Sunday, January 29, 2012

50 Architecture Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author:         Philip Wilkinson
Published:   2010
Publisher:    Quercus
Hardcover:  208 pages
This book consists of concise 4 page descriptions of 50 key ideas that have influenced Western architecture from the time of ancient Greek civilization till present times.
These ideas cover a wide range of fields - technology, decoration, planning, craftsmanship, interpreting the past, building for the future.
The first half of the book covers the rich past of architecture from its roots in the Grecian style to the revolutionary developments of the late 19th century. It shows that architect and builders of this period  apart from creating plethora of historical styles were also progenitors of ideas like prefabrication and the garden city which is still of interest to modern architects. The second half of the book is about the 20th century architecture. It first deals with modernist architecture which is shorn of extraneous decoration and has exploited materials like glass and steel. It then deals with a variety of new ideas in which have cropped up in last few decades.

There are  photographs and drawings to illustrate each idea, however it would have been better if  the book had the photographs of all the buildings and monuments mentioned in it.

Though not an ideal introductory book on architecture it is a fairly good reference book

Architecture Ideas  Described in this book:

From Greece to the Renaissance:
The Orders,Roman engineering,Gothic,Renaissance,Palladianism, Baroque.

Change and Taste:
The Grand Tour, Industrial Architecture, Taste,Rococo,Genius Loci,The Picturesque,Neo-Classicism, Reason, Orientalism,Restoration. 

Revival and Renewal:
Revivalism,Prefabrication,Beaux Arts,Arts and Crafts,Conservation,The City Beautiful, Art Nouveau,Garden City.

Modernism around the World:
Skyscraper, Futurism, Expressionism,De Stijl,Constructivism,Bauhaus,The International Style, Minimalism,Art Deco,Organic architecture,Dymaxion Design, Segregated Planning, Heritage, Brutalism.

New Directions:
Neorationalism, Archigram, Metabolist Architecture, Townscape, Structuralism, Regionalism, Postmodernism, Contemporary Classicism, High-tech, Alternative Architecture, Deconstructivism, Green architecture.

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