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One person found this helpful
didn't work for me though
on July 10, 2015
Maybe the author, Witold Rybczynski, should have concentrated on how books work more. The first chapter does grab you but after that he loses the plot and becomes so repetitive. I mean, how many times can you mention the Seagram Building or Disney Hall? Also, any book on architecture needs more visuals and many of the photos are of, what seems to my eye, incredibly bland buildings with no sense of style.
I do think the concept was there but something was just missing. Having said that, the section that talked about staircases was unintentionally hilarious. Maybe they were worth discussing among architects but looking at the pics, I laughed at much ado about really nothing.
For building and structure design (and this may be more of an engineering angle that architecture), I think following the lead of Henry Petroski and his entertaining yet very informative way of presenting topics such as this was the model Rybczynski should have adopted in writing this.