Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Macaulay, David. Built to Last.

Macaulay, David Built to Last
Houghton Mifflin/Clarion/Graphia/Kingfisher 2010 272p 24.99 978-0-547-34240-5 ms/hs Architecture E-BN

This spectacular compendium combines three of David Macaulay's books, Castle, Cathedral, and Mosque into one volume. This is not simply a reprint of the earlier books but offers a greatly amplified and fully colored version of the originals. Macaulay has added an immense amount of new material to both the text and the beautifully rendered illustrations that create a whole new look to each section of Castle and Cathedral matching them more closely to Mosque. He explains the construction of some of the most remarkable buildings man has ever built, focusing on the connections between design and creation and planning and success. Macaulay discusses the methods the early architects, engineers, and builders used to erect these architectural wonders beginning with the basic questions of what should be the suitable design for each project and the solutions found to address any problems. He clearly presents the information necessary for the construction of each project, whether it be the footings to support a wall or the stresses necessary to overcome in the addition of a magnificent dome. The challenges of the constructions are also explained clearly and succinctly with emphasis on how the builders adapted either their projects or the surrounding area to accommodate them. He provides beautifully rendered illustrations of each project under construction, complete with architectural drawings, and a ╥picture╙ of the finished item. The drawings are carefully labeled with each caption explaining the process and fit in perfectly with the text. The book ends with a glossary of many of the construction terms but no index. Ogintz, Susan

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