This book is about appreciation; it is an attempt to explain what architecture essentially is,
rather than merely what nit looks like.

Architecture an Inspiration is addressed to those who enjoy nbuildings, cities and landscapes, and would like to have a deeper appreciation nand a basis for their likes and dislikes. A full appreciation demands careful nobservation, and in these pages there are many explorations of this sort. n

The book is divided into two parts: the first is about the nature of narchitecture, describing what is necessary. The chapter headings define the nbasic requirements that, to varying degrees, must always be met, such as nfacilitating activity, moderating climate, relating to context, respecting nmaterials and structure, as well as conveying meaning and delight. The second npart is about the nature of designing and focuses on what the designer brings to nthe task to arrive at a human and poetic synthesis. These different ways of nthinking are elusive and not necessarily conscious; they include the use of nreason and intuition, the value of experience and precedent, the role of nmetaphor and the search for harmony. For students this is difficult, because nthere is no ‘right’ way of designing.

So much of what is written about nthe architecture of today is negative that it seemed opportune to take a npositive approach and point to work that is good – now and in the past – and nreiterate some timeless qualities. Architecture an Inspiration does not nset out to be comprehensive; Ivor Smith chooses examples that he finds nparticularly inspiring from the work of a few selected architects. The book will nappeal to those both interested in and studying architecture.