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An Outline of European Architecture

Posted on 24 June 2015 Gavin Glenn

Cover - An Outline of European Architecture

For over sixty years Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s study of European architecture has been regarded as a seminal work which has inspired countless students of architecture. In this updated larger format edition with elegant and accessible design, an extra dimension is provided through the integration of over 200 superb colour photographs.

Pevsner believed that the history of architecture was primarily a history of man shaping space. With this as his starting point, he reviewed the most beautiful and dramatic structures that represent the styles and cultures of Europe from the fourth century onwards. His grand tour of Romanesque basilicas, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance villas and Baroque churches, eloquently defines 'the changing spirits of the changing ages'. In later chapters he considers the revival of medieval forms in the age of Romanticism and the Arts and Crafts Movement through to the radical and unsparing geometry of twentieth-century Modernism. His survey concluded in the post-war years and the start of the redefinition of many devastated cityscapes and in a new preface and an illuminating postscript the architect and academic Michael Forsyth brings the review right up to the present day. In a consideration of recent buildings in Europe by modern masters such as James Stirling, Norman Foster and Frank Gehry, he identifies a natural evolution of architectural achievement.


An Outline of European Architecture continues to be as stimulating and relevant as ever. Through his perceptive understanding of the heritage of past civilisations, and in the delineation of the buildings that continue to be recognized as the greatest symbols of artistic endeavour, Pevsner remains the essential guide and companion.

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