Simon Unwin is a freelance writer and lecturer based in Cardiff, UK. He is a registered architect but concentrates on writing about architecture and teaching architectural analysis and design. His publications include six books: Analysing Architecture (Routledge, London, 1997, 2003, 2009 and 2014); An Architecture Notebook: Wall (Routledge, 2000); Doorway (Routledge, 2007); Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand (Routledge, 2010 and 2015); Exercises in Architecture (Routledge, 2012); and The Ten Most Influential Buildings in History: Architecture's Archetypes (Routledge, 2016). These books are used in schools of architecture around the world. Analysing Architecture has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Arabic.
Simon Unwin is Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of Dundee, Scotland, where he was Professor from 2004 to 2009. Previously he was Senior Lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff University, Wales. He has lived in Australia as well as the UK and taught or lectured in Israel, the USA, China, Malaysia, India, Sweden, Turkey and at other schools of architecture in the UK and Europe.
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The SeCRETS of ARCHITECTURE series of eBooks explores the underlying architecture of significant buildings, gardens, urban compositions from around the world and all periods of history and prehistory. The aim of the series is to get inside the minds of architects, wherever and whenever they operated, by analyzing their work. Each eBook focuses on a particular example. The methodology for analysis is based on that illustrated in my books Analysing ARCHITECTURE (Routledge, 2009) and Twenty Buildings Every Architect Should Understand (Routledge, 2010).
The second eBook in the SeCRETS of ARCHITECTURE Series analyzes Le Corbusier's Villa Le Lac, on the banks of Lac Léman in Switzerland.
SeCRETS of ARCHITECTURE eBooks are downloadable for your iPad from iBooks.
Now in its fourth edition, Analysing Architecture has become internationally established as the best introduction to architecture. Aimed primarily at those wishing to become professional architects, it also offers those in disciplines related to architecture (from archaeology to stage design, garden design to installation art) a clear and accessible insight into the workings of this rich and fascinating subject. With copious illustrations from his own notebooks, the author dissects examples from around the world and all periods of history to explain underlying strategies in architectural design and show how drawing may be used as a medium for analysis.
This new edition of Analysing Architecture is revised and expanded. Notably, the chapter on 'Basic Elements of Architecture' has been enlarged to discuss the 'powers' various architectural elements offer the architect. Three new chapters have been added to the section on 'Themes in Spatial Organisation', covering 'Occupying the In-between', 'Inhabited Wall' and 'Refuge and Prospect'. Two new examples – a Mud House in Kerala, India, and the Mongyo-tei (a tea house) in Kyoto, Japan – have been added to the case studies at the end of the book. The select bibliography has been expanded and the index overhauled.
Works of architecture are instruments for managing, orchestrating, modifying our relationship with the world around us. They frame just about everything we do. Architecture is complex, subtle, frustrating... but ultimately extremely rewarding. It can be a difficult discipline to get to grips with; nothing in school quite prepares anyone for the particular demands of an architecture course. But this book will help.
Analysing Architecture is the foundation volume of a series of books by Simon Unwin exploring the workings of architecture. Other books in the series include Twenty Buildings Every Architect Should Understand and Exercises in Architecture.
An Architecture Notebook builds on the foundation of Simon Unwin's previous book Analysing Architecture (Routledge, 1997). Using numerous examples, illustrated with clear line drawings, this volume describes and illustrates the many powers attaching to one of the most basic architectural elements – the wall.
Exploring its primitive origins in relation to the natural walls of cliffs and caves, illustrating the effects and opportunities of its evolution into the artificial and then the naked cave, and examining the ways in which it is used to frame and organise the spaces of our lives, this book presents the wall as one of the most powerful inventions of the mind.
Like its predecessor, An Architecture Notebook is a stimulus to thinking about what one can do with architecture. It offers an example to student architects of how they might keep their own architecture notebooks, collecting ideas, sorting strategies, generally expanding their understanding of the potential of architecture to change the world.
Remember that frisson as you step through a doorway: into a crowded party or a silent church; for a job interview, or into your own home after a long journey. Though we take them for granted, doorways impinge on our lives in many ways. Their thresholds divide up the world, punctuating our movements from place to place and creating 'fault-lines' in our experience. Their mystery intrigues and challenges us. We measure ourselves against them and they set down the geometry of our relationships. Doorways affect our emotions and influence how we behave; sitting on a doorstep, we can find peace just watching the world go by. Framing the transient moment, doorways stand as reminders of the 'between' in which we live. It is no wonder that through human history and across all cultures, doorways have possessed great symbolic power and had ceremonies and rituals associated with them.
Doorway is a profound but accessible and entertaining exploration of the ways our built surroundings set out the spatial matrix of our existence. Using examples from archaeology to the present, and from all around the world, this book provides a fresh and revealing perspective on architecture and its poetry.
Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand is an essential companion to Simon Unwin’s Analysing Architecture, and part of the trilogy which also includes his Exercises in Architecture: Learning to Think as an Architect. Together the three books offer an introduction to the workings of architecture providing for the three aspects of learning: theory, examples and practice. Twenty-Five Buildings focusses on analysing examples using the methodology offered by Analysing Architecture, which operates primarily through the medium of drawing.
In this second edition five further buildings have been added to the original twenty from an even wider geographical area, which now includes the USA, France, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Germany, Australia, Norway, Sweden, India and Japan.
The underlying theme of Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand is the relationship of architecture to the human being, how it frames our lives and orchestrates our experiences; how it can help us make sense of the world and contribute to our senses of identity and place. Exploring these dimensions through a wide range of case studies that illustrate the rich diversity of twentieth- and twenty-first-century architecture, this book is essential reading for every architect.
Architecture is a doing word. You can learn a great deal about the workings of architecture through analysing examples but a fuller understanding of its powers and potential comes through practice, by trying to do it. As you learn a language you need to practise using it; and as you practise you learn more about what you can do with the language. It is the same with architecture… This book offers student architects a series of twelve exercises that will develop their capacity for doing architecture. Each exercise is divided into a short series of tasks aimed at developing a particular theme or area of architectural capacity, providing prompts for practice. The exercises deal with themes such as place-making, learning through drawing, framing, light, uses of geometry, stage-setting, the genetics of detail and many more.
Exercises in Architecture builds on and supplements the methodology for architectural analysis presented in the author's previous book Analysing Architecture (third edition, Routledge, 2009) and demonstrated in his Twenty Buildings Every Architect Should Understand (Routledge, 2010). Together, the three books deal with the three aspects of acquiring any creative discipline: Analysing Architecture provides a methodology for analysis that develops an understanding of the way architecture works; Twenty Buildings explores and extends that methodology through analysis of examples as case studies; and Exercises in developing capability in architecture by following rudimentary exercises.
Even the most inventive and revolutionary architects of today owe debts to the past, often to the distant past when architecture really was being invented for the first time. Architects depend on their own imaginations for personal insights and originality but their ideas may be stimulated (consciously or subliminally) by particularly powerful buildings from history. The Ten Most Influential Buildings in History: Architecture’s Archetypes identifies ten architectural archetypes that have been sources of inspiration for architects through the centuries. Each archetype is analysed through distinctive examples, following the methodology established by the author in his previous books. The variety of ‘lines of enquiry’ each archetype has provoked in latter-day architects is then explored by analysing their work to reveal ideas inspired by those earlier buildings. Archetypes have a timeless relevance. In adopting this approach, The Ten Most Influential Buildings in History is as pertinent to contemporary practice as it is to understanding buildings from antiquity, and offers insights into the bridges of influence that can operate between the two.
I began this notebook in 2004 alongside some of the other notebooks in this series. I had the idea that I could devote separate notebooks to specific themes, and for a while carried around five or six notebooks. Needless to say this discipline eventually failed. The present notebook began as a record of investigations of the relationships between architecture and the person. This theme, because it is so general, does prevail throughout the notebook, but its pages also contain material prepared for the book Doorway (Routledge, 2007), and drawings related to various trips abroad.
This notebook started as exploration of the theme 'time in architecture' but gradually other themes pushed their way in. Like the other notebooks in this series it has not been edited. This iBookstore edition contains a brief Introduction but otherwise is a facsimile of the original notebook.
This notebook contains some of the research for the book Doorway. It was not compiled with publication in mind and has not been edited.
You may also download this notebook for your iPad from the iBookstore. The iPad edition has:
This notebook started with a focus on the issue of 'place' but this gradually widened. It too was not compiled with publication in mind and has not been edited.
Some of Simon Unwin's personal notebooks are available for download here.
SeCRETS of ARCHITECTURE offers a series of eBooks (available for iPad through iBooks), each of which analyses a significant building or other work of architecture. Follow @simonunwin999 on twitter for news of new titles in the series.
Simon Unwin's six textbooks are aimed at those who wish to understand the workings of architecture. They are available from Amazon and other online booksellers.