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Encyclopaedia of Architectural Terms

Author : James Stevens Curl

Publisher : Wimbledon, London: Donhead Publishing Ltd, 1993, but subsequently published Abingdon: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 1993
ISBN: 978-187339-4-5 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-1873394-25-0 (pbk)

A comprehensive, clearly written, practical guide to architectural and building terminology. It contains over 3,500 terms offering definitions of styles, the components of buildings, materials, the various parts of Orders of Architecture, architectural details, and much more. This scholarly and well-respected sourcebook is illustrated to a high standard and is cross-referenced throughout. It will be an invaluable reference for students of architecture, surveyors, architectural historians, and everyone with an interest in historic buildings.

 

Reviews

'A work of reference such as this is no place for vague speculation, and Curl is wisely armed with a deep knowledge of his subject ... and a determination to set about his task scientifically...in what is undoubtedly a scholarly and detailed book...Curl weaves some colourful anecdotes and quotations into his definitions, and includes an invaluable section on architectural symbols. The well-chosen illustrations all of buildings in the United Kingdom or Ireland, are practical and informative... Even experts might learn a thing or two from this excellent new work of reference.'

Tim Auld in The World of Interiors (September/October 1993)

'… an exceptional book. It consists of a complete dictionary of terms used in architectural material. Some of the articles are classic miniatures of historical writing, such as the list of saints and their symbols and other symbols used to ornament architecture, the article on bricks and bonding, or the one on roofs, both with their drawings. The illustrations are perhaps even more valuable than the text; certainly they complement the text admirably and are comprehensive. Some pages of illustrations are themselves small masterpieces, like the three pages on the Gothic Revival which tell more about this movement than many whole books ... The very wide scope of this work, and the nature of the production and the quality of the illustration all commend this book as a worthy tool for student, teacher and amateur local historian.'

Alan Rogers in The Local Historian (May 1993)

'Professor Curl’s dictionary remains a standard and reliable work for the library reference shelves.'

Ruth Kamen in The Year in Reference (1993)

'The Encyclopaedia lives up to its name, blending exposition of historical terms, incorporating a practical guide to building materials and methods of construction, forays into iconography... and scholarly yet personal commentaries on style. The system of cross-referencing works simply and clearly throughout. (It is) a handbook for professionals, explaining over 3,500 architectural terms accurately and succinctly, and (has the) additional special quality of conveying the author’s profound awareness of the richness architecture encompasses.'

Joy Mann in SPAB News, xiv/2, (1993)
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