For everyone interested in looking beyond the façades of architectural landmarks to learn about the forces that shaped them, Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity has been a definitive resource since its publication in 1986. Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman, professors at New York University, weave complex information into an engrossing narrative. While the authors' focus is on the Western tradition, shared ancient roots inspired a chapter on aspects of Islamic architecture. In the second edition, Trachtenberg's well-supported opinions add a lively sense of engagement to a new chapter surveying major trends of the 1980s and 1990s (work by Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, Daniel Liebeskind, and others). Among the special delights of the book are its excursions into fascinating architectural byways, such as the history of castles, why the mendicant monks wanted simpler churches, and the superiority of the truss to the girder. More than 1,000 illustrations, including 91color plates, provide ample visual reference. --Cathy Curtis --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
This new edition updates the 1986 edition of this authoritative historical survey of Western architecture. As the introduction points out, this survey is "mainly a history of monumental buildings." Trachtenberg (Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art and Power in Early Modern Florence) and Hyman (Marcel Breuer, Architect) proceed chronologically, discussing significant styles, works, and architects. The scope is more restrictive than that of other heavyweights, e.g., Sir Banister Fletcher's a History of Architecture and Spiro Kostof and others' A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals, which include non-Western and vernacular architecture. Nevertheless, this new volume considers diverse modes of modern architecture that have flourished, abetted by computer-aided design and unprecedented wealth, during the past 20 years. Included are very recent masterworks such as Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin. The high-quality graphics include 91 color plates, and an illustrated glossary is provided. The many libraries holding the previous edition will want to purchase this update; other large public and academic libraries should also consider. David R. Conn, Surrey P.L., B.C.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.