Editor’s Picks: Fascinating Titles on Architecture from Around the World

Architecture is one of the most ancient and enduring forms of artwork. It has endless variations, both geographically and by time period. The titles you’ll find below display architecture from Ancient Rome, to Ottoman Istanbul, to modern England, and so much more. Any architecture or art enthusiast will find subjects of great interest within these pages.

Hidden Cape Town 
9781431702992The author and photographer have collaborated to reveal the artworks and architectural secrets that lie behind the doors of some well-known and lesser known, landmark buildings in and around the ‘Mother City’. These buildings are part of the country’s collective heritage, reflecting the myriad cultural influences that have shaped South Africa. These ‘hidden’ interiors include the Sendinggestig Museum, South African National Library, City Hall, Palm Tree Mosque, Welgelegen, the Royal Observatory, Bertram House, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St George, Groote Schuur, the Old Synagogue, Irma Stern Museum and the officer’s mess of the Cape Town Rifles (‘The Dukes’). Superb photography coupled with interesting and informative text, this is essential for anyone interested in South African architecture, design or cultural history.
Buy it here $39.95

The Churches of Rome 
9781904597285The churches of Rome constitute arguably the most important manifestations of art and architecture in the Western world. This book is a detailed description of 251 churches in Rome and the Vatican City, built or decorated between 1527 and 1870, and is based on extensive research in state, church and private archives, as well as an exhaustive survey of modern and historical bibliographical sources. Its aim is to provide a more complete picture of the construction and decoration of these churches than previously known. This entails not only providing the names of the architects who designed the churches, but also the names of the masons (muratori) and stone cutters (scalpellini), who built the churches and whose skills were essential for realizing the architect’s plans. This depth of information is carried through to the interior decorations. The interior of each church is then described in depth, on a chapel-by-chapel basis, and includes stucco work, marble revetment, monuments, metal work, fresco and painted decorations and altarpieces. For each church, a brief historical introduction is given and a general bibliography supplied. Archival research has brought to light a great number of works of art whose authorship and/or dates have hitherto been unknown, including works by well-known artists but also many that are unknown to scholars. A great number of works of art whose authorship has hitherto been unknown are published in this volume for the first time. An alphabetic index of artists (consisting of over two thousand names) is supplied, and includes the churches where their works are to be found and accurate biographical information for each artist. In addition there is an index of patrons, and a street and rione index. Also provided are the names and contact details of the archives consulted in researching this book. The book is intended to be used as a reference and resource book, as well as to be used by visitors to these churches. It is lavishly illustrated with photographs.
Buy it here $300.00

Temple Beauties 
9781905739448The portico was a defining feature of the Classical architectural revival of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century in Britain, but has been rarely studied in its own right. In this well illustrated volume Richard Riddell first provides a definition for the portico, then explores its symbolism and significance. He selects representative examples of different portico types, relating them to stylistic developments and influential models. The work also addresses and interprets the different civic, ecclesiastical, commercial and domestic contexts in which the portico is to be found.
Buy it here $70.00

The Art and Architecture of Ottoman Istanbul 
9781859642245Bridging the gap between the specialist scholar and the educated general reader, the history of the city is discussed, from the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453 up to the beginning of the twentieth century when the Ottoman Empire was finally dismantled following the First World War. This historical background appears alongside descriptions and illustrations of Ottoman architecture, regalia, textiles, books, ceramics, calligraphy and painting. Throughout, Yeomans presents the exhilarating alternative of Ottoman art, with its meaning expressed through non-figurative form rather than through the symbol systems and narrative of Western art.
Buy it here $75.00

The Pocket Guide to English Architecture 
9781844680450This user-friendly guide to English architecture up to the mid-twentieth century is divided into styles with examples highlighted (e.g. the Tower of London for Norman Architecture), complemented by original prints which sets this quality book apart from other guides.
The detailed 18th and 19th century (and later) prints enable the reader to understand just what makes these styles so important and have the advantage of being much clearer than much modern photography. Written by architecture expert Philip Wilkinson, this is a must-read book for anyone who wants to know about English architecture in a pocket-size guide, ideal for reading when traveling.
Buy it here $19.99

The Valley of Mud-Brick Architecture 
9781873938010Examining in detail the cities of Shibam and Tarim, Dr Damluji analyses the buildings and planning of the Hadramut region of Yemen. She argues that many new building practices are unsuited to the local environment, lack consideration of climatic needs and are technically inferior to long established construction methods. Moreover, they presuppose ‘imported’ expertise and raw materials and therefore have implications for economic and cultural autonomy.
Buy it here $85.00

Temples and Sanctuaries in the Roman East 
9781842175262This lavishly illustrated volume presents a comprehensive architectural study of 87 individual temples and sanctuaries built in the Roman East between the end of the 1st century BCE and the end of the 3rd century CE, within a broad region encompassing the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. Religious architecture gave faithful expression to the complexity of the Roman East and to its multiplicity of traditions pertaining to ethnic and religious aspects as well as to the powerful influence of Imperial Rome. The source of this power lay in the uniformity of the architectural language, the inventory of forms, the choice of styles and the spatial layout of the buildings. Thus, while temples have an eclectic character, there is an underlying unity of form comprising the podium, the stairway between the terminating walls (antae) and the columns along the entrance front – in other words, the axiality, frontality and symmetry of the temple as viewed from outside.
The temples and sanctuaries studied in this volume demonstrate individual nuances of plan, spatial design, location in the sanctuary and interrelations with the immediate vicinity but can be divided into two main categories: Vitruvian temples (derived from Hellenistic-Roman architecture) and Non-Vitruvian temples (those with plans and spatial designs that cannot be analyzed according to architectural criteria such as those defined by Vitruvius). The individual descriptions presented focus solely upon the analysis of the external and internal space of the temples of all types and do not involve any cultural or ethnic discussion.
Buy it here $99.00

John Nash 
9781848021020John Nash is universally recognized as one of the most important architects of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. As the man responsible for the creation of Regent Street and Regent’s Park, he left an indelible mark on the West End of London, and his two most famous buildings – the Brighton Pavilion and Buckingham Palace – are crucial to any understanding of the monarchy in the age of the Prince Regent (later George IV). Yet, even before he became involved in these ambitious projects, he made a major contribution to domestic architecture through the design of a series of stylistically varied villas, country houses and cottages in which he applied the doctrines of the Picturesque with an inventiveness and panache that has rarely been surpassed. No complete study of Nash’s work has been published since Sir John Summerson’s The Life and Work of John Nash, Architect in 1980. Since then, new scholarship has revised some of Summerson’s conclusions and cast new light on several important aspects of Nash’s work. The aim of this book – which originated in a symposium held by the Georgian Group in September 2009 – is to bring together this recent scholarship in a single volume, and so bring this most engaging of architects to a new generation of readers.
Buy it here $120.00


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