A History of Building Types
Nikolaus Pevsner


Available again in paperback, this first survey of building types ever written remains an essential guide to vital and often overlooked features of the architectural and social inheritance of the West. Here Nikolaus Pevsner shares his immense erudition and keenly discerning eye with readers curious about the ways in which architecture reflects the character of society. He describes twenty types of buildings ranging from the most monumental to the least, from the most ideal to the most utilitarian. More than seven hundred illustrations illuminate the text.

Both Europe and America have been covered with examples chosen largely from the nineteenth century, the crucial period for diversification. Included are national monuments, libraries, theaters, hospitals, prisons, factories, hotels, and many other public buildings; churches and private dwellings have been excluded for practical reasons. The author is concerned not only with the evolution of each type in response to social and architectural change, but also with differing attitudes toward function, materials, and style.

The late Sir Nikolaus Pevsner was Professor of Art History at Birkbeck College, University of London for many years. Through his teaching and his many publications--including Pioneers of Modern Art, An Outline of European Architecture, and the Penguin county guides to The Buildings of England--he has greatly influenced the study and enjoyment of architecture.