New architectural database: Explore by building type


Birkhäuser Building Types Online is a whole new way of searching for information on building types and specific projects, writes Romany Manuell, Subject Librarian for Art, Design and Architecture.


If you're an architecture student or researcher, you're probably familiar with many of the Library's database subscriptions. You've probably used Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, and you certainly will have found articles using JSTOR. But have you tried Birkhäuser Building Types Online? This new database by the publisher De Gruyter has articles (just like those other databases) but also includes vector-based drawings, architectural plans, photographs and much more.

The main feature of Birkhäuser Building Types Online is that it allows you to explore by building type or morphological type, rather than just by keywords. If you're looking to browse office buildings, you'll find 67 of them currently listed - with more coming every day! If you choose to view a particular office building in the list, such as VPRO Villa by MVRDV, you’ll see site plans, professional photos of the exterior, and a brief description of the project.

However, if you were to search for the architectural practice MVRDV, you’ll see all the entries for individual projects (including VPRO Villa, Villa KBWW and Mirador Residential Complex). You’ll also find excerpts from books in the De Gruyter collection that mention the architectural practice. This will give you an excellent starting point for your research into building types and specific projects. Explore and enjoy!

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