The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Logo
The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond Cover Image
By Patrick Dillon, Stephen Biesty (Illustrator)
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

The book to buy young readers interested in architecture. - Cressida


— From Staff Picks - Cressida


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 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

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)

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.
—Kirkus Reviews

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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780763669904
ISBN-10: 0763669903
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Pages: 95
Language: English