A history of architecture: settings and rituals

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, May 4, 1995 - Architecture - 792 pages
0 Reviews
When the late Spiro Kostof's A History of Architecture appeared in 1985, it was universally hailed as a masterpiece--one of the finest books on architecture ever written. The New York Times Book Review, in a front cover review, called it "a magnificent guided tour through mankind's architecture," and The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that "Kostof...has enthralled a generation of students.... Now he has done the same thing for the public at large, in an extraordinary book that is a new kind of architectural history."
This magisterial work has now been revised and expanded by Greg Castillo, Kostof's colleague and literary executor. Insightful, engagingly written, and graced with almost a thousand superb illustrations, the Second Edition of this classic volume offers a sweeping narrative that examines architecture as it reflects the social, economic, and technological systems of human history. The scope of the book is astonishing. No mere survey of famous buildings, Kostof's History examines a surprisingly wide variety of manmade structures: prehistoric huts and the TVA, the pyramids at Giza and the Rome railway station, the ziggurat and the department store. Indeed, Kostof considered every building worthy of attention, every structure or shelter a potential source of insight, whether it be the prehistoric hunting camps at Terra Amata, or the caves at Lascaux with their magnificent paintings, or a twenty-story hotel on the Las Vegas strip. The Second Edition features a new concluding chapter, "Designing the Fin de Siecle," based on Kostof's last lecture notes and prepared by Castillo, as well as an all-new 16-page color section. Many of the original line drawings by Richard Tobias, as well as some 50 photographs, have also been updated or replaced, for improved clarity.
Visually and intellectually stimulating, this book is at once a compelling history and an indispensable reference on all aspects of our built environment. It achieves for architecture what Janson's history accomplished for visual art.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pranogajec - LibraryThing

An very readable and engaging survey of (mostly) western architecture. The great virtue of this book is the author's insistence on seeing buildings as parts of larger environments, especially the ... Read full review

Contents

THE STUDY OF WHAT WE BUILT
3
STONE AGE EUROPE
21
THE ARCHITECTURE OF ANCIENT EGYPT
67
Copyright

21 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1995)


Spiro Kostof was Professor of Architectural History at the University of California at Berkeley, and was a former president of the Society of Architectural Historians. Greg Castillo was Kostof's research assistant and literary executor.

Bibliographic information