Architecture For Dummies [NOOK Book]


When is a building just a building and when is it art? This accessible guide cuts through the jargon and clearly explains the essentials of architecture, demystifying the incredible ways in which structures and spaces come alive. You'll gain a real appreciation for architecture and the confidence to talk about it—even to an architect.
  • Just the essential information for readers on the go who want to understand architecture.
  • Covers the ...
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Architecture For Dummies

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When is a building just a building and when is it art? This accessible guide cuts through the jargon and clearly explains the essentials of architecture, demystifying the incredible ways in which structures and spaces come alive. You'll gain a real appreciation for architecture and the confidence to talk about it—even to an architect.
  • Just the essential information for readers on the go who want to understand architecture.
  • Covers the highlights of architectural history, from the Great Pyramids to Frank Gehry's Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
  • Explains how to look at a building and appreciate it. Explains when a building's a building and when it's art.
  • Part of Tens includes Ten Great Architectural Masterpieces, Ten Biggest Architectural and Engineering Failures, Ten of the Most Interesting Architects Working Today, and more.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118069660
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/9/2011
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 587,848
  • File size: 16 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Debra Dietch, (Washington DC) is currently an art and architecture critic for Sun-Sentinel, Tribune Co. She was a writer on architecture and design for major newspapers and periodicals such as Forbes, Florida Architecture, House Beautiful, Museum Magazine, Old House Journal, Sotheby's Domain, Washington Post, and more. She also held top editor positions at the two leading professional architecture magazines: Architectural Record and Architecture magazine.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xxvii
Introduction 1
About This Book 2
How This Book Is Organized 3
Icons Used in This Book 5
Where to Go from Here 5
Part 1 Knowing and Appreciating Architecture 7
Chapter 1 Knowing When a Building Is Just a Building and When It's Architecture 9
The Beauty of Form Meets Function 10
Why Is Architecture Important? 10
What Makes Architecture Good? 11
How to Spot Good Architecture 12
Where Can You See Architecture? 13
If You Do Go ... 14
Chapter 2 How to Look at a Building 15
Space: Solids and Voids 15
Scale and Proportion: Size Matters 17
Weight and Mass: It Ain't Heavy, It Just Looks That Way 20
The Elements of Design 21
Chapter 3 Building Your Architectural Vocabulary 27
Defining Architectural Style 27
Essential Elements of Architecture 31
Part II Nuts and Bolts: Looking at How Architecture Is Designed and Built 37
Chapter 4 How Buildings Are Born 39
In the Beginning: The Program 39
Different Building Types and the Evolution of Style 40
Using the Past to Design the Future 43
Chapter 5 Just What Do Architects Do, Anyway? 47
The Roles They Are A-Changin' 48
How Architects Get to Be Architects 51
What Architects Really Do from 9 to 5 52
Okay, Now Do It Like I Drew It 57
Chapter 6 A Simple Structure: How Buildings Stand Up 61
May the Force Be with It: Carrying the Loads 62
Structural Forces: How a Building Gets Stressed 63
Posts and Lintels: Trabeated Systems 64
Watch Those Curves: Arcuated Systems 66
New Shapes for Modern Structures 67
Part III Western Architecture: A Survey of the Most Important Structures 71
Chapter 7 Gimme Shelter: Prehistoric Structures and the Ancient World 73
From Tipis to Tombs: Prehistoric Architecture 74
Ancient Pyramids: Stairways to Heaven 77
Mythology Comes to Life: The Aegean 83
Chapter 8 Acropolis Now: Classical Greece and Rome 85
The Greeks: Pursuit of Perfection 85
The Etruscans: Prelude to Rome 92
The Romans: Structural Revolution 93
Chapter 9 Domes, Arches, and Vaults, Oh My: Byzantine and Medieval Architecture 99
Early Christian Churches 99
Aspiring to New Heights: Byzantine Churches 100
The Middle Ages: Not as Dark as You Think 103
Roman Glory Lives On: Romanesque Churches 105
The Super Church: Gothic Cathedrals 107
Chapter 10 Beauty Meets Mathematics and Drama: From Renaissance to Rococo 113
The Renaissance: A Classical Revival with Some Mathematical Stuff 114
Bridges to the Baroque: Mannerism 118
Here Come the Drama Kings: The Baroque 119
Early Funhouses: The Rococo 124
Chapter 11 Revivals Everywhere: The Classical and Gothic Are New Again 127
Rage Against the Baroque: Classical Revivals 128
Playing on Your Emotions: Romanticism 133
Coming Full Circle: Beaux-Arts Eclecticism 137
Chapter 12 Here Comes the Industrial Age: Perfab Is Here to Stay 141
Mass Production Begins: Materials Get a Revamp 141
Managing the Forces: Enter the Engineer 142
Chapter 13 Flying High and Close to the Sun: Skyscrapers! 149
Buildings Go Up, the Sky Falls Down: The First Skyscrapers 149
Chicago's Steel Skeletons 150
A Skyscraper State of Mind: Rise of the New York Skyline 155
More Recent Skyscapers 158
Chapter 14 Mother Nature versus the Machines: Modern Styles 161
All You Need Is Art: Arts and Crafts for Everyday People 162
A Modern Style Takes Root: Art Nouveau and Its Architects 162
Mother Nature's Out the Door: More "isms" and Other Styles 165
Modernism Gets Real: The International Style 171
Chapter 15 The Only Constant Is Change: From Modern Purism to Postmodern Pluralism 177
Modernism Gets a Makeover by Late Modern Masters 178
Lotsa Concrete, Folks: The New Brutalism Branch of Modernism 180
The Modernism Backlash: Postmodernism and the Past to the Rescue 181
Modernism with a Postmodernist Twist 185
New Directions for a New Millennium 189
Part IV Eastern Architecture: A Survey of the Most Important Structures 193
Chapter 16 China and Japan: Traditions in Wood 195
Chinese Architecture: The Basics 196
Japanese Architecture: Chinese Refinements 200
Chapter 17 More Than the Taj Mahal: Architecture in India 205
Early Temples and Shrines 206
India's Influence on Southeast Asia 207
The Islamic Golden Age, Mughal Style 210
Spoils of the British Empire: West Meets East 212
Contemporary Architecture in India 214
Chapter 18 The Islamic World 217
Bow and Pray to Mecca 217
Royal Calling Cards: Middle Eastern Mosques 219
Mosques for All Seasons: African Mosques 221
The Moors Create Their Own Style in Spain 222
Part V Arranging the Present and Saving the Past 225
Chapter 19 Understanding Urban Design 227
The First Cities of Humankind 227
Ancient Greek and Roman Town Order: Hooked on a Classic 228
Medieval Towns: Defense and Commerce 230
The Ideal Cities of the Renaissance 230
Royal Bombast and Power: Baroque Grand Plans 233
Cities in the Age of Enlightenment 234
American Cities: Growing on the Grid 235
Staying Connected: Urban Growth Explosion 237
Modern Cities of Tomorrow: The 'Burbs 239
Postwar Plans: From Sprawl to Smart Growth 240
Chapter 20 Historic Preservation: Saving the Past for the Future 243
Just How Far Should It Go? 243
The Gold Standards of Architectural Rescue 244
The Upside of Preservation 247
Patriotism Saves the Day (And a Few Buildings, Too!) 248
The Face of Preservation Today 249
Part VI The Part of Tens 253
Chapter 21 The Ten Most Fascinating Architects Working Today 255
Tadao Ando 255
Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio 256
Frank Gehry 257
Zaha Hadid 257
Jacques Herzog and Pierre De Meuron 258
Rem Koolhaas 258
Daniel Libeskind 259
Jean Nouvel 259
Renzo Piano 260
Antoine Predock 261
Chapter 22 Ten Architectural Masterpieces 263
The Parthenon 263
The Pantheon 264
Chartres Cathedral 265
Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio 266
Katsura Palace 266
San Ivo della Sapienza 267
Altes Museum 268
Thomas Crane Library 269
Villa Savoye 269
Seagram Building 270
Chapter 23 Ten Amazing Items of Trivia That'll Impress All Your Friends! 271
One of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World Is Still Around! 271
French Gothic Cathedral Collapses! 272
World's Largest Art Gallery Is Russian! 272
Disney Steals Design from Bavarian Castle! 273
Women Join All-Male Architecture Profession! 273
Architect Murdered by Jealous Husband! 274
Hotel Survives Worst Japanese Earthquake of the Twentieth Century! 274
New York City Home to the World's Largest Gothic Cathedral! 275
Famous Architect Disqualified for Using the Wrong Ink! 276
Skyscraper Resembles Chippendale Furniture! 276
Chapter 24 The Top Ten Skyscrapers 279
Chrysler Building: Art Deco Fantasy 279
Empire State Building: New York's Highest 280
Lever House: Cleaning Up the Avenue 280
John Hancock Center: "Big John" 281
Sears Tower: Office in a Tube 282
Boston's Hancock Tower: Blowing in the Wind 282
Hong Kong Shanghai Bank: High-Tech Beauty 283
Petronas Towers: The World's Tallest 284
World Trade Towers: An Icon Destroyed 284
Index 287
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