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Medieval Architecture - Gothic Construction

Below are books about medieval architecture with an emphasis on British and Western European architecture, building methods, construction and design.

Buy Books about Medieval Architecture
Medieval Architecture in Western Europe
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Medieval Architecture in Western Europe: From A.D. 300 to 1500
by Robert G. Calkins

Beginning with a study of structural antecedents found in late Roman architecture, the author examines early Christian borrowings and transformations and representative types of Byzantine buildings. Subsequent chapters cover the development of the monastic complex, traditional forms of northern timber construction, and the contributions of the Carolingian and Ottonian empires. Spanish structures from the seventh century through the tenth century set the stage for the development of the Romanesque style, examined in its various regional manifestations.

After identifying the structural sources of Gothic architecture, the author presents the evolving regional Gothic styles, late Gothic elaborations and innovations, and representative types of secular architecture. The text concludes with an informative chapter on medieval building practices and the tradition of the master mason.

Medieval Architecture in Western Europe: From A.D. 300 to 1500 is thoroughly illustrated with plans, sections, diagrams, and photographs, and also includes an IBM-compatible CD-ROM, featuring over 860 supplementary views and details of the buildings discussed, all in color.
Early Medieval Architecture
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Early Medieval Architecture
(Oxford History of Art)
by R. A. Stalley

The early middle ages were an exciting period in the history of European architecture, culminating in the development of the Romanesque style. Major architectural innovations were made during this time including the medieval castle, the church spire, and the monastic cloister.

By avoiding the traditional emphasis on chronological development, Roger Stalley provides a radically new approach to the subject, exploring issues and themes rather than sequences and dates. In addition to analysing the language of the Romanesque, the book examines the engineering achievements of the builders, and clearly how the great monuments of the age were designed and constructed. Ranging from Gotland to Apulia, the richness and variety of European architecture is explored in terms of the social and religious aspirations of the time.

Symbolic meanings associated with architecture are also thoroughly investigated. Written with style and humour, the lively text includes many quotations from ancient sources, providing a fascinating insight into the way that medieval buildings were created, and in the process enlivening study of this period.
Medieval Architecture
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Medieval Architecture
(Oxford History of Art)
by Nicola Coldstream

Medieval architecture comprises much more than the traditional image of Gothic cathedrals and the castles of chivalry. A great variety of buildings--synagogues, halls, and barns--testify to the diverse communities and interests in western Europe in the centuries between 1150 and 1550.

This book looks at their architecture from an entirely fresh perspective, shifting the emphasis away from such areas as France towards the creativity of other regions, including central Europe and Spain. Treating the subject thematically, Coldstream seeks out what all buildings, both religious and secular, have in common, and how they reflect the material and spiritual concerns of the people who built and used them.

Furthermore, the author considers how and why, after four centuries of shaping the landscapes and urban patterns of Europe, medieval styles were superseded by classicism.
Medieval Architecture, Medieval Learning
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Medieval Architecture, Medieval Learning: Builders and Masters in the Age of Romanesque and Gothic
by Charles M. Radding, William W. Clark

In this book Charles M. Radding and William W. Clark offer fresh perspectives on changes in architecture and learning during the Romanesque and Gothic periods, arguing that builders and masters shared similar ways of reasoning and solving problems.
Gothic Architecture
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Gothic Architecture
by Paul Crossley

This magisterial study of Gothic architecture traces the meaning and development of the Gothic style through medieval churches across Europe. Ranging geographically from Poland to Portugal and from Sicily to Scotland and chronologically from 1093 to 1530, the book analyzes changes from Romanesque to Gothic as well as the evolution within the Gothic style and places these changes in the context of the creative spirit of the Middle Ages.

In its breadth of outlook, its command of detail, and its theoretical enterprise, Frankl's book has few equals in the ambitious Pelican History of Art series. It is single-minded in its pursuit of the general principles that informed all aspects of Gothic architecture and its culture.

In this edition Paul Crossley has revised the original text to take into account the proliferation of recent literature—books, reviews, exhibition catalogues, and periodicals—that have emerged in a variety of languages. New illustrations have also been included.
Romanesque and Gothic France
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Romanesque & Gothic France: Art and Architecture
by Herve Kergall, Viviane Minne-Seve

This superbly illustrated book is the only one of its kind to trace the history of Romanesque and Gothic architecture and sculpture in all of France, focusing especially on the exalted ecclesiastical structures-and the splendid sculpture, painting, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass made for these churches, monasteries, abbeys, and cathedrals-created by inspired "builders for God."

Touring France province by province, the authors discuss the landmarks of the period, such as Notre-Dame, Cluny, and the Cathedral of Chartres, all of which reflect the religious intensity of the medieval world. Whether exploring the religious history of Catholic France, the historical development of Romanesque and Gothic styles, or the lives and works of the builders and artists who sought to glorify God, this lavishly illustrated, carefully researched book is invaluable for scholars yet accessible for the general reader.
The Gothic Enterprise
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The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
by Robert A. Scott

This engrossing book surveys an era that has fired the historical imagination for centuries. In it Robert A. Scott explores why medieval people built Gothic cathedrals, how they built them, what conception of the divine lay behind their creation, and how religious and secular leaders used cathedrals for social and political purposes.

While most books about Gothic cathedrals focus on a particular building or on the cathedrals of a specific region, The Gothic Enterprise considers the idea of the cathedral as a humanly created space. Scott discusses why an impoverished people would commit so many social and personal resources to building something so physically stupendous and what this says about their ideas of the sacred, especially the vital role they ascribed to the divine as a protector against the dangers of everyday life.

Scott's narrative offers a wealth of fascinating details concerning daily life during medieval times. Scott also explains such things as the role of relics, the quarrying and transporting of stone, and the incessant conflict cathedral-building projects caused within their communities.

Finally, by drawing comparisons between Gothic cathedrals and other monumental building projects, such as Stonehenge, Scott expands our understanding of the human impulses that shape our landscape.
Cathedrals and Castles
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Cathedrals and Castles: Building in the Middle Ages
by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

The lofty spires of Gothic cathedrals and massive fortifications of magnificent castles represent the pinnacle of building achievment in medieval western Europe. Learn how the era's ingenious new tools and techniques helped to create not only these extravagant monuments but also bridges, houses, and city walls. In this book, the story of the birth of the building trades - and the changing society it reflected - gains an exciting new dimension.
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by David MacAulay

Supposedly, MacAulay's books are just for children, but we know better. Here we follow along with the building of a 13th century castle in Wales: brick-by-brick, with every detail included. Fascinating, accurate and wonderful for understanding how they did it. We can't recommend MacAulay's books highly enough.

For another terrific "children's book" try Castle : Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections (a 14th century castle, slice-by-slice)