Thursday, 9 July 2015

Since we move in TIME through a SEQUENCE of SPACES...revealed for everyone

A welcome fourth edition of Francis Ching's excellent book on the fundamentals of architecture. Ching (now seventy-two) seems to have cornered the market on accessible visual book on the subject, I already have his 'Building construction illustrated' and the 'Visual dictionary of architecture'. This new edition of 'Architecture' uses the highly pictorial format as all his books.

Each of the seven chapters starts with drawings of very basic forms and then expands the concepts using flat plans and dimensional illustrations of buildings (all of which have a caption with location, architect and date) to reveal the essence of structures through the centuries. Can the subject be that simple? Well, of course not but Ching makes it seem so by explaining the principles in straightforward way.

One of the lovely features of the book is that it all hangs together with one look, rather than use photos of buildings of varying quality they are all illustrations and obviously tie-in with all the flat plans and other graphics. I've read a criticism of his books because they are set in the Adobe Tecton type which some consider rather unreadable (the font was based on his first book which was entirely hand-lettered by Cassandra Adams and she did the drawings too) I slightly agree but fortunately all the text in his books is essentially short and long captions rather than pages with columns of text set in Tecton.

The book is ideal for students and the general (curious) reader.

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