The study of global history has been eternally fascinating to many. Understandably so, since we could all benefit from knowledge of the past, be it a nation’s history, or a cultural concept or, in this case, an architectural tradition. As the past fades into the future, striving to gain a greater insight into our cultural history continues to drive us all. In an effort to broaden our knowledge, the highly esteemed work “A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition” has provided a comprehensive foundation for further exploration.
This title is an extensive and wide-ranging examination of the world’s architectural history. In four volumes and over 1,400 pages, it spans the history of architecture and design from ancient times to present day, exploring international trends and influences. Dense with illustrations, including diagrams and photographs, the book features over 1000 buildings, which represent the brilliance and quality of this universally significant art. Of course, this is to be expected from the editor, Mark M. Jarzombek, who is renowned as a renowned scholar of architectural and cultural history.
With the fully updated and revised second edition, the text provides valuable insight into the way in which architecture has continuously formed and developed throughout history. Divided into four parts, each covering a different period, the chapters span a dizzying eight thousand years of evolution. Pieces include detailed and complex accounts of architectural history, including the development of the Greek temples, Romanesque and Gothic churches of Central Europe, and the skyscrapers of today’s global cities.
For those studying architecture, A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition offers deeper understanding through its unique insight. For the researcher, curator or the connoisseur, it offers a comprehensive and comprehensive history of the discipline. For the general reader, it provides a unique opportunity to voyage through the world’s past, from a completely new and enthralling perspective.
Part 1: Prehistory and Ancient Near East
The first part of A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition looks at the time frame between prehistory and Ancient Near East. It covers the period between 8000-1000 BC, which is when monumental architecture first emerged. It examines the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, which is the earliest evidence for organized human habitation on earth, and early cities and villages. As for the Ancient Near East, this part covers the emergence of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Assyria. It also documents how architecture manifested in religious practices in the Ancient Near East, and how it evolved during the millennia.
Additionally, this section covers the material culture and techniques used to construct and adorn buildings, as well as the materials used, such as mudbrick, reeds, and straw. Lastly, it also explores how these architectural practices evolved in relation to climate change and environment as a whole. Thus, readers gain a detailed understanding of the historical development of architecture in the Ancient Near East and its crucial relationship to society and the planet.
Part 2: Ancient Medieval
The second part of the book looks at Ancient Medieval architecture, which covers the period from 1000 BC to 900 AD. In this section readers can gain an insight into the ancient architecture of civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, and India. From the fantastic pyramids at Giza and the fabulous temples of Classical Greece to the awe-inspiring monuments of India’s Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, this chapter examines all the major cultural sites and achievements during this period.
Not only does this section discuss the architecture, it also explains the development of different styles, such as Romanesque and Gothic in Europe, to reflect the social and political changes that were occurring during the time. Furthermore, it looks at artistic and decorative elements of the period, to build upon the reader’s understanding of advanced construction techniques, material technologies and relations to craftsmanship, as well as trade and commerce.
Part 3: Islamic, Indian and Chinese Architecture
The third part of A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition examines Islamic, Indian and Chinese architecture, covering the time frame between 900 and 1700. In this section, readers can expect to learn about the significant contributions of Islamic architecture, and its persistent influence over centuries on the wider world. This expansive chapter looks at the development and spread of Islamic architecture throughout the globe, as well as its unique decorative characteristics.
The Indian subcontinent is also covered extensively, exploring how its architectural style is heavily influenced by religion, philosophy, and traditional craftsmanship. Taking a peek into Indian palaces and temples, readers gain an insight into how this style of architecture developed during the medieval period and reflected the socio-cultural values of its people. After this, the book shifts to Chinese architecture during the Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties which experienced rapid development during this period, from the great city of Beijing, to spectacular pagodas, and stunning classical gardens.
Part 4: Western and Modern Architecture
The final part of A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition looks at the developments of Western and Modern architecture. It features a wide-ranging overview of the architectural developments of Europe, the Americas, and Russia, between 1200 and 2000. Starting with the Renaissance period and taking us right up to the 20th century, the chapter looks at classicism, Gothic and modern styles, as well as the distinctive feature of contemporary architecture.
It also gives an in-depth account of the history of architectural projects, from impressive cathedrals to grand classical villas, from humble cottages to large industrial complexes. Furthermore, this part of the book explores how politics, philosophy, society and economics all shaped the development of architecture throughout history. After this, readers are invited to discover the heroic age of modern architecture in Europe, the United States and Asia, from the skyscrapers of Chicago to the iconic Bay Area of San Francisco.
Part 5: Architecture and Technology
Volume four of A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition looks specifically at the interaction between architecture and technology, examining the digital turn in architecture and the development of technology and its role in the design and construction of buildings. From the engineering of complex infrastructures to digitalization of elements such as lighting, ventilation, heating, and air conditioning, the book brings this important field to the forefront.
This section also looks in detail at “smart” buildings, and bioclimatic architecture, as well as exploring new interpretations of sustainability and the environment, and the impact of 3D printing technology, computer-aided design, and artificial intelligence on the development of architecture.
Part 6: Post-Occupancy and Management
The penultimate chapter in A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition focuses on post-occupancy and management practices. It begins by looking at the issues of maintaining and overseeing buildings and also examines the evolving role of the architect. Building codes and regulations, as well as health and safety considerations, are discussed to provide a comprehensive account of the management factors that need to be considered when it comes to completed architectural projects.
The discussion then moves on to the increasing importance of sustainability and the issues around energy efficiency. Alternative energy sources are discussed and the debate around energy use is outlined. Additionally, this chapter highlights the complexities of issues around housing and community development and examine the roles of community planning, urban design and public art in defining a sense of place.
Part 7: Historic Preservation
The final section of A Global History of Architecture focuses on the topic of historic preservation, considering how modern architecture can be dialled in with the preservation of important architectural sites and landscapes. It outlines the need for cultural and architectural conservation to preserve our identity and the places we value, and to use insights from the past to inspire our current approach to the built environment.
The chapter looks at several case studies, such as the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, in order to understand the importance of this field and the strategies that are used to protect significant heritage buildings. Additionally, the book examines the impact of climate change and the importance of protecting important sites and landscapes in the face of global warming.
Overall, A Global History of Architecture, Second Edition provides a comprehensive overview of architecture and its evolution from prehistory to the modern age. Covering the development of a wide range of styles from across the globe, it offers readers a unique insight into this exciting and engaging field.