How to Enjoy Architecture

Charles Holland


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Yale University Press
2 April 2024
ISBN: 9780300263930
192 pages

From the publisher

Charles Holland challenges us to look beyond the day-to-day familiarity of buildings to rediscover the pleasure of experiencing architecture
Architecture is bound up with our daily lives but, for most of us, it is experienced as a blur of habit. Our reactions towards the buildings that surround us are often culturally generated, and we experience them in ways that are immediate but often mundane. How to Enjoy Architecture: A Guide for Everyone encourages us to move beyond this and, instead, really look at buildings.
Renowned architect Charles Holland talks about the buildings and architects that excite and inspire him, and the ideas and principles through which we can engage with architecture. By breaking buildings down into categories such as materials, structure, space, and use, Holland guides us through drastically different styles and building types—from the satisfying symmetry of a Queen Anne house to the thrill of a high-tech tower, or the social ideals that lie behind a housing estate. In doing so, he demonstrates how looking at, experiencing, and using architecture can bring joy in itself.

"A book that will enrich any encounter with a building, it made me want to look harder and be more curious. We are led playfully through the fundamentals of architecture so that we might enjoy the details and the poetry of buildings all the more. A walk through the city feels more fun and also more profound after reading this book." Grayson Perry, artist

"We so often encounter architecture when it goes wrong, or offends us with its looks. Holland, though, is the perfect, clear-headed tour guide to help us appreciate it with newly sharpened senses and fall in love again – even those buildings we think we hate." Tom Dyckhoff, academic and broadcaster

"An enlightening and urbane exploration of architecture that resonates beyond conventional chronological histories" Catherine Slessor, architecture writer and critic