Architecture for Dummies

tags: buildings

I’ve had this book lying around my house for at least a decade. I tried reading it years ago and abandoned it, but never got rid of it, always meaning to try again. Halfway through, I remember what my issue with the book was…

The biggest problem with this book is one of format – just not enough pictures. Architecture is a visual art, and when fully half (probably two-thirds) the book is a recap of historical architectural styles, you really need to see pictures of what the author is talking about. The author must mention 300 buildings in passing throughout the book, and you get pictures of maybe 10% of them.

It’s extremely hard to envision details and nuances from the text when you can’t see the actual building in question. To do this book right, it would almost have to be a coffee table picture book.

The book did give me some sense of the different architectural style periods. Additionally, I was impressed by the apparently enormous impact that religion has had on architecture over the millennia. Many of the architectural marvels of the world have been churches, and houses of worship defined many of the architectural periods.

Book Info