Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Learn more Shop now Learn more Fire Kids Edition Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Pre-order now Shop Men's Shop Women's

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£10.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 30 September 2009
The book is arranged into short chapters each of which concentrates on one of the major features common to most buildings: doors, windows, arches, stairs, etc. Each page within each chapter discusses a particular period and how the major feature is distinguished in that period - this gives the book a comfortable predictable rhythm, but does on occasion lead to unnecessary repetition if reading the book cover to cover.

The glossary is sufficient for those of us whose vocabulary does not, at the time of starting the book, incorporate the many arhitectural terms used throughout the book.

The illustrations are engravings not photographs, and at the outset I had my doubts that they would be sufficient but for the most part they effectively illustrate the points being made in the text.

The book does not (at this size it can not) cover architecture in much depth, but it does offer an excellent overview that will inspire the reader to read the buildings they encounter from day to day (either in person or on their TV screens). It may also help the reader to understand why the appearance of some buildings can seem unusual or simply uninteresting.
0Comment| 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 April 2010
Cragoe makes no assumptions about her readers' knowledge of architecture, yet has managed to provide a surprisingly informative yet concise volume.

She begins by illustrating the features which which help us to identify the function and style of buildings and the construction materials. However, most of the volume is devoted to the features (the towers, windows, domes etc) which provide 'clues' to the period and place. Short yet informative paragraphs complement the engravings, which are painstakingly detailed, despite being small.

Much (possibly most) of this volume is devoted to examples which follow classical and church architecture. There are some references to vernacular houses, shops etc, but they are covered in less detail. Nevertheless, this is an exceptional valuable resource, both for those who are involved in the design process, and for lay readers.
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 December 2012
As a photographer who visits towns and new places, who prefers to carry lenses and lunch rather than hefty books (or digital media - I've yet to catch up on that front), this book seemed ideal; I bought mine from a High St store.

Compact in size - and weight - and with a plastic-coated cover that should be easy to keep clean, that's also slightly bigger than the actual pages (to protect them) this little book has really been designed for the traveller.

I quite like my architecture, but prefer photographing it but often do wonder what bits are called what - and more importantly, what style and period it is, especially when describing a picture to someone!

Now, I'm sure that there are more comprehensive guides out there and possibly more accurate etc, but for what it sets out to do and especially for the price - get it discounted and it's the same as an Ordnance Survey map! The colour-coded but plainly drawn plans are simple and fairly easy on the eye.

No, I do not carry it with me all the time and like so many things in our lives, could use it more but when I do, it's well nigh on perfect. At this time of year, it could easily be one of those (awfully labelled) 'stocking-fillers', a safe and inexpensive gift for someone who remotely has an interest in architecture - even for a schoolchild relative as a hint, an educational guide that may get them becoming the next Sir Norman Foster - it really is that easy to follow. Highly Recommended.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 July 2010
I've always been slightly interested in architecture and bought this book hoping to learn something useful. I enjoyed the way the book is structured - describing columns, vaults, windows etc - with each section taking you through the historical development. The problem is, being a small-format book, the illustrations (which are mainly drawings) are small and sometimes drawn flat-on without the benefit of perspective to provide depth. Also, many of the words used in architecture are esoteric and I felt that I was thrown in at the deep-end so had to keep referring to the glossary.

I can imagine that the book would be a good pocket volume for students, but overall, I was frustrated by it. Having been through the book twice I still woudn't feel confident in describing pendentives or volutes. And I really want to be able to do so.
0Comment| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 December 2010
I know fairly little of architecture, but reading this book has definitely been very interesting and informative. It doesn't go into too much depth on one particular detail, and is laid out so that it starts off more basic and broad in the beginning of the book, slowly going into greater depth on each type of style and various other features (columns, roofs, etc.) The illustrations are also very nice, and no architectural words are used that are not explained in the very extensive glossary, and are usually covered somewhere in the book anyway.
Five star!
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 November 2013
This is a fantastic book for explaining the different features and styles of buildings throughout the decades and centuries we've lived in them. Using simplified drawings and sketches of well known (and some not so well known but real and existing buildings) the author explains the principles and purpose of the various features.
This is more of a text book to dip into when you want to understand a building, not a book to read from cover to cover - although I did halfway through before coming to this conclusion.
It is small enough to carry around to refer to as and when you see a building and want to understand better why it's build that way it is.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 October 2016
This is a delightful small format book that summarizes the historical evolution of 14 different architectural features, from building type to style, materials, roofs, windows, chimneys, etc. Helpful and well-drawn illustrations accompany each portion of concise text and account for about half of the space.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 April 2010
A Russian friend asked for a book which would give a solid introduction to western architecture. I understand that he was well pleased and it was just what he had in mind when making the request.

I am not an expert in that field by any means, and as I read it through, I realised that it would be an invaluable reference for me too, so I had to get another copy to keep. I have not regretted it.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 June 2009
This is the book I've been waiting for - lots of good illustrations to back up the text.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 January 2011
Definitely a reference book, not something you can read & learn. One to try & remember to take with you on a walk in town. Don't like the way the book is arranged. You need to seem to know a bit about what you are looking for, i.e. you can't just look up "roof features" or "windows." They are all arranged by period or style & it can be difficult to locate what you're after, but a good initial browse will help & it could be quite useful. Better if you know a little bit about architecture, would'nt recommend this for a complete beginner.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)