The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond (Hardcover)
The book to buy young readers interested in architecture.
Aspiring architects will be in their element! Explore this illustrated narrative history of buildings for young readers, an amazing construction in itself.
We spend most of our lives in buildings. We make our homes in them. We go to school in them. We work in them. But why and how did people start making buildings? How did they learn to make them stronger, bigger, and more comfortable? Why did they start to decorate them in different ways? From the pyramid erected so that an Egyptian pharaoh would last forever to the dramatic, machine-like Pompidou Center designed by two young architects, Patrick Dillon’s stories of remarkable buildings — and the remarkable people who made them — celebrates the ingenuity of human creation. Stephen Biesty’s extraordinarily detailed illustrations take us inside famous buildings throughout history and demonstrate just how these marvelous structures fit together.
About the Author
Patrick Dillon is an architect and historian. He is the author of The Story of Britain from the Norman Conquest to the European Union, a narrative history for children, and of two highly acclaimed history books for adults. On writing The Story of Buildings, he says, "My two favorite things are stories and buildings. Telling stories about buildings is as good as it gets." Patrick Dillon lives in London.
Stephen Biesty is the creator of Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections, which has sold more than a million copies worldwide since its publication in 1992. He lives in Somerset, England.
Praise for The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond…
Clear explanations of basic building concepts (cantilevers, arches and domes, reinforced concrete) are balanced with discussions of more abstract principles such as symmetry, geometry, and pattern. But the volume is truly set apart by Biesty’s elaborate, meticulously detailed, and clearly labeled drawings (some stretching across two large-format pages plus two half-page fold-outs). ... Biesty here adds a kaleidoscopic yet tightly integrated visual dimension that will transfix readers.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
A diverse selection of buildings are highlighted... Working with colored pencil, Biesty uses a gentler line than in his hyperattentive Cross-Sections books, but there’s no loss of detail: you could, if so inclined, count the steps leading up to the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City. Each picture is thoroughly but unobtrusively annotated... The main text has a nice narrative flow that links the buildings and eras together, and Dillon has a gift for evocation as well as explanation. ... [I]ts absorbing pictures and spacious design invite you to start where you like. You’ll go back for more. An index and a timeline, fascinating in its own right, are appended.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
Biesty’s precisely drawn, finely detailed architectural views supply the highlights for this ... survey of homes and prominent buildings through the ages. ... Broad of historical (if not international) scope and with illustrations that richly reward poring over.
This large, handsome volume combines broad discussions of architectural history with exceptional drawings of significant buildings from ancient to modern times. ... An English architect, Dillon clearly knows his subject and presents it in a readable way. ... Intricate and precise, Biesty’s colored-pencil drawings offer viewers a good sense of the scale as well as the form and presence of each building. Through his signature cross sections, details of interiors and construction can be seen as well.
The best buildings are more than the sum of their prosaic parts—they are meeting places of imagination and practicality, embodiments of man both as he is and as he aspires to be. It is these rather elusive architectural qualities that Stephen Biesty captures brilliantly in his warm, finely drawn illustrations for "The Story of Buildings." Here, in honey-colored drawings on creamy paper, young readers ages 10-16 (and their parents) can explore famous structures along a timelines from antiquity to the present. ... [A] sympathetic and highly readable chronicle of man's most enduring means of cultural expression.
—The Wall Street Journal
Ambitious... Stephen Biesty supplies his signature cutaways for sixteen of the buildings, and these details, together with truly informative insets, are likely to captivate reader attention.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books