Featuring over 200 photographs, this stunning book by renowned television historian Dan Cruickshank tells the history of architecture through the stories of 100 iconic buildings
Journeying through time and place, from the ancient Egyptian pyramids to the soaring skyscrapers of Manhattan, renowned architectural historian Dan Cruickshank explores the most impressive and characterful creations in world architecture.
His selection includes many of the world’s best-known buildings that represent key or pioneering moments in architectural history, such as the Pantheon in Rome, Hagia Sophia in Turkey, the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China.
But the book also covers less obvious and more surprising structures, the generally unsung heroes of an endlessly fascinating story. Buildings like Oriel Chambers in Liverpool and the Narkomfin Apartment Building in Moscow.
Dan Cruickshank has visited nearly all the buildings in the book, many in locations that are now inaccessible and under serious threat. A History of Architecture in 100 Buildings is an eloquent and often moving testimony to the power of great architecture to shape, and be shaped by, world history.
Praise for A History of Architecture in 100 Buildings:
‘Stunning’ Irish Examiner
Praise for Dan Cruickshank:
‘Beneath the jocular surface lies an entirely serious expertise. The breadth of Cruickshank's knowledge and the very speed of his journey enables him to make striking connections between apparently unrelated cultures … illuminating … inspirational’ Guardian
‘A colossal melting pot of a book: ambitious, rigorously researched, vigorously narrated and marvellously illustrated. All of life is here, but not as we know it’ Sunday Times
‘Fascinating … a lively and scholarly panorama’ Daily Mail
About the author
Dan Cruickshank is a writer and architectural historian who has made numerous history and culture programmes for the BBC including ‘Britain's Best Buildings’, ‘Around the World in Eighty Treasures’; ‘Adventures in Architecture’; ‘Under Fire: Culture and Conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq’; ‘Britain's Palaces’ and ‘The Country House Revealed’. He is the author of ‘Life in the Georgian City’; ‘The Secret History of Georgian London’; and ‘Bridges: Heroic Designs that Changed the World’. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was an editor on the Architects’ Journal and The Architectural Review, was visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, has served on the executive committee of the Georgian Group and on the Architecture Panel of the National Trust, is a founding Trustee of the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, of SAVE Britain’s Heritage and of the campaign to rebuild the Euston Arch.
Cruickshank (Around the World in Eighty Treasures), an art historian, author, and BBC presenter, has produced a beautifully illustrated history of architecture that's both representative and expansive in scope. Cruickshank takes a historical perspective, beginning with the pyramids, and moves through to the present. His exploration is a "personal and intimate affair," and he examines world architecture under differing rubrics, exploring functions and purposes of the buildings. He makes a distinction between buildings and architecture and looks at what makes a building exceptional. He asks how buildings are expressive, and to what purpose; the significance of the tension between conservative and progressive tendencies; and the role of the sacred and of aesthetics. He also zooms out to consider social spaces and urban environments, and the implications of different architectural schools of thought. Cruickshank considers the historical contexts and individual inspiration that brought each building into being. This fascinating book is a visual feast. It does, however, presuppose some knowledge of architecture, including some jargon. Being somewhat cursory in its approach, it may leave the uninitiated stranded at times, and the seasoned will be somewhat unsatisfied. But for the many readers in between those two ends of the spectrum, it is a great read. Photos.