Title Why Are Most Buildings Rectangular
Year 2018
Publisher Routledge
PricePaperback £36.99 Hardback £115.00
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Why Are Most Buildings Rectangular

The book brings together a dozen recent essays and papers. New introductions link the papers and put them in context.  There are two large themes: a morphological approach to the history of architecture, and studies of possibility in built form. Within this framework the papers cover the geometrical character of the building stock as a whole; histories of selected building types; analyses of density and energy use in relation to urban form; and systematic methods for enumerating building plans and built forms. They touch on a range of key topics of debate in architectural theory and building science. The book has some 200 illustrations


‘Steadman’s book is a ‘must read’ for anyone with a passing interest in why buildings are the way they are… Steadman’s explanations of buildings’ evolution through time and across space in response to human psychology and societal change as well as the physics of materials, light and air, display his polymathic knowledge.’

Kevin Lomas, University of Loughborough

‘It is a pleasure to follow the delicacy and precision with which Philip Steadman applies the science of building morphology to historical questions about why buildings have taken the shapes that they have over the course of time. Steadman’s erudition and subtle wit make this a most enjoyable book for anyone with an interest in the history of building forms.’

Adrian Forty, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London

‘Philip Steadman has taken the next step in the tradition of typological research that lies at the heart of the modern discipline of architecture. He approaches rigorously focused questions with a seemingly inexhaustible array of sources, throwing open conventional boundaries between building science, history, and architectural theory. Indeed, he shows that these belong together. Beyond offering a wealth of knowledge, Steadman has done a great service to architects and scholars by suggesting so many paths for further research in one place.’

Matthew Allen, Harvard University