Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture. ( Twentieth Edition )

Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture. ( Twentieth Edition )

by Architectural Press
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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The 20th edition of Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture is the first major work of history to include an overview of the architectural achievements of the 20th Century. Banister Fletcher has been the standard one volume architectural history for over 100 years and continues to give a concise and factual account of world architecture from the earliest times. In this twentieth and centenary edition, edited by Dan Cruickshank with three consultant editors and fourteen new contributors, chapters have been recast and expanded and a third of the text is new.

* There are new chapters on the twentieth-century architecture of the Middle East (including Israel), South-east Asia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, the Indian subcontinent, Russia and the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Latin America. * The chapter on traditional architecture of India has been rewritten and the section on traditional Chinese architecture has been expanded, both with new specially commissioned drawings * The architecture of the Americas before 1900 has been enlarged to include, for the first time, detailed coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean * The book's scope has been widened to include more architecture from outside Europe * The bibliography has been expanded into a separate section and is a key source of information on every period of world architecture * The coverage of the 20th century architecture of North America has been divided into two chapters to allow fuller coverage of contemporary works * 20th century architecture of Western Europe has been radically recast * For the first time the architecture of the twentieth century is considered as a whole and assessed in an historical perspective * Coverage has been extended to include buildings completed during the last ten years * The coverage of Islamic architecture has been increased and re-organised to form a self contained section This unique reference book places buildings in their social, cultural and historical settings to describe the main patterns of architectural development, from Prehistoric to the International Style. Again in the words of Sir Banister Fletcher, this book shows that 'Architecture ... provides a key to the habits, thoughts and aspirations of the people, and without a knowledge of this art the history of any period lacks that human interest with which it should be invested.'

*Winner of the International Architecture Book Award, The American Institute of Architects Book of the Century.

*THE source book for the historical development of architecture --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


'..the whole point of Banister Fletcher is that it does cram everything into
a single volume. It will remain one of the most thumbed tomes in Building
Design's office library..above all, gloriously and frustratingly, invaluable.'
Building Design, October 1996

'..clearly a bargain.'
The Architect's Journal, October 1996

'...a revolution has taken place in Banister Fletcher. The timid
modernizing, the anxious realignments of the past fifty years are over;
under Dan Cruickshank's editorship, it has achieved a thoroughness and
flexibility one would never have thought possible within the grandiose
shell of this late Victorian institution. Half the pleasure, as half the volume, of Banister Fletcher is its pictures. The thousands of photographs are, as always in Banister Fletcher, unimprovably fine.'
The Times Educational Supplement, November 1996

is 'a monument in itself'
Book Reviews on the Internet 1996

"A thundering classic appears again with useful additions. As Sir Banister Fletcher said, 'The study of architecture opens up the enjoyment of buildings with an appreciation of their purpose, meaning, and charm.' These words aptly summarise what this book has become for generations of students and architects. No serious fan of architecture should be without it."
American Institute of Architects.

'It is such a remarkable book, containing so much detail and so skilfully illustrated, that it is a must for all architectural and surveying offices at such a reasonable price.'
ASI Journal, Jan 1997

'An easy-to-use reference book with all the world's major architecture
described, explained and, in many cases, fully illustrated.'
B & M Architecture & Design

'Students would be well advised not to waste money on a pile of discounted colourful coffee-table books, but rather to concentrate resources on this single volume... It will continue its usefulness beyond the years of study and become an additional aid to everyday practice.'
Times Higher Educations Supplement

'...the bible of architectural history... Banister Fletcher remains a potted history with remarkably pithy writing.'

'...succinct characterization of individual architects and a liveliness of both criticism and description'
The Times Educational Supplement
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just so.....juicy! March 17, 2000
For over a century, this has been THE classic study of the history of architecture. It is a work of art in it's own right and worth owning simply for the joy of hefting it's not inconsiderable weight and browsing once in a while - even as a layman. The text is extraordinarily readable and the illustrations are a delight. It's so packed full of information - believe me, even if you have only a limited interest in architecture you will learn a great deal that will surprise you from this book! Enthusiasts for classical and other older branches of architecture may wish to consider purchasing second-hand copies of older editions - they're somehow nicer, and devote less space to the debased modern form of the art. (Yes, I'm biased and proud of it!:) Of a reasonable collection of architectural history books, (including several larger-format, beautifully-illustrated coffee-table books in the modern style)this book is easily my favourite. It has class, style and above all, character. Buy it!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of historical detail October 17, 2003
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mine is a new 1975 edition (which was a small fraction of the new price). It is as much a history of the world--and an incredibly detailed one--as a history of architecture. It opens each of its 40 chapters with a discussion of a civilization or era, then describes the buildings very matter-of-factly. Sometimes opinions emerge: Louis Kahn is cited as an example of a flash-in-the-pan; FLLW's Guggenheim is criticized as impractical.

The photos are top quality B/W, often very old. Its real strength is early architecture; by chapter 35, it is only finishing up the Renaissance. The authors are so knowledgeable, the writing so polished after 18 editions, all others pale by comparison.

I don't think there's much of a market for these books outside of libraries, but those who read it will marvel at its erudition.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Complete Book on Western Architecture April 25, 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Without a doubt, this text is the Quintessential Gold Standard for introductory Western Architecture. A must have for anybody who is serious about learning about how Western Architecture has evolved over time, and with little if any bias. Its only weak area is with architectural development in Asia and South/Central Meso America. Other than that, this is my third copy of the text and it just keeps getting better. Believe me when I say, this is one book you may never want to loan out, for it may not get returned. I know, it's happened to me once already.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Architectural Bible October 7, 1998
By A Customer
The comparitive method used in this book is probably the best way of understanding architecture, and putting it into a modern perspective. The diagrams, tables, and charts allow the reader to analize, compare, and then take their own conclusions from the material. It is the quitessential architectural reference book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Wow! Wow! February 9, 1999
By A Customer
If there ever was a book on the history of architecture this is it! So very well documented with numerous pictures and chronologies. Wow! the mother of all architecture books-well worth the price.
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