Words and Buildings A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture

Adrian Forty


The words we use when we talk and write about architecture describe more than just bricks and mortar—they direct the ways we think of and live with buildings. This groundbreaking book is the first thorough examination of the complex relationship between architecture and language as intricate social practices.

Six rigorously argued chapters and a vocabulary of key terms investigate the language of modernism; language and drawing; “masculine and feminine” architecture; language metaphors; science in architecture; and the social properties of architecture.


A riveting, immensely readable account of how words used freely in architectural discourse …have changed their meaning and acquired new significance over the past century.

— LA Architect


Adrian Forty


Adrian Forty is Professor of Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College, London.