Buildings surround and affect us all. In this clear and concise introduction to buildings Thom Gorst demystifies the culture of architecture and shows how an interest in our environment - whatever our cultural position - can be of great value to us. Architecture has traditionally been described through the critical description of key buildings. In this book the author, an architect and teacher, has taken a different approach. He argues that we should observe, compare and understand ordinary buildings as well as those that are recognized as having special merit. The selection of fifty buildings, ranging from churches and banks to semi-detached houses and offices, introduces the issues that have formed our built environment and shows how building design has evolved over the last 150 years. The key concepts of architecture are explained clearly and will help the reader to trace the history of architecture through the buildings that form our everyday environment.