Architecture Is Elementary

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-09-30
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith

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Awarded for its unique ink illustrations, this newly revised edition of Architecture is Elementary is a self-instruction book that concisely and coherently discusses the principles of architectural design. Stimulating lessons challenge the lay person and trigger creative responses. New features include a fresh design and layout, 50 new illustrations of recent and planned buildings, and new lessons that update the book for the world of 21st-century architecture.

Table of Contents

Alike and Different
Size by Comparing
Built Environment
Repetition and Rhythm
Units and Clusters
Measuring by Eye and Ruler
Relating Parts of the Whole
Architecture in Environment
Function and Form
Shapes from Nature
Considering All Views
Optical Weight
Rhythm, Pattern, Movement
A Identifying Architectural Styles
B Ancient World Period
C Early Christian Period
D Medieval Period
E Renaissance Period
F Baroque Period
G Revolutionary Period
H Twentieth-Century Style
Orders of Architecture
Architectural Periods and Styles in Your Community
Concave and Convex Forms
Interesting Divisions of Space
Symbolism (Building "Talk")
Golden Mean
Building Design for Special Needs
Light and Shadow-Solar Energy
Positive and Negative Forms and Spaces
Mass Equals Geometric Bulk
Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Space
Roof Systems
Organic and Mechanical Structures
Hidden Patterns
Complexity and Simplicity-A Balance
Extending Points, Lines, and Planes to Make Form and Volume
Architectural Groupings and Clusters
City Planning
Contrast as Used by Architects
Order-the Most important Design Concept
Proportion and Regulating Lines
Adjusting Positive and Negative Spaces
Naming Parts of Structures and Processes
Planning Building Sites
Postmodern, "Green" Architecture, and Deconstructivism
Time Lines
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


"Ruskin said: 'Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts, the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others, but of the three the only trustworthy one is the last.' On the whole I think this is true. If I had to say which was telling the truth about society, a speech by a minister of housing or the actual buildings put up in his time, I should believe the buildings." -Kenneth Clark Why Study Architecture? Years of research indicate that the lay public has not grown much beyond the fourth grade level in visual literacy. The danger in leaving our culture dangling at the fourth grade level visually is that it is a human tendency not to miss that which we do not know. Quality, then, when not imagined or recognized, is not even missed-much to the joy of mediocrity and her friends congregating on each corner. One of the basic maturities of education is "environmental." The root words of environment declare it to mean the sum total of influences that modify and determine the development of life or character. In all of the earth's history, no culture-no time-has been more in need, been more concerned with environment. We want to preserve rare species, to have clean air and pure water, to enjoy rich forests and wilderness areas. The built environment is one of the major environmental concerns of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The built environment comes under attack from two flanks-historical and aesthetic. The historical attack is actually antihistorical. Many of our finest buildings have become rare species in need of protection. Natural predators in the form of business, government, building codes, demolition crews and remodelers, and modernizers worship at the altar of "progress" as they faithfully destroy our cultural heritage.

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