http://johnlobell.com This is a lecture given in first year architectural history in the school of architecture at Pratt Institute. It is mostly focused on Gothic architecture, looking at it in historical context, then at Gothic structure, and then how it is the "temple form" for Western culture.
http://johnlobell.com Between 1150 and 1300 Europe build 80 major Gothic cathedrals and over 350 churches. Why? These daring edifices displaying incredibly sophisticated building technologies consumed major portions of the economic output of the time, so there must have been a reason, and there was.
These cathedrals, likes the Greek temples and Egyptian pyramids before them, served as models for the possibilities of human existence, the possibilities of our material lives and spiritual existence.
Stand in the nave of a Gothic cathedral and you realize that it will be the descendants of its builders who will circle the globe and travel into space.