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A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  424 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
No mere survey of famous buildings, Kostof's History examines an inclusive spectrum 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 prehistori ...more
Paperback, 816 pages
Published August 31st 1995 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 21st 1985)
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Dec 30, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it
Full disclosure: this was a book to skim, not read. I imagine it was created as a college textbook, with all that implies. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing the evolution of medieval stone villages to Florentine palaces to Turkish mosques. Buildings are fascinating things, and as varied as the imaginations of their creators (as well as the treasuries of their commissioners). Good browsing material here, thanks largely to the intriguing photos and drawings.
Sep 18, 2012 Lydia rated it it was amazing
This is a huge textbook, I didn't really read it all, but it is a beautiful introduction to architecture from the caves of Lascaux to 1945. The sections on Istanbul, Venice, Rome, and the U.S. are especially good, and the pictures, drawings, and commentary are excellent. Kostof taught at Berkeley for many years.
Rory Hyde
Sep 28, 2013 Rory Hyde rated it liked it
Hefty tome taking in a few thousand odd years of history. A history of the winners, focussed on the names and places, skewed toward a Western European tradition. Great as a foundational text.
Have NOT read this substantial textbook cover to cover, but use it for reference when needed.
Apr 04, 2007 Michael rated it really liked it
Man, I sold this book back to the bookstore after my freshman year - then I had to buy the same damn book back the next year for History of Architecture 2. Let this be a lesson to you.
Loved the concept, but the book was much to slow to get through. At page 176 decided that I have better ways to spend my time.
Sep 30, 2008 Imkrtr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good way to see history
Jan 20, 2008 Alex rated it it was amazing
I love this book!
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Spiro Konstantine Kostof was a leading architectural historian, and professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His books continue to be widely read and some are routinely used in collegiate courses on architectural history.

In 1993, following his death, the Society of Architectural Historians established the "Spiro Kostof Award," to recognize books "in the spirit of Kostof's writings," pa
More about Spiro Kostof...

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