4th Edition

Understanding Architecture Its Elements, History, and Meaning

By Leland Roth, Amanda Clark Copyright 2024
    746 Pages 751 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    746 Pages 751 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The widely acclaimed and beautifully illustrated Understanding Architecture is now revised and expanded in its fourth edition, vividly examining the structure, function, history, and meaning of architecture, from prehistory to the present, in ways that are both accessible and engaging.

    Significant features of the fourth edition include:

    • Expanded global essays outlining the encounters and interchanges, conflicts and accommodations, between disparate global communities.
    • A brand-new final chapter addressing the twenty-first century during which Western and global architectural developments have increasingly become one broad, interwoven expression. This chapter includes sections on: CAD, Contemporary Architecture of the 21st Century, Starchitects, Contemporary Architectural Prizes, Architecture and Energy Consumption, and Architecture Integrated with Nature.
    • New sections on Frank Lloyd Wright and Late Twentieth-Century Expressionism.
    • Thoroughly revised and expanded illustrations, including over 700 images, more than half of which are in full color, and 120 original line art drawings.

    Understanding Architecture continues to be the only text in the field to examine architecture as a cultural phenomenon as well as an artistic and technological achievement with its straightforward, two-part structure: The Elements of Architecture and the History and Meaning of Architecture. Comprehensive and clearly written, Understanding Architecture is both a primer for visual environmental literacy and a classic survey of architecture. This is an essential book for anyone interested in our built environment and the layered historical meaning embodied within it.

    Introduction  Part I: The Elements of Architecture  1. Architecture: The Art of Shaping of Space Chapter  2. “Commoditie”: Building Functions  3. “Firmeness”: Structure, or How Does the Building Stand Up?  4. “Delight”: Seeing Architecture Chapter  5. Architecture and Sound  6. Architecture: Part of the Natural Environment  7. The Architect: From High Priest to Profession  8. Architecture, Memory, and Economics  Part II: The History and Meaning of Architecture  9. The Beginnings of Architecture: From Caves to Cities  10. The Architecture of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt Chapter  11. Greek Architecture  12. Roman Architecture  Essay 1: Indian Architecture  13. Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture  Essay 2: Islamic Architecture  14. Medieval Architecture  15. Renaissance Architecture  Essay 3: Architecture of the Americas  16. Baroque and Rococo Architecture  Essay 4: Chinese Architecture  17. The Origins of Modernism: Architecture in the Age of Enlightenment, 1720–1790  Essay 5: Japanese Architecture  18. The Roots of Modernism: The Nineteenth Century  Essay 6: African Architecture, Past and Future  19. Versions of Modern Architecture, 1914–1970  20. The Expansion of Modernism: From the Twentieth Century into the Twenty-First  21. Future-Focused: The Twenty-First Century  


    Leland M. Roth is Marion Dean Ross Professor of Architectural History Emeritus at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Roth is the author of American Architecture: A History (2016), Understanding Architecture (2013), McKim, Mead & White, Architects (1983), America Builds (1983), and A Concise History of American Architecture (1979). 

    Amanda C. Roth Clark is an Associate Professor and Dean of the Library & Special Programs at Whitworth University in Spokane. She is the daughter of Leland M. Roth, and the co-author of Understanding Architecture, American Architecture, and SAH Archipedia: Oregon.