Architecture (Eyewitness Companions Series)by Jonathan Glancey, Thomas Cussans (Contribution by)
Explore the world's greatest buildings! Architecture is filled with amazing illustrations and photographs that take you to the heart of the world's landmark buildings. Get the opportunity to look beyond the facade. Examine materials and technology that shape buildings, and identify the key elements and decorative features of each architectural style. This is the best definitive visual guide on architecture; it covers 5,000 years of architectural design, style, and construction from airports to ziggurats.
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If you've ever looked at a major building and wondered about its style -- or mix of styles -- this book offers a good place to start. Think of a tourist's guide book with lots of glossy, color pictures and short blurbs. Very handy introduction to major styles. Although it's a paperback, it's a bit heavy so I wouldn't pack it for a trip to London, Madrid or Dubai, but I would check it before leaving to help me sort out the main characteristics of the styles I might encounter. The layout is somewhat chronological in that it deals with "ages" or dominant influnces in particular periods. Handy primer for a a curious novice.