Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: Visual Reference Guides Architecture by Jonathan Glancey

Architecture (Visual Reference Guides Series)Title: Architecture
Author: Jonathan Glancey
Source/Format: Purchased; Paperback
More Details: Nonfiction; Reference; Architecture 
Publisher/Publication Date: Metro Books; March 15, 2010


Synopsis from Goodreads...

Visual Reference Guides: Architecture, the definitive visual guide, allows you to discover 5,000 years of architectural design, style, and construction, from airports to ziggurats. You'll be able to explore the world's great buildings through amazing illustrations that take you right to the heart of the world's landmark buildings. Look beyond the façades and examine the materials and technology that shape buildings, and identify the key elements and decorative features of each architectural style. It's the perfect addition to any architecture enthusiast's library, whether expert or novice...
When I sat down to give Visual Reference Guides: Architecture a read, I really had no expectations except one: a visual trip around the world and through the ages of architecture. That’s what this book was about, architecture, and how it changed or stayed the same over time, or even fluctuated backwards to a more classical style and forwards to something new.

What this book does is give a small profile on different examples of architecture as well as architects who worked on specific buildings—if the information was available. It’s also divided into clear sections that focused on a specific architectural style that sometimes depended on region/culture/country, and available building materials—everything from Classical Revival to Baroque & Rococo, and even Gothic Revival and Modernism. Some styles had similarities, but others were noticeably different. My favorite types of architecture were found in the sections that discussed Baroque, Rococo, Greecian, Indian, and Southeast Asian styles.

Since this was a visual reference guide, photos made up a lot of the book—there was almost one for every profile, give or take a few. So, there were some blank spots in the information provided, but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. The photos also served as visual examples of the types of architecture being described. Another aspect I liked about this book, was that there were pages dedicated to summaries of information that gave a little history about each style, which was cool since the explanations were handy.

I like architecture in its many forms. Since, after all, it is a part of everyday life and the source of modern convenience and comfort—really handy when it’s over a hundred degrees outside, just saying. So, I really enjoyed this book and the way it highlighted my favorite architectural features as well as those that were new to me. My money was well spent on this one.

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