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Elements, Materials, Form
Francesca Prina

Paperback | 2009 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691141503
384 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 | 325 color illus.
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By way of more than 2,000 years of architectural history, this richly illustrated book defines and shows all the major components of the art--from theory, plans, and models to structural elements such as columns, arches, and domes, to materials and decorative elements. With beautiful color photographs on virtually every page, and precise captions that point directly to important aspects of each photo, this book provides an easy-to-use visual grammar of the nearly infinite variety with which the elements of architecture have been used in buildings across the ages and around the world--from Western Europe and Greece to the Americas, the Middle East, China, Japan, India, and Africa. Each entry includes a definition, illustrated examples, and detailed analysis and explanation, all presented in the context of architecture's historical evolution. Architecture frequently juxtaposes famous and lesser-known buildings from widely different times and places, providing delightful surprises for the expert as well as a fresh, informative, and pleasurable introduction for general readers and students.


"There's no shortage of architectural primers, but this one stands out for two reasons. First, the eye-popping clarity of the 325 photographs. Second, its refreshing breadth: There's a section on murals as well as metallic alloys, and the section on staircases includes a 1932 stadium ramp as well as the entrance to a 1528 chateau. More than a cheat sheet, it's a guide to be enjoyed."--John King, San Francisco Chronicle

"This title combines the best of two art-book formats: it is filled with excellent color photographs that illustrate architectural forms, yet it is also the size of a field guide and can be held comfortably in the hand. . . . Although this is not a standard reference book, it delights the eye with its juxtapositions, and could be the inspiration for a field trip to see these wonderful buildings."--V.E. Young, Choice

"This is not merely a guidebook to the world of architecture. . . . No reader can deny the densely illustrated nature of this book. . . . The author has done her best to compile texts and images that are educational for undergraduate students. The book also presents an informative companion for readers who to visit buildings located in various regions and built in different historical periods."--Gevork Hartoonian, Architectural Science Review


"Francesca Prina's handbook is intelligently written and beautifully illustrated. The book's thematic organization cuts across styles and historical periods. Mixing ancient and contemporary, western and non-western, it establishes thematic affiliations around the idea of architecture as the organization of space, the disposition of material, and the deployment of technology. The annotated photographs give the presentation a telegraphic immediacy. An indispensable teaching tool."--Stan Allen, Architect and Dean of the School of Architecture, Princeton University

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Table of Contents:

Introduction 6
The Tools of the Architect 9
Stability and Form 55
Materials and Techniques 211
Architecture and Decoration 295
Masterpieces Compared 337
Glossary of Terms 374
Photographic Sources 378
Index of Topics 379
Index of Names and Places 380

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  • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

 Paperback : $29.95 ISBN: 9780691141503

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  • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

 Paperback  £24.95 ISBN: 9780691141503

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File created: 7/11/2017

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