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St. Martins Press-3PL

The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories

The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories

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A strikingly original, beautifully narrated history of Western architecture and the cultural transformations that it represents

Concrete, marble, steel, brick: little else made by human hands seems as stable, as immutable, as a building. Yet the life of any structure is neither fixed nor timeless. Outliving their original contexts and purposes, buildings are forced to adapt to each succeeding age. To survive, they must become shape-shifters.

In an inspired refashioning of architectural history, Edward Hollis recounts more than a dozen stories of such metamorphosis, highlighting the way in which even the most familiar structures all change over time into "something rich and strange." The Parthenon, that epitome of a ruined temple, was for centuries a working church and then a mosque; the cathedral of Notre Dame was "restored" to a design that none of its original makers would have recognized. Remains of the Berlin Wall, meanwhile, which was once gleefully smashed and bulldozed, are now treated as precious relics.

With The Secret Lives of Buildings, Edward Hollis recounts the most enthralling of these metamorphoses and shows how buildings have come to embody the history of Western culture.



Author: Edward Hollis
Publisher: St. Martins Press-3PL
Published: 10/26/2010
Pages: 386
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.20h x 5.40w x 1.20d
ISBN: 9780312655365

About the Author
Edward Hollis is an architect and designer who teaches at the Edinburgh College of Art. Trained at Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, he worked for five years in the United Kingdom as a practicing architect, specializing in alterations to historic buildings. The Secret Lives of Buildings is his first book.

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