Building: Discover the History of Buildings Why They Were Built and the Techniques Used in Their Construction



Building: Discover the History of Buildings Why They Were Built and the Techniques Used in Their Construction
From Kirkus Reviews
A handsome ``Eyewitness'' book with spreads covering the obvious historical periods and places (ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to ``The Early 20th Century'' and ``Modern Buildings'') plus ``Islamic Buildings,'' ``South and East Asia,'' and such additional topics as ``Walls,'' ``Domes,'' and ``Doors.'' A typical spread includes crisply detailed color photos of a major building, a ruin (serving as a cutaway), or a model (Wren's 1674 proposal for St. Paul's); photos and drawings of decorative and structural details; a brief paragraph overview; and dozens of terms for the architectural elements depicted.
As a survey of styles and of the wealth of specialized vocabulary used to describe them, this is a rich source. For knowledgeable readers, it provides hundreds of fine visual examples, many traceable through the index: friezes appear in 11 settings. For those less sophisticated, the visual definition will often not be enough- -e.g., there's no way to tell whether ``fixed light'' refers to part of a window frame, the glass, or the fact that it doesn't open; nor do any of the three depictions of the ``mortise'' and ``tenon'' make it clear that one is a cavity into which the other fits. Some basic ideas are also missing: the Romans' use of the arch is described with no mention of its enormous structural significance. An attractive, often fascinating source, but one that demands a conventional dictionary as a supplement. Index.


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