Architecture For Dummies

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When is a building just a building and when is it art? This accessible guide cuts through the jargon and clearly explains the essentials of architecture, demystifying the incredible ways in which structures and spaces come alive. You'll gain a real appreciation for architecture and the confidence to talk about it—even to an architect.
  • Just the essential information for readers on the go who want to understand architecture.
  • Covers the highlights of architectural history, from the Great Pyramids to Frank Gehry's Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
  • Explains how to look at a building and appreciate it. Explains when a building's a building and when it's art.
  • Part of Tens includes Ten Great Architectural Masterpieces, Ten Biggest Architectural and Engineering Failures, Ten of the Most Interesting Architects Working Today, and more.
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About the author

Deborah K. Dietsch is an architecture and design critic who writes for major newspapers and magazines. She is the former editor-in-chief of Architecture Magazine and former executive editor of Architecture Record.

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Additional Information

John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
May 9, 2011
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Architecture / General
Art / General
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The bestselling guide to architectural drawing, with new information, examples, and resources

Architectural Graphics is the classic bestselling reference by one of the leading global authorities on architectural design drawing, Francis D.K. Ching. Now in its sixth edition, this essential guide offers a comprehensive introduction to using graphic tools and drafting conventions to translate architectural ideas into effective visual presentations, using hundreds of the author's distinctive drawings to illustrate the topic effectively. This updated edition includes new information on orthographic projection in relation to 3D models, and revised explanations of line weights, scale and dimensioning, and perspective drawing to clarify some of the most difficult concepts. New examples of modern furniture, APA facilities, and presentation layout provide more up-to-date visuals, and the Reference Center features all new animations, videos, and practice exercises.

Architectural graphics are key tools for conveying design through representation on paper or on screen, and this book is the ultimate guide to mastering the skill, then applying your talent to create more effective design communication.

Understand multiview, paraline, and perspective drawing Master interior sections using a variety of techniques Render tonal value, enhance depth, and convey illumination Develop professional-quality layouts for presentations

Architectural graphics both inform the design process and serve as the means by which a design is interpreted and built. Complete mastery of the tools and conventions is essential to the successful outcome of any project, and mistakes can cause confusion, time delays, increased costs, and possible catastrophe. Architectural Graphics is the comprehensive guide to professional architectural drawing, with insight from a leading authority in the field.

On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore--already under construction for more than a century--was announced: "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome....shall do so before the end of the month of September." The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.

Of the many plans submitted, one stood out--a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture.

Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers' platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction--all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and his own personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him.

Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.
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