Understanding architecture: Its elements, history, and meaning (Icon editions) 1st Edition

5 customer reviews
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This lively survey by the author of A Concise History of Architecture ( LJ 7/79) examines architecture as a cultural phenomenon as well as an artistic and technological achievement. Roth (architecture, Univ. of Oregon) argues that architecture does more than provide shelter; it is also a physical expression of how people view themselves in relation to each other and to the universe. Part 1 provides a solid introduction to the discipline's form and function; Part 2 focuses on the major buildings, styles, and architects from prehistoric times to the present, with a valuable historical overview opening each chapter. Non-Western and vernacular architecture are mentioned only in passing, the one small shortcoming in an otherwise readable and lucid book. Highly recommended.
- H. Ward Jandl, National Park Svce., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Leland M. Roth is Marion Dean Ross Professor of Architectural History at the University of Oregon at Eugene. He is the author of American Architecture: A History; A Concise History of American Architecture; McKim, Mead & White, Architects; and other works. He lives in Eugene, Oregon.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Icon editions
  • Hardcover: 542 pages
  • Publisher: Harper & Row; 1st edition (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00071RM2Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By D. Paul on September 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm a college instructor for beginning level Architecture Appreciation, and the Leland Roth book is an excellent choice to use for such a class. It is concise, informative and for the students, easy to read. Also, for their purposes, because the book is mostly black and white, it is rather cost efficient in an age of over-priced rip-off textbooks. The only problem with the book is that it can really stand to be updated. There is no chapter about Decontructivism or anything that followed, and the book ends with Mario Botta in 1993, which these days is antiquity already. Roth must know that his book is a gold standard for such a class. Knowing this, it is imperative that he revise it soon. it's too good of a product to stop 12 years ago.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a very well written approach to the understanding of Architecture and Urbanism. In the first half of the book, Roth analyzes the basic concepts or "elements" that conform today's Architecture. The second half of this clear and readable text is dedicated to the investigation of the history and significance of Architecture. These enjoyable and didactic thirteen chapters are an excellent starting point for a journey into past and present Architecture
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating look at the history of architecture and how to understand it, as the title says.

A brilliant introduction to the field for those of us with knowledge only of what a cinder block is!

I only wish that I lived in a bigger city so I could spot some of the architectural devices the author illustrates.
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By Sarah Grecni on February 14, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived as described. Recommend.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas A. Rupp on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely fast shipping, and product was packaged perfectly. Would definitely do business with again.
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