Monday, September 8, 2008

Review: Architecture: A Very Short Introduction, by Andrew Ballantyne (2002)


This impressive series of "intro" books continues to get better in my eyes. This book finally lets a neophyte into the world of architecture, or, as the author puts it, "Architecture is gestures made with buildings."
What kind of gestures? Extravagance. Responsibility. Historic. Authoritative. Caring. Unfazed. It describes the four major periods of western architecture - the ancient (Pyramids), Classical (Greek and Roman), Gothic / Renaissance (Europe) and Modern (global, with few or any direct antecedents. Evolving from abstract concepts rather than previous models). Gripping, lucid, a great step into a universal (and largely invisible) art all around us.

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