A Visual Lexicon
Anyone with an interest in buildings and the built environment would do well to purchase a copy of Owen Hopkins' book. * Monocle * It is a delight to discover Owen Hopkins's Reading Architecture: A Visual Lexicon, recently published in its second edition. Covering the entire history of architecture and its myriad styles, and written in clear prose with diagrammatic illustrations throughout, this book is essential for those wishing to distinguish between a tympanum ("in medieval architecture, the often decorated infilled space above the imposts of an arch supported by two smaller arches") and a trumeau ("the central mullion in an arched window or doorway, supporting a tympanum above two smaller arches")-as well as those just curious what the dormer windows in spires are called (those would be lucarnes). * The New Criterion *
Owen Hopkins is Director of the Farrell Centre at Newcastle University. Previously he was Senior Curator at Sir John Soane's Museum and before that he was Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. He is the author of several books including Reading Architecture: A Visual Lexicon (2012), Architectural Styles: A Visual Guide (2014; both Laurence King), Postmodern Architecture: Less is a Bore (2020) and The Museum (2021).