Buildings and Living
The design of most houses throughout the world depends on the climate. People living in hot countries need their houses to be as cool as possible, while people in cold countries need their houses to be warm. The materials that people use to build their houses usually depend on what they can find around them. Stone, mud1, straw and wood are all natural materials that have been used to build houses for thousands of years. However, many modern houses are built from manmade materials such as steel and glass.
The ancient Greeks built their houses from sun-dried mud bricks laid on stone. The roofs were covered with pottery tiles2. Rooms were built around an open yard so that cool air could build up and move through the rooms during hot days.
Between 1000 A.D. and 1500 A.D., castles were built in Britain, France, Germany and many other European countries. Castles were built by important people such as kings and queens. They were not only great houses that the owners could show off to their friends, but also military3 bases with which the lands around them were defended.
The Incas built their homes from large rocks from the nearby mountains. The rocks were fitted together and the thick walls protected them against the cold wind in winter.
The Etruscans lived in western Italy around 2,500 years ago. Wealthy Etruscan families built luxurious4 palaces with beautiful bronze statues and mirrors.
The Iroquois people lived in the forests of North America. They built their long-houses using wood covered with sheets of thick bark5. These houses were huge, and several families lived in each one.
1. mud n.泥
2. pottery tile 陶瓦
3. military adj.军事的
4. luxurious adj.奢侈的, 豪华的
5. bark n.树皮
1. Unlike other people, the ancient Greeks built _____.
A. a lot of great castles to show off to their friends
B. their houses on stone with sun-dried mud bricks
C. their houses from large rocks from the mountains
D. many luxurious palaces with beautiful decorations
2. The Etruscans in western Italy and the people building castles in Europe were alike because _____.
A. they built houses with beautiful bronze statues and mirrors
B. they had military bases which they used to defend their lands
C. they were very wealthy and built luxurious palaces or castles for themselves
D. they built great houses so that they could show them off to their friends and relatives
3. The Iroquois people living in North America differed from the other people because _____.
A. the roofs of their homes were covered with pottery tiles
B. their houses were built from steel and glass
C. the walls of their houses protected them from the cold
D. their houses were big enough for several families to live in each one
It seems that there are hundreds of different styles of houses, and we have a different name for each one. Here are some types of North American houses: A-Frame —A modern A-shaped house with its roof spreading down towards the ground on both sides. They often have large windows on the front and back. They are popular as cottages.
Co-operative —A unit owned by a company where a buyer gets a share in it. The user’s rights and obligations1 are governed by a member’s agreement. Different laws in the U.S. and Canada govern co-operatives.
Condominium —A multi-unit building, with each unit owned by a different person. The building and the land are owned by all of the unit owners.
Federal —Often made of brick, this is a big two-story house with a front door in the center, and sidelights and a fanlight window2 above the door. It has windows on the front and sides of the house as well as a chimney on one side of the house.
Mansard —This two-story house gets its name from its roof, which has two slopes3. The lower slope is steeper than the upper one. The roof continues over the second story of the house only to be interrupted by small windows.
Normandy —These brick houses with steeply sloped roofs are made to look like small French castles. They usually have two stories with a small balcony4.
Romanesque —These impressive houses are typically made from brick or stone, with rounded towers and special entrance-ways.
1. obligation n.义务, 职责
2. fanlight window扇形窗
3. slope n.斜坡, 斜面
4. balcony n.阳台
1. The Co-operative houses and Condominiums are alike because _____.
A. they are both multi-unit buildings rather than individual ones
B. they are both styles of houses and forms of ownership
C. they are both governed by the same laws in the same country
D. they both have large windows on the front and back
2. The Federal and Normandy styles are similar because _____.
A. they both have windows on the front and sides of the house
B. they are both made to look like small French castles
C. they both have sidelights and fanlight windows above the door
D. they are both two-story buildings that are usually made of bricks
3. Which of the following is a similarity among all of the given styles of houses in this passage?
A. They are all made from brick or stone.
B. They are all brick buildings.