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" ALIGN="right" BORDER="1" HSPACE="5">Since the first edition published in 1896, under the joint names of Professor Banister Fletcher and his son, Banister Flight Fletcher - later to become Sir Banister - Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture has become the standard one volume architectural history reference.

The twentieth edition was declared 'Book of the Century' by the AIA in 2000, and it continues to be the definitive reference giving a concise and factual account of world architecture from the earliest times through to the late twentieth century.

S. Gimignano: view of the towers (thirteenth - fourteenth century)


This unique reference book places buildings in their social, cultural and historical settings to describe the main patterns of architectural development, from Prehistoric to the International Style. Again in the words of Sir Banister Fletcher, this book shows that "Architecture ... provides a key to the habits, thoughts and aspirations of the people, and without a knowledge of this art the history of any period lacks that human interest with which it should be invested."
"A thundering classic appears again with useful additions. As Sir Banister Fletcher said, 'The study of architecture opens up the enjoyment of buildings with an appreciation of their purpose, meaning, and charm.' These words aptly summarise what this book has become for generations of students and architects. No serious fan of architecture should be without it." American Institute of Architects.

This companion website provides a taster of the twentieth-edition. Read the books ">Introduction, and its opening Background extracts.

Villa Gamberaia, Settigano
(c. 1550).

Swan House, Chichester; Stone Vase, Wrest Park, Beds; Sundial, Wrest Beds; Doorways, Laurence Pountney Hill, London; Doorway, Raynham Hall, Norfolk.
  • ">Part One: The Architecture of Egypt, the Ancient Near East, Asia, Greece and the Hellenistic Kingdoms
  • ">Part Two: The Architecture of Europe and the Mediterranean to the Renaissance
  • ">Part Three: The Architecture of Islam
  • ">Part Four: The architecture of the Pre-Colonial Cultures Outside Europe
  • ">Part Five: The Architecture of the Renaissance and Post-Renaissance in Europe and Russia
  • ">Part Six*: The Architecture of the Colonial and Post-colonial Periods outside Europe
  • ">Part Seven*: The Architecture of the Twentieth Century
  • ">Glossary

* Please note that these are PDF files and you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open them.

Also featured are a selection of the many ">reviews the centenary edition received on its publication in 1996, and the books glossary.

Please make sure you revisit the site, which will be regularly updated.

If you would like to order a copy of the book, please click here.

The Royal Institute of British Architects and The University of London 1996

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and The University of London are the joint trustees of Sir Banister Fletcher's History of Architecture.
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