, personal belongings, and other cultural artifacts of early Pennsylvania German immigrants and descendants. Such 'material culture' has been the basis of stereotyping Pennsylvania Germans almost since their arrival. Falk warns us against the typical scholarly overemphasis on Pennsylvania Germans' assimilation to an English way of life. Rather, she demonstrates that more than anything, socioeconomic status and religious affiliation influenced the character of the material culture of Pennsylvania Germans. Her work also shows how early Pennsylvania Germans defined their own identities. ... Read more

29. Built by Animals: The Natural History of Animal Architecture
by Mike Hansell
Paperback: 280 Pages (2009-03-15)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$8.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199205574
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From termite mounds and caterpillar cocoons to the elaborate nests of social birds and the deadly traps of spiders, the constructions of the animal world can amaze and at times even rival our own feats of engineering. But how do creatures with such small brains build these complex structures? What drives them to do it?

In this fascinating volume, Mike Hansell looks at the extraordinary structures that animals build--whether homes, traps, or courtship displays--and reveals what science can tell us about this incredible behavior. We look at wasp's nests, leaf-cutting ants, caddis flies and amoebae, and even the extraordinary bower bird, who seduces his mate with a decorated pile of twigs, baubles, feathers, and berries.We discover how some animals produce their own building materials, such as the silk secreted by spiders to weave an array of different web and traps, or the glue some insects produce to hold their buildings together. And we learn how a vast colony of social insects can create nests which may penetrate up to twenty feet into the ground and house millions of individuals--all built by tiny-brained animals repeating many simple actions as they roam randomly around the structure. Hansell also sheds light on how animal buildings have evolved over time, how insect societies emerged, how animals can alter their wider habitat, and even whether some animals have an aesthetic sense.

Built by Animals offers a colorful account of a facet of animal behavior that will delight anyone interested in the natural world.

Now Available in Paperback ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars "You don't need brains . . .
. . .to be a builder", says Hansell, and goes on to demonstrate that with a photo of a house built by "Difflugia coronata".It's a spiked sphere with a nicely decorated front entry - tasteful, if rather enigmatic.One looks in vain for the resident.Not one of those clever wasps that pulps paper to tuck a nest under your eaves or one of the swallows that brings mud to accomplish a similar task, D. coronata is a micro-organism: an amoeba that collects tiny sand grains to build itself a shelter.An amoeba??How does it accomplish this?Hansell responds, as he must do often in this fine study, "we don't know".

Animal building hasn't been a topic of intense study as the author frequently reminds us.However, he's good at demonstrating what we do know and what further work needs doing.He poses several good questions - how much of an animal's building skill is genetically inherited?How important to animals is the idea of standardised material [think "bricks" in human construction]?Which animals produce structures the equivalent of three times the size of any human office building?What planning steps are required for an orb spider to form its web?Finally, and what might be the most pertinent of all, what is a tool and is that what distinguishes human builders from the other animals?

As Hansell poses these questions, he goes on to show how some of the answers have beenobtained.He explains the varieties of construction behaviour - how an African rat may have an extended burrow system with up to several hundred entries, for example.Logic demands this is an indication of a group endeavour, but the entire system is inhabited by one rat.We think birds intuitively construct complex nests from their first try.Many weaver birds, however, may fall out of the tree on their first effort to fashion a hanging nest.Orb spiders, on the other hand, weave their webs with much variation - some species even know the best time of day to construct a particular type of web for a specific prey.An the web material is an engineering masterpiece - flexible enough to catch the prey and strong enough to hold it.How it manages this is a fascinating section of this book.Hansell warns the reader against falling victim to "heavy eyelids" prior to the description, noting that the solution is too "elegant" to miss.He's correct in that.

What does an animal "think" as it's building a structure?, he reflects.Some prompt leads bees to form comb relating to their body size, as do many nesting birds - especially weavers.Is there "thinking" involved when one of the bolas spiders shifts the issuing of a pheromone for one moth species to that of another - at a specific time of night?Termites built immense, complex towers - Hansell compares them to the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Yet, although there are millions of construction jobs in erecting the mounds, not one of the termites appears to be in charge.Does each termite carry a mental blueprint in that miniscule brain?Further, why do some termite species ventilate the mound with one method, while others in a similar environment do it differently?

Hansell poses these questions as much to himself as to the reader.He calls for research into various areas throughout the narrative.There are even topics he declares he will be investigating in the coming years.That's another thing that makes this book a prime gift to a young student.Building is not merely a human endeavour and variety and innovation isn't limited to our species.It's important to understand how life works and this is one significant indicator in that quest.Try this book and find out why.[stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

1-0 out of 5 stars "We Really Don't Know"
Built by Animals

It's a captivating title and a captivating cover photo.And anyone who makes the effort to understand the natural world will come to this book with some appreciation of animal architecture, if not from personal observation, then from nature TV.Moreover author Mike Hansell'scredentials are exactly those you would expect.So why is this book so unsatisfying?After all, the author treats us to some of the animal construction that we expect, caterpillar cocoons, beaver lodges and dams, ant tunnels, and mud dauber nests.And he introduces us to much that we do not expect, naked mole rats tunnels, hairy-nosed wombat warrens, European badger setts, "magnetic" termite mounds, and amoeba shells.And, although it doesn't relate to animal construction, Hansell also includes a very good chapter on tool use by animals.It also asks, in a chapter-long unanswered question, who makes the design decisions in a colony of hundreds or thousands of residents.

But the reader expects Professor Hansell to answer as well as ask the questions.Unfortunately the answers are all too infrequent.The treatment of the construction of the web of the orb web spider, Araneus diadematus is a rare exception.It is truly excellent, and very satisfying, but it appears to have been written by a different person (a graduate student, perhaps?).Overall the book fails for three reasons.The first is Hansell's painfully self-conscious writing style. We are not reading about animal architecture, we are reading about Hansell writing about animal architecture.We even catch him writing to himself, as in "but let me not get carried away..."The second reason is the pointless digression, as when he describes the nerve centers for avian vocalization.Ultimately, though, the book fails because it does not explain what we wanted explained.How do the filter nets of the Oikopleura dioica get built?"Well, they just appear."How do the stones comprising the shell of the Difflugia coronata amoeba get put in place by a one celled organism which doesn't possess a central nervous system?"...the stones arrange themselves."Professor Hansell, those stones are inorganic; they are inanimate; they do not simply arrange themselves.Perhaps a hundred times throughout the book Hansell simply states, "we really do not know," or that something happens "in a manner not yet studied."

This book addresses a most fascinating topic, but the enthusiastic naturalist will be disappointed that it doesn't live up to its billing.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Minds of Animal Builders
If you look at a skyscraper made by humans, you can't help being impressed by the complexity of the construction and the coordination of hundreds of planners and workers that went into it.And yet termites build proportionately bigger structures which show planning in such things as ventilation and heat regulation.How is it that animals with such tiny brains can create such massive and complicated structures?If building by a group of creatures is remarkable, then surely also remarkable are the webs built by spiders, or the nests (especially the woven ones) built by birds.What is going on in the brains of creatures who build?We don't have firm answers, but in _Built by Animals: The Natural History of Animal Architecture_ (Oxford University Press), biologist Mike Hansell tries to make sure we are asking the right questions, and he describes research accomplished and proposed to get the answers.He has written academic works on this subject, and this is his first one for the non-specialist.He dips into technical discussions just enough, and the topic is inherently fascinating.Animals build homes all over the place, for protection from weather and predators, but they also build traps, and male bowerbirds make structures that have no purpose other than impressing potential mates.This is an excellent overview of what animals build, with plenty of examples and with fascinating discussions about the experiments used to tease out answers to how the creatures learned construction.

Hansell first introduces the Central American caterpillar _Aethria carnicauda_, which uses the same sort of protective gadget.When it is ready to make itself into a pupa, it first picks a straight plant stem.Then it starts plucking hairs out of its body, hairs that it will not need within its pupa or as a moth.It has tweezer jaws to pluck hairs one by one, and each hair it sticks with silk to the stem it has selected.It makes a disk of radiating bristles, and may make four of these defense lines, obstacles to anything coming along the stem that might disturb its upcoming transformative slumber.Only then does it build its cocoon.Think about this behavior and you can't help but wonder: how does such a simple creature know to build a relatively sophisticated barrier?Does it have a plan?It's hard to imagine that a caterpillar has any sort of consciousness, but its nervous system must make some sort of decision about the time to build its bristle defense, and where the next hair gets placed.We might even identify with the caterpillar as a constructor of such a clever defense, and throughout this book Hansell gives warnings of the dangers of anthropomorphizing, of our attributing to animals thoughts and goals without proper evidence.We can't enter the minds of these creatures, but Hansell is a little more generous about the sin of anthropomorphism, saying not only that it can generate hypotheses that might stir further investigation, but that also the question of what animals think or feel as they build is not completely outside of scientific enquiry (although not much headway has been made so far). _Aethria_ is just one of scores of animals evaluated here, including ants, termites, birds, prairie dogs, and beavers.

There is a whole chapter here on the webs of spiders, and once again, using simple materials (of their own secretion) and simple instructions, a spider can produce a wonder of complexity, a web for trapping insects.Astonishingly, not everything in a web may be behaviorally programmed as even spiders have the capacity to learn.It is easier for a spider to run downwards on a web to a caught insect rather than run upwards, but in a fascinating experiment on one particular species, some spiders weren't given the chance to run.The experimenter simply fed them flies as they were sitting in the middle of their webs.When they re-built their webs, they continued to make as much web above themselves as below.Spiders who did real catching, however, learned to build webs that had more catching-space down below, and spiders who were artificially fed insects that were inserted above them in the web built webs with a bigger topside.There are so many interesting experiments described here.In the final chapter on bowerbirds, Hansell winds up his discussion of how the female could show by posturing how interested she is in the male: "This suggests that a male could infer whether or not a female is likely to make her escape from the avenue by the degree of crouching she shows.Cue an experiment with a robot female satin bowerbird!"I thought Hansell was making a joke; he wasn't.The robot has been built, and when it assumes different positions, the male changed the intensity of his courtship dance.This is an engaging book summarizing an expert's view of the results from clever animals and clever researchers.
... Read more

30. New York Architecture: A History (Universe Architecture Series)
by Amanda Johnson, Carol Willis
Paperback: 240 Pages (2003-12-19)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$3.42
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Asin: 0789307774
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This newest title in the Universe architecture series is a popular survey and iconic history of New York City architecture. A must-have for architects, students, and New Yorkers, the book includes an in-depth study of twenty-five of New York's most important buildings. Organized chronologically, the projects cover the major architectural periods in New York, as affected by changes in the city's population, economy, politics and historic events.

The book examines such classic landmarks as Grand Central Station, the Flatiron Building, and Gracie Mansion; such renowned skyscrapers as the Woolworth Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building and recent architectural masterpieces, such as the LVMH building, completed a year ago. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to NYC and it's impressive structures!
New York Architecture is a very nice book. It's a very well written book, it's obvious the author knows what she was talking about. The photographs are first class, the best photos of New York's best and nicest buildings and landmarks I have ever seen! The introduction is rather lengthy, but covers New York City in a way that is accurate and embracing.

All in all, I am impressed with this book. The only setback is that the book only covers 27 spectacular structures out of thousands available in Manhattan alone! However, the author did a good job at showing architectural samples of the different time periods the city has been through. It's a very nice introduction for those of you interested in New York architecture or thinking of visiting this always exciting city!

I was planning to sell this book after I read it, but in the end decided to keep it! It's that good!! ... Read more

31. Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art)
by Henry-Russell Hitchcock
Paperback: 696 Pages (1989-09-10)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$27.07
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Asin: 0300053207
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This book examines a period which is far more than a prelude to the age of steel and concrete. The first half-century culminated in the bold iron and glass of the Crystal Palace. There follows the creation of the modern styles of the era based on traditions of the past, and finally, in the 20th century, Art Nouveau and the modern architects in their generations - Perret, Wright, Gropius, Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and others in many parts of the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best!
I ordered a "Architecture: Nineteenth and twentieth Centuries" book from midtownscholarbookstore. It was under used and they said it was like new. Guess what!!! I got it and it was in a great shape and I am a hundred and ninety nine percent satisfied. I would totally recommend them to any person looking for a book.
thank you guys!!

3-0 out of 5 stars A dated survey of Modern Architecture
Unfortunately, this book doesn't hold up very well over time.Hitchcock's study of Modern Architecture is spotty and not very well organized.The most interesting chapters are those on 19th century architecture, which Hitchcock seems most comfortable with.However, the later chapters leave much to be desired.His understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural system is very weak.It is little more than a walk through some of his more famous buildings.He has a better understanding of the European modernists, but here too he presents them in a superficial way that leaves more questions than it does provide answers.

Hitchcock and Philip Johnson have been credited for bringing the European Modern Movement to America with their exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932.They dubbed it "The International Style," a name which has stuck but doesn't do justice to the many currents that ran through Modern Architecture at the time.Hitchcock tried to develop these ideas further in "Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries."He provides a wide array of sources, but very little that binds these ideas together.One can find much better overviews of Modern Architecture by Kenneth Frampton and William J.R. Curtis. ... Read more

32. Japanese Architecture: A Short History (Tuttle Classics)
by A. L. Sadler
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-10-10)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.76
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Asin: 480531043X
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A. L. SadlerÆs invaluable study of Japanese architecture first appeared in 1941. Considered a classic in its field, unequaled in clarity and insight, Japanese Architecture A Short History is a lucid and uncomplicated introduction to this important aspect of Japanese culture. Beginning with the earliest evidences from prehistory and ending with the Edo period, when Japan attained stature as a modern state, Japanese Architecture is as relevant today as it was in 1941.
... Read more

33. A History of American Architecture: Buildings in Their Cultural and Technological Context
by Mark Gelernter
Paperback: 368 Pages (2001-07-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$23.00
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Asin: 1584651369
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A richly illustrated history of American architecture that explains why particular architectural ideas occurred when and where they did. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great overview of architectural history
I picked up this book at the library as a refresher on history while studying for the Architect's Registration Exam. It covers so much European architecture too that it exceeded my expectations. Much easier to read over a few days than the usual textbooks like Trachtenberg's, and I'm doing very well on history-related practice questions now. The choices of buildings covered in this book are great and there are city plans and floor plans. Starting each chapter with an analysis of the culture and philosophy of the era made me really understand how architectural styles developed and keeps everything in order in my memory.

5-0 out of 5 stars A clearly written interesting history.
This is easy reading with appropos illustrations. Just the right amount of detail for the traveller who is interested in architecture.

4-0 out of 5 stars Context is everything
I found Mr. Gelernter's book in the public library as I was researching a project.After reading it, I thought it was so useful that I decided to buy it for my own library.

Many art and architecture books are justrecitations of dry facts, dates and theories, with no historical orsociological context.Not so Gelernter's "A History of AmericanArchitecture."

The correlation of buildings with their context, andthe inclusion of early Native American architecture, make this a thoughtprovoking introduction to the history of architecture in America. ... Read more

34. History of Architecture: From Classic to Contemporary
 Hardcover: Pages (2010-06)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$10.77
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Asin: 1445408503
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35. The Art and Architecture of the Texas Missions (Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture, No. 6)
by Jacinto Quirarte
Hardcover: 261 Pages (2002-05-15)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$42.35
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Asin: 0292769024
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Built to bring Christianity and European civilization to the northern frontier of New Spain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries . . . secularized and left to decay in the nineteenth century . . . and restored in the twentieth century, the Spanish missions still standing in Texas are really only shadows of their original selves. The mission churches, once beautifully adorned with carvings and sculptures on their façades and furnished inside with elaborate altarpieces and paintings, today only hint at their colonial-era glory through the vestiges of art and architectural decoration that remain. To paint a more complete portrait of the missions as they once were, Jacinto Quirarte here draws on decades of on-site and archival research to offer the most comprehensive reconstruction and description of the original art and architecture of the six remaining Texas missions--San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo), San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción, San Juan Capistrano, and San Francisco de la Espada in San Antonio and Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo in Goliad. Using church records and other historical accounts, as well as old photographs, drawings, and paintings, Quirarte describes the mission churches and related buildings, their decorated surfaces, and the (now missing) altarpieces, whose iconography he extensively analyzes. He sets his material within the context of the mission era in Texas and the Southwest, so that the book also serves as a general introduction to the Spanish missionary program and to Indian life in Texas. ... Read more

36. Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art)
by Axel Boethius
Paperback: 264 Pages (1992-11-25)
list price: US$29.00 -- used & new: US$22.50
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Asin: 0300052901
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This account begins in 1400 BC with the primitive villages of the Italic tribes. The scene was transformed by the arrival of the Greeks and Etruscans who had Rome and Central Italy under their cultural spell by 600 BC. ... Read more

37. Early Medieval Architecture (Oxford History of Art)
by Roger Stalley
Paperback: 272 Pages (1999-12-02)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$15.18
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Asin: 0192842234
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The early middle ages were an exciting period in the history of European architecture, culminating in the development of the Romanesque style.Major architectural innovations were made during this time including the medieval castle, the church spire, and the monastic cloister. By avoiding the traditional emphasis on chronological development, Roger Stalley provides a radically new approach to the subject, exploring issues and themes rather than sequences and dates. In addition to analysing the language of the Romanesque, the book examines the engineering achievements of the builders, and clearly how the great monuments of the age were designed and constructed. Ranging from Gotland to Apulia, the richness and variety of European architecture is explored in terms of the social and religious aspirations of the time. Symbolic meanings associated with architecture are also thoroughly investigated. Written with style and humour, the lively text includes many quotations from ancient sources, providing a fascinating insight into the way that medieval buildings were created, and in the process enlivening study of this period. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Early Medieval Architecture
The text arrived in good shape, and was just as described.What kept this from being a 5-star review was the sluggishness of the delivery, some 3 1/2 weeks after being ordered.

5-0 out of 5 stars comprehensive and entertaining
Mr. Stalley has written an excellent piece of work by combining the architecture in the early middle ages with its historical context. The content is entertaining and informative. It starts by describing the origin of the basilicas, their evolution along time and the influence that the medieval society (either royal, secular, or religious) had on both, design and construction, of these outstanding long lasting works.

5-0 out of 5 stars Flagship Volume in New Art History Series
Published last year, this is one of the initial volumes to appear in the extremely good, new "Oxford History of Art" series, which almost outdoes even the recent "Everyman Art Library", which it resembles.Both series are an attempt to make available up-to-the-momentoverviews of selected areas of the history of building, sculpture,painting, and photography.Whereas the Everyman series seems to beopen-ended, Oxford have divided their survey of world art into categoriesby area and/or subject, although only a handful of titles have appeared todate.

Both series are superbly well printed and illustrated; eachincludes maps, charts, timelines, and bibliographies.What Thames andHudson's "World of Art" series did well for several decades,these two series are now achieving in a more strictly periodizing form,with greater emphasis on method and, in the case of Oxford, on Theory.

Inboth the Oxford and Everyman series, the most fascinating volumes are thosewhich treat subjects broken down or combined in unusual ways.Thus, AlisonCole's "Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts" (l995) seeks tocompare Naples, Urbino, Milan, Ferrara, and Mantua--- bringing relativeclarity to a topic that most surveys tend to gloss over.Similarly, LorenPartridge's Everyman"The Renaissance in Rome" (1996) treats theQuattrocentoand Cinquecentoin the Eternal City, chapter by chapter, interms of urban planning, churches, palaces, altarpieces, chapeldecorations, and halls of state--- all in a single volume.

BeforeStalley,the two Oxford volumes I had read were Jas Elsner's"Imperial Rome and Christian Triumph" and Craig Clunas's"Art in China".Both are by younger scholars and are massivelyimbued with new (politically correct) art history.Yet both books arefilled with challenging and brilliant examples and new information. Infact, the China volume is written (like all of Clunas's work) from aperspective that is truly revolutionary in Chinese studies.At the end ofthe day, both Elsa and Clunas are so skilled, both as writers andhistorians, that even the jargon of the new art history is eclipsed by thesheer quality of the two works.

Roger Stalley, Professor of the Historyof Art, at Trinity College, Dublin, writes clearly, penetratingly, andwithout jargon."Early Medieval Architecture" is deftlyconstructed, and the author claims that his chapters may be read "inalmost any order".This may indeed be the case (I read straightthrough and could scarcely put the book aside).It comes, of course, as nosmall recommendation that Stalley was a student of Peter Kidson's.

Whatmakes "Early Medieval Architecture" unique is the editorialdecision to relegate the entire topic of "late" medieval buildingto a separate volume by Nicola Coldstream.Therefore, hardly a mention ismade of "Gothic--- the question that Stalley addresses being:"What is Romanesque?"Like its subject the book is suitablyaustere, yet it is not without personality.The endnotes are unobtrusive,and there is a state- of-the-art Bibliographic Essay.All this issupplemented by some 150 varied and informative photographs and redrawnplans and building sections.There is virtually no attention to sculpture,as befits a scholar whose interests and sympathies are Cistercian; however,there is a sensitive underlying concern with the "language ofarchitecture" itself, such that the book would give pleasure to anyworking architect.

Stalley has given us ten chapters starting with"The Christian Basilica", where his subject overlaps slightlywith that of the Elsner's book.Appropriately, the argument returns againand again to Rome.The next chapter is an exercise in setting forth thearchitecture of the Carolingian Renaissance, where light is shed in an areaof architectural history that for the novice is more typically hedged withexceptions and speculation.A third chapter pursues the "iconographyof architecture" in Rome, Milan, Ravenna, and Jerusalem, as well aslesser-known places.

Chapter 4 is devoted to secular architecture andis somewhat revisionist in tone.The very fact that such an exercise isprovided bodes well for the clarity of Stalley's enterprise, and there arenumerous photographs throughout the book that succeed in demonstrating arelationship between ecclesiastical buildings and the architecture offeudalism.

Chapters 5 and 6 treat, respectively, the patron-as-builderand the builder-as-engineer.In this, the architectural expertise ofcertain early patrons is stressed, while the engineering argument is softpeddled, in the sense that techniques of vaulting are not allowed todominate a more all-embracingexplanation of the general integrity of thebuilding fabric. As the author reminds us, the story of vaulting has toooften been permitted to get out of hand, leading the discussion of earlymedieval structure well beyond what is warranted by evidence and probablyaway from what must have been the original aims and concerns of earlymedieval builders themselves, whether "engineers" ornot.

Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the influences of pilgrimage andmonasticism on early medieval building. Here a number of relevantstatistics and medieval texts are cited that raise the discussion wellabove what is ordinarily expected to suffice the undergraduate reader.Forexample, the names of the seven major services or "offices" ofBenedictine communal worship are set out and, where needed, explanation isoffered.The discussion of the famous St. Gall plan is commendable in itsdetail, while the full-page photographic detail of the plan is printed incolor to show the use of red ink on parchment.Included here is mentionand illustration of the recently restored Cistercian abbey church atFontenay, which as a caption points out, may reflect the destroyed motherhouse at Clairvaux.

The final two chapters are a magisterialrecapitulation of the "Language of Architecture", starting off"During the course of the eleventh century a new architecturallanguage emerged in western Europe...", and of its subsequent diversitythroughout Europe.In summary, this is an exciting book that matches someof the recent strides forward in early medieval social and politicalhistory and provides a superlative discussion of a topic that has rarelybeen so coherentlypresented and illustrated in a single volume.

DavidB. Stewart, Tokyo Institute of Technology ... Read more

38. Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art)
by Richard Krautheimer
Paperback: 553 Pages (1984-05)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$28.29
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Asin: 0300052944
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Presents an overall view of the history and changing character of Early Christian and Byzantine architecture, from Rome and Milan to North Africa, Constantinople, Greece and the Balkans and from Egypt and Jerusalem to the villages and monasteries of Syria, Asia Minor, Armenia and Mesopotamia. ... Read more

39. Architecture in Italy, 1500-1600 (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art)
by Wolfgang Lotz
Paperback: 214 Pages (1995-11-29)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$29.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300064691
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This work presents a survey of Italian Renaissance architecture in the Cinquecento. It discusses the work of Bramante, Giulio Romano, Michelangelo and Palladio, among others, as well as the various centres of architectural activity throughout Italy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Architectural History at its Best
Wolfgang Lotz's Architecture in Italy, 1500-1600 is awonderful introduction and survey of the majesty of Italian Renaissance Architecture.I had the privilage of studying under Richard Tuttle who is recognized inthe introduction,who showed me the brilliance of Lotz's work as well ashis ability to show the beautyof architecture.This book is a must forany serious academic student or architectural enthusiast.Lotz'spresentation of Italian Architecture is a continuation of LudwigHeydenreich's Architecture in Italy, 1400-1500, and when read together iscertainly the definitive work on Renaissance Architecture.The marvelouspictures and diagrams are the best published images I have come across. ... Read more

40. Modern Architecture (Oxford History of Art)
by Alan Colquhoun
Paperback: 288 Pages (2002-07-18)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$16.86
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Asin: 0192842269
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Colquhoun, an eminent scholar in the field of architecture, offers here a new account of international modernism that explores the complex motivations behind this revolutionary movement and assesses its triumphs and failures. The book focuses on the work of the main architects of the movement such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe, re-examining their work and shedding new light on their roles as acknowledged masters. The author presents a fascinating analysis of architecture with regard to politics, technology, and ideology, all while offering clear descriptions of the key elements of the Modern movement. Colquhoun shows clearly the evolution of the movement from Art Nouveau in the 1890s to the mega-structures of the 1960s, revealing the often-contradictory demands of form, function, social engagement, modernity and tradition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice overview of modern architecture
Each title in the Oxford History of Art series provides an overview to a particular time period, style or movement. This book focuses on modern architecture, starting with Art Nouveau in the 1890s and continuing through the modernist or International style of the 1950s and 1960s. In the introduction, the author explains that he is using the term "modern architecture" to mean "an architecture conscious of its own modernity and striving for change" (p. 9). He describes the historical context at the and of the 19th century, traces the development of different styles, and discusses the role of key architects in each movement.

This book is generously illustrated, with many color images complementing the period black-and-white photographs of interiors and exteriors of modern buildings. There are also many architectural plans, elevations, drawings, and sketches. It is a sturdy paperback with a strong binding. It would be useful to undergraduate students researching 20th century architecture, as well as general readers interested in the subject.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ok if Architecture field or class
Didn't even open this book for my architecture class but if you are an architecture major than this book might be great.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Purchasing
I am an architecture student, and this is a great book for the money.The photography is well done, with a good selection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Modernism by Oxford
This book provides a much easier way to view modern architecture than the usual method-To study each individual that impacted the world of architecture through this modern method and perspective of architecture. Consequentially, this book is easy to read but the depth isn't there, I would prefer the other Modern Architecture books,(see my other reviews). But for the casual reader, or anyone interested in history of architecture from the student to professor,this is an appropriate choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars modernism retrospect
Rather than just writing a history of modern architecture, Colquhoun distilled a polemical theory into this succint historical writing. This book could be read as a history book and a polemical theory book on architecture in the 20th century.

Rather than chronologically writing a survey of modern architectural history, Colquhoun placed emphasis on certain modern architects (Loos, Wright, Corbusier, Mies and Kahn) whom he thought, had brought substantial influences to the modern architecture. He used these architects as examples to illustrate the formation of modernism and the phenomenon of modern society. Other than just analysed the work, Colquhoun brought a dynamic discussion of architects' theory, criticism and also relevant references. From there, he provided his critical point of view.

His discussion on Corbusier, Mies and Kahn were fascinating and profound. It would certainly open a new chapter for those who already knew these architects very well. Colquhoun used Corbusier and Mies as two representatives of a dialectic flows in modern architectural movements: 'functionalism' and 'rationalism' accordingly. The whole book ended with the works of Louis Kahn. To Colquhoun, Kahn's 'Rational Functionalism' provided a way out to modern architecture.

He says at the end of the book, 'Modernism was to survive, but only after abandoning it's totalizing claims and by a process of continual self-cancellation. Paradoxically, the work of Louis Kahn- anchored as it was in a belief in a transcendent order - was one of the chief propelling agents in this emerging regime of uncertainty.'

Readers might disagree with Colquhoun's point of view, but could not disagree with his extremely insightful and rigorous approach in understanding modern architecture. Most importantly, this book invites us to develop our own critical point of view towards the architecture culture. ... Read more

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