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Oxford: An Architectural Guide [Paperback]

Geoffrey Tyack
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Mar 1998
Few cities have a greater concentration of significant architecture than Oxford. Within a city of only 130,000 inhabitants there are important buildings, many of them of great beauty, from every period from the eleventh century down to the present. Geoffrey Tyack chronicles the architectural development of Oxford—both University and City—from its origins to the late twentieth century, explaining the idiosyncracies of Oxford's architectural history, and placing the buildings within their historical context. His approach is chronological, and his emphasis on what can actually be seen. Although many books have been written about individual buildings and various aspects of Oxford architecture, no book of this kind has been published for many years.

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Oxford: An Architectural Guide + Oxford Colleges + Oxford City Guide - English
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reprint edition (19 Mar 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198174233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198174233
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


How and why the college came to be one of the most adventurous and successful patrons of modern architecture in Oxford is the principal subject of Geoffrey Tyack's thorough and revealing study. (Twentieth Century Society Newsletter)

About the Author

is Director of the Stanford University Centre in Oxford.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Like many important English provincial towns, Oxford owes its origins to the great expansion of urban life which occurred in the late 9th and 10th centuries. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide, if just a tad dated 21 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the only really comprehensive and detailed guide to the buildings of Oxford, that I am aware of. Though a little dated eg the Ashmolean upgrade is only covered as plans, overall given we're looking at approx. 1,000 years of history what's 10 years?

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the buildings and not just a few superficial stories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 15 July 2014
By ht2611
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Companion. 31 Jan 2014
By Stromata VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent and easy to use comprehensive guide to the architecture of the splendid city of Oxford and its environs. Written in chronological order with some excellent half and full page photographs. Four very useful 'architectural walks' included at the end of the book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, comprehensive and engaging 14 July 2012
By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER
Think of Oxford and most people will think of the colleges and univeristy buildings, seen so often (and in a strange patchwork form dictated by the exigencies of filming) in the many episodes of Morse and Lewis. Of course, many of the colleges are very beautiful, and all have architectural interest. From the gothic splendour of New College, through the late-medieval hugger-mugger of Worcester's "Pump Quad" and the classical calm of the same college's terrace, the idiosyncratic Scots baronial of Balliol, the fruit-cake polychrome brick work of Keble, and the late Arts and Crafts lines of Nuffield to the stark modernism of St Catherines, the colleges present the visitor with a survey of British architecture in all its many-splendoured wotsit, and undoubtedly dominate the townscape.

However this book doesn't make the mistake of thinking the colleges are the whole story. Instead, the author takes us on a historical journey from the Saxon beginnings of Oxford to the present day, introducing us to lesser-known but far more varied landmarks such as the Saxon church tower slap bang in the middle of the main shopping street, the Norman invaders' castle which became a prison (and, in recent years, a rather strange hotel), the stunning Romanesque beauty of Iffley church - and on, till we encounter the car showroom which was so imposing it later became a courtroom among other more modern curiosities.

The book has interesting black and white photographs, including older ones which show former aspects of buildings and those which have now vanished (I would have liked more but Tyzack rather assumes you'll be going round seeing it all for yourself) and plenty of little maps to show you where things are, and to relate them to each other.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oxford University architecture 29 Oct 2010
By amber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great compendium to take on your Oxford tour. I became interested in this while watching Inspector Lewis on PBS.
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