The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Art, History & Biography

Decoding Architecture

Have you ever admired a building and wondered about its history and how its uses have changed over time? Studying architecture can be fascinating. The thought that goes into the design of each building takes into account the intended use, needed building materials and artistic style. Understanding the different architectural characteristics of a building can help a person appreciate the story behind its creation.

The Library has many books about the subject of architecture. Here are just a few of the books in the collection to choose from:

 How to Read Buildings by Carol Davidson Cragoe. An introduction to the study of architecture, this guide focuses on the characteristics and history of main architectural styles.



 Architecture: A World History by Daniel Borden, Jerzy Elzanowski, Joni Taylor, and Stephanie Tuerk. A fully illustrated guide to architecture that looks at important architectural styles and examines the work of significant architects. 



 1000 Architectural Details: A Selection of the World's Most Interesting Building Elements by Alex Sanchez Vidiella, Julio Fajardo and Sergi Costa Duran. Explore different concepts of architecture through color photographs and drawings. The book is divided into 15 thematic chapters that showcase architectural details by type of structure, material and finish.


 Buildings without Architects: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture by John May in collaboration with Anthony Reid. Celebrate human ingenuity by discovering living spaces that were created using natural resources without the use of architects.



 The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories by Edward Hollis. Explains the history of 13 different structures and how their appearances and functions have changed over time.



 Revolving Architecture: A History of Buildings that Rotate, Swivel and Pivot by Chad Randl. Explores the history and use of rotating structures using color photos, drawings and plans.



 The Architecture of Parking by Simon Henley. A survey of the architectural importance of a selection of parking garages with an explanation of the innovative ideas behind their design.



 You can also consult these websites for further information: 

Great Buildings Online: A searchable collection about architecture around the world and across history. This website contains 3D models, photographic images, drawings, and information about notable architects.

America’s Favorite Architecture: A showcase of the buildings voted as the “150 favorite structures in the United States” in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects.



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