An inviting exploration of architecture across cultures and centuries by one of the field’s eminent authors
In this sweeping history, from the Stone Age to the present day, Witold Rybczynski shows how architectural ideals have been affected by technological, economic, and social changes—and by changes in taste. The host of examples ranges from places of worship such as Hagia Sophia and Brunelleschi’s Duomo to living spaces such as the Katsura Imperial Villa and the Alhambra, national icons such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Sydney Opera House, and skyscrapers such as the Seagram Building and Beijing’s CCTV headquarters. Rybczynski’s narrative emphasizes the ways that buildings across time and space are united by the human desire for order, meaning, and beauty.
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This is the story of architecture’s physical manifestation of the universal aspiration to celebrate, honor, and commemorate, and an exploration of the ways that each building is a unique product of patrons, architects, and builders. Firm in opinion, even-handed, and rooted in scholarship, this book will delight anyone interested in understanding the buildings they use, visit, and pass by each day.
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