A World History of Architecture

‘A World History of Architecture’ (2nd Edition) by Michael Fazio, Marian Moffett and Lawrence Wodehouse; Laurence King, 2008. 692pp

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 3 August 2008

This is a scholarly work that is thoroughly researched, beautifully presented and genuinely fascinating. The authors pull off a difficult balancing act: presenting highbrow ideas in a readable manner while ensuring that it is neither an academic text book nor a populist romp. 

The pages of world maps at the beginning of the book – reminiscent of a school atlas – excite the imagination for the journeys that follow. We are taken into far off lands, reveals a series of page turning, hidden architectural treasures. Even well-known buildings are given a fresh insight aided by sharp photography, clear historical drawings, handy plans and sections and judicious text.

From the Minoans and Modernism; from cruck housing to concrete; from standing stones to Falling Water; this book covers practically every permutation that you can care to think of. It is a big book with big aspirations, which, in general, are fulfilled helped by intelligent, lucid, and well-pitched written contributions. Highly recommended.

Michael Fazio, Marian Moffett, Lawrence Wodehouse, ‘A World History of Architecture’, 2nd edition, Lawrence King, 2008, 592pp

Author: austinwilliams

Austin Williams is the director of the Future Cities Project and author of a number of books on the environment and on China. The latest are "China's Urban Revolution" (Bloomsbury) and "New Chinese Architecture: Twenty Women Building the Future" (Thames and Hudson).

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