A chronological survey, from Zoser's tomb (the Step Pyramid) to beyond Habitat, of ""some of the great buildings of the...

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LOOKING AT ARCHITECTURE

A chronological survey, from Zoser's tomb (the Step Pyramid) to beyond Habitat, of ""some of the great buildings of the world. . . some (of them) great works of art"" -- with one short chapter for each of eighteen buildings and thus none of the cross-cultural juxtaposition for which Paine's Looking at Sculpture (1968) was praised. Here Paine supplies background information on the patrons, builders, methods and key features of each building but offers disappointingly few (if any) insights to sharpen the eye. She is more inclined to pronounce a building, style or detail ""famous"" than to direct readers' attention to the qualities that made it so. And even on the purely factual level the Bergeres' indifferently written From Stone to Skyscrapers (1960) is fuller and clearer on the Greek orders, Roman vaults, etc. The well chosen abundance of photos, prints and paintings of the buildings are probably Looking at Architecture's chief asset, though even these make for an annoying discontinuity in the text when pages of illustrations and long captions are inserted in mid sentence.

Pub Date: May 24, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974