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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quantity Surveyor's view, 31 Aug 2004
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
The author's introduction describes Architects as "a priesthood" who have "tricked stone, brick ,marble, steel... into sensational structures that raise our spirits above everyday concerns." He also descibes how God has been referred to as "the great and original architect." So, from the outset, this book did not look a promising read for the Quantity Surveyor. It reinforced my suspicions as to how Architects perceived themselves. Certainly, these descriptions do not match any of the Architects that I have worked with!!
However, patience reveals this to be an excellent guide to nearly every form of architecture from all ages and all corners of the world. Little appears to be missing. Lavishly illustrated as is the norm with all DK books, I found myself really enjoying this effort and learning that, sometimes, even if our fellow professionals can be a little late with the design information on site and cavelier with finances, they can sometimes come up with some beautiful buildings. Whilst my interest was originally in Gothic archetecture of the Middle Ages, I found the chapters on Victorian building to be the most rewarding. It is odd to see this architecture appreciated these days as it's value was not so well recognised when I started in the profession 20 years ago.
Unfortunately, I cannot share the author's enthusiasm for modern architecture and found myself disagreeing with much of the last quarter of this book. Just the type of comments that one would expect from an Architect - rather like a colleague who I met many years ago who tried to praise the Tricorn in Portsmouth. (The most hated buidling in Hampshire and, thankfully, about to be demolished.)
In summary, this is an excellent introduction to architecture, even if it negelcts to mention how many of the projects mentioned within it's covers came in within budget !
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good content, a truly good read., 30 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Story of Architecture (Hardcover)
This book is a standard above the rest, it runs through the history of architecture from very early days to modern masterpieces.The author has got a good selection of pictures and diagrams to explain the text, not going overboard with the overall content but enough to satisfy the eyes as well as the mind.A truly good read.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat to read and a great introduction to the subject, 7 July 2005
By 
Mr. Colin Wells (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
Worth reading cover to cover, this book is written in a lively style and has DK's usual high quality photos on every page. I bought a second copy as a gift for a friend. I wish I'd read this when I was at school - I'd have wanted to become an architect.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent (and opinionated) survey, 10 Jun 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
THis is a very, very good introduction to the complexities of architecture, at about the freshman level of college. Starting with the dawn of civilization (in what is now Iraq), Glancey takes the reader on a tour of human history from the angle of what we build to worship, work, and live in. THe basics are covered extremely well, providing a context for further research.

Glancey writes with grace and clarity, dividing each major movement into regular cuts of two pages, each with brilliant images. While this format shoehorns things into categories that are a bit too sharply delineated, that kind of reductionism is a necessity in this kind of survey. In the latter part of the book, some of the distinctions appear artificial, but then we are in a period where no dominating style - you get post-modern, decontructivist, and organic, etc. - has emerged and the author had to make some decisions regarding how to put them in the format. To his credit, Glancey does not ignore the exceptions and quirks.

One thing I enjoyed about the book is that Glancey does not shy away from making strikingly loud judgements, many of which I did not share. Corbusier, he writes, "was the most inventive and poetic architect who ever lived." Now that is strong stuff and I would never have expected it in a routine survey! (While I can respect and understand what Corbusier did, I don't love it like Glancey.) But that is what makes this book more than a run of the mill overview - it adds flavor and stimulates. Also, while international, because Glancey is a Brit, much of it focuses on Britain and contemporary Europe, which provides a valuable contrast to more US-centric views.

Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper coffee-table stuff (yet great for budding architects too!), 25 Oct 2009
By 
D. Li "xenopus fanatic" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
I think I should tell you that I've only looked at this book for about 20 minutes and I'm already captivated by it! The sheer variety in buildings, eras and cultures covered in this is just amazing.

This book was on the 'reading list' for one of my modules at university, and was said to be a 'coffee-table' type of book. It's good enough for my assignment AND still be interesting to anyone who isn't studying architecture - i.e. the average Joe. I can't help but be distracted by the coverage this book has whilst doing work. Like many other books, it is a little orientated towards the western world, but does include a fair amount of other international architecture which is relevant and interesting.

The book is very well written and the pictures are great. The layout of the book is far from boring, despite what is in my opinion, a boring cover. The book is organised into topic chapters for easy understanding. Many architects are covered, and it has a decent glossary for those words which you may be less familiar with.

Buy it, you won't regret it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of Architecture, 4 Oct 2009
By 
Ronald S. Atkinson "zook" (north east uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
A really good beginners' book with interest for the knowledgeable also. The illustrations are first rate. Don't expect great depth, there are only 229 pages, but a good overview of the subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great story....., 23 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
Typical Dorling Kindersley history of book.... fantastic order to it, beautiful colour illustrations. invaluable to give a good taste of the history of architecture from ancient to modern.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight, 30 July 2013
By 
S. Harvey "Sheila981" (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
Bought for my daughter whilst reading Architecture at Uni. Excellent photography and interesting text. Actually quite enjoyed reading it myself....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good!, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
Exactly what it said and in a reasonable time. I am definitley pleased with the purchase that I have made
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely gift, 30 April 2010
This review is from: The Story of Architecture (Paperback)
I bought this as a gift for my partner who had just a beginners interest in Architecture... and as far as I've heard it's a great introduction to the different styles and a good mix of pictures and text. A good place to start I think :)
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The Story of Architecture
The Story of Architecture by Jonathan Glancey (Paperback - 6 Mar 2003)
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