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The Great Builders

Author/EditorPowell, Kenneth (Author)
ISBN: 9780500294789
Pub Date13/05/2021
BindingPaperback
Pages256
Dimensions (mm)198(h) * 129(w)
A unique survey of forty architect-engineers who have been pioneers in both aesthetic design and technological innovation.
$21.10
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A unique survey of forty architect-engineers who have been pioneers in both aesthetic design and technological innovation.

The Great Builders surveys the careers of forty great architects whose engineering skills were crucial to their success. Sixteen nationalities and seven centuries of architectural innovation make for a survey of spectacular scope and depth: from churches and fortresses to bridges and high-tech skyscrapers, it includes masterpieces from all over the world and covers 700 years of architectural history.

Here is Brunelleschi, who built the ‘unbuildable’ dome of Florence Cathedral; Sinan, a Christian engineer who became chief architect to the Ottoman court; Joseph Paxton, scribbling down a design for the Crystal Palace, London, on a piece of blotting paper; and James Bogardus, an early American evangelist of the opportunities offered by cast-iron architecture.

Rapid advances in industrial production inspired experiments with new materials and techniques, gradually allowing a whole new architecture to emerge: reinforced concrete, plate glass and steel were central to the creations of Le Corbusier, Auguste Perret and Mies van der Rohe, for instance; and, in the High-Tech architecture of the present day – represented by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava, among others – computer-aided design has seemingly tested the boundaries of the possible.

A unique survey of forty architect-engineers who have been pioneers in both aesthetic design and technological innovation.

The Great Builders surveys the careers of forty great architects whose engineering skills were crucial to their success. Sixteen nationalities and seven centuries of architectural innovation make for a survey of spectacular scope and depth: from churches and fortresses to bridges and high-tech skyscrapers, it includes masterpieces from all over the world and covers 700 years of architectural history.

Here is Brunelleschi, who built the ‘unbuildable’ dome of Florence Cathedral; Sinan, a Christian engineer who became chief architect to the Ottoman court; Joseph Paxton, scribbling down a design for the Crystal Palace, London, on a piece of blotting paper; and James Bogardus, an early American evangelist of the opportunities offered by cast-iron architecture.

Rapid advances in industrial production inspired experiments with new materials and techniques, gradually allowing a whole new architecture to emerge: reinforced concrete, plate glass and steel were central to the creations of Le Corbusier, Auguste Perret and Mies van der Rohe, for instance; and, in the High-Tech architecture of the present day – represented by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava, among others – computer-aided design has seemingly tested the boundaries of the possible.

Kenneth Powell is an architectural historian, critic and consultant. He has written extensively on 20th-century and contemporary British architecture, and is the author of books on the work of Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and other major British architects. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and has served on the Council of the Architectural Association.

Pioneers of Structure: Filippo Brunelleschi; Qavam al-Din Shirazi; Giuliano da Sangallo; Sinan; Shah Jahan; Christopher Wren; Sebastien Vauban * The Age of Iron: Thomas Telford; Karl Friedrich Schinkel; James Bogardus; Joseph Paxton; Victor Baltard; Isambard Kingdom Brunel; A.W.N. Pugin; Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc; John Fowler * Concrete and Steel: Giuseppe Mengoni; William Le Baron Jenney; Gustave Eiffel; Francois Hennebique; Antoni Gaudi; Louis H. Sullivan; Frank Lloyd Wright; Auguste Perret; Mies van der Rohe; Le Corbusier; Konstantin Melnikov; Pier Luigi Nervi NewVisions: R. Buckminster Fuller; Ove Arup; Louis I.Kahn; Jean Prouve; Oscar Niemeyer; Eero Saarinen; Frei Otto; Frank Gehry; Kenzo Tange; Norman Foster; Santiago Calatrava; Kengo Kuma.

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