by Francis D.K. Ching
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Leave it to Frank Ching to use exquisite hand drawings to help define important and often complex architectural concepts. A Visual Dictionary of Architecture covers everything from major architectural concepts (structures, light, history, form, design) down to the smallest detail (stair treads, fasteners, conduit types, wood joinery). As the title suggests, the book is organized as a dictionary - in alphabetical order.
As with any other Ching book, the drawings are beautiful enough to stand alone. However the clarity of the diagrams and the simple text descriptions make the book much more than a work of art - it provides great value as an educational resource.
Like any architectural reference of only 300 pages, the depth of certain subjects is limited, but A Visual Dictionary of Architecture is still an incredible value and provides both students and professionals with much-needed visual descriptions of important architectural ideas. A Visual Dictionary of Architecture is highly recommended by archtoolbox.com
Buy A Visual Dictionary of Architecture instead of Building Construction Illustrated (review) if you are interested in a broad coverage of many architectural concepts organized alphabetically.