Analysing Architecture : The universal language of place-making book cover
5th Edition

Analysing Architecture
The universal language of place-making

ISBN 9780367524432
Published December 30, 2020 by Routledge
336 Pages 951 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Now in its fifth edition, Analysing Architecture has become internationally established as the best introduction to architecture. Aimed primarily at those studying architecture, it offers a clear and accessible insight into the workings of this rich and fascinating subject. With copious illustrations from his own notebooks, the author dissects examples from around the world and all periods of history to explain the underlying strategies in architectural design and show how drawing may be used as a medium for analysis.

In this new edition, Analysing Architecture has been revised and expanded. Notably, the chapter on ‘How Analysis Can Help Design’ has been redeveloped to clearly explain this crucially important aspect of study to a beginner readership. Four new chapters have been added to the section dealing with Themes in Spatial Organisation, on ‘Axis’, ‘Grid’, ‘Datum Place’ and ‘Hidden’. Material from the 'Case Studies' in previous editions has been redistributed amongst earlier chapters. The ‘Introduction' has been completely rewritten; and the format of the whole book has been adjusted to allow for the inclusion of more and better illustrative examples.

Works of architecture are instruments for managing, orchestrating, modifying our relationship with the world around us. They frame just about everything we do. Architecture is complex, subtle, frustrating… but ultimately extremely rewarding. It can be a difficult discipline to get to grips with; nothing in school quite prepares anyone for the particular demands of an architecture course. But this book will help.

Table of Contents

Preface to this New Edition


Architecture as Intellectual Structure and Identification of Place

Basic Elements of Architecture

Modifying Elements of Architecture

Elements Doing More Than One Thing

Using Things That Are There

Primitive Place Types

Architecture as Making Frames

Geometries of Being

Ideal Geometry

Themes in Spatial Organisation:

1. Space and Structure

2. Parallel Walls

3. Axis

4. Grid

5. Datum Place

6. Stratification

7. Transition, Hierarchy, Heart

8. In-between

9. Inhabited Wall

10. Hidden

11. Refuge and Prospect

Temples and Cottages

How Analysis Can Help Design



Bibliography and References


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Simon Unwin is Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He has lived in Great Britain and Australia, and taught or lectured on his work in China, Israel, India, Sweden, Turkey and the United States. Analysing Architecture’s international relevance is indicated by its translation into various languages and its adoption for architecture courses around the world. Now retired, Simon Unwin continues to teach at The Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, UK.


"Probably the best introductory book on architecture."

Andrew Higgott, Lecturer in Architecture, University of East London, UK

"A truly amazing book on how to analyze a building. A must read for all young architects."