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Skyscrapers: A History of the World's Most Extraordinary Buildings -- Revised and Updated Hardcover – November 5, 2013
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Look up! Architectural historian Dupré, who's also written about bridges (Bridges: A History of the World's Most Important Spans), churches (Churches), and monuments (Monuments: America's History in Art and Memory), has updated her 1996 "instant classic" with 15 new essays and plenty of new contenders for World's Tallest Building.
Reflecting the many changes in the world, and in the world of architecture, since 1996, the new edition looks at the myriad "supertalls" in China and elsewhere, the wave of "green" skyscrapers, and the barrier-busting work of architects such as Adrian Smith, who designed the current tall champion, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Burj Khalifa won't hold the title for long: Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture are busy working on the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which will top out at one kilometer. It's scheduled to be completed in 2018.
The book's design is supertall itself, measuring 9? x 18? to really make the gorgeous renderings and photos pop. Dupré starts with the world's first skyscraper (Chicago's Home Insurance Building, built in 1885, demolished in 1931) and proceeds through the classics like the Flatiron Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building in New York, Marina City and the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) in Chicago, to newer achievements in building height located in London, Atlanta, Sweden, Asia and various Arab countries.
I spent a lot of time gazing at the photos of Cesar Pelli's beautiful design for the Petronas Towers in Juala Lumpur, Malaysia, the tallest building(s) in the world from 1997?2004. Dupré writes: Although Pelli was charged with creating a design that would be uniquely Malaysian, there was little authentically Malaysian design in the city: British Colonialists had built its most significant buildings and its commercial structures were rendered in a nondescript International Style. The only truly traditional constructions were short bamboo structures with thatched roofs. Instead, Pelli said he "tried to respond to the climate, to the dominant Islamic culture, and to the sense of form and patterning that I could perceive in traditional Malaysian building." Evidently, the architect achieved that aim: In 2004, Pelli was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the towers' design. The dear departed (can you say that about a structure?) World Trade Center towers are documented as well?the photo representation is of the double "towers of light" that make their appearance every September 11. The single-spire replacement for the towers, which LJ staffers can see out our office window, is also documented. That much-delayed project is due to be completed next year.
From the Inside Flap
Rising majestically above the hubbub of crowded cities or standing in solitude against a natural backdrop, skyscrapers captivate the eye, excite the imagination, and inspire awe. Wonders of creativity and ingenuity, they embody the best of our practical achievements and reflect our highest aspirations.
This magnificent chronological tour of the world 's tallest buildings thoroughly revised and updated since its initial publication, and featuring cutting edge work by today 's international superstars of architecture stands as the most thorough, authoritative, and eye-popping book on the subject, as dramatic in presentation as the structures it celebrates. Breathtaking photographs capture the buildings details as well as their monumental scale; architectural drawings and plans invite you behind the scenes as new buildings take shape; and lively commentary on each building explores its particular significance and provides historic context. Throughout, informative profiles, features, and statistics make "Skyscrapers" an invaluable reference as well as a visual feast.
From a church built to the glory of God to monuments that symbolize national or civic pride, to buildings so forward thinking that they contribute to the betterment of the environment, the 62 structures included here encompass the very best and most ingenious of our history, spanning some 125 years and circling the globe. The 15 astonishing supertalls that have been added to this edition represent flights of imagination and feats of engineering that the skyscraper 's earliest pioneers could never have dreamed of.
To say that the megatall landscape has changed since this book was first published in 1996 is an understatement, comments the author in her forward. We are in the midst of a new skyscraper boom Skyscraper design, now embraced by the global community, has entered a flamboyant, no-holds-barred era of exhilarating, highly personal exploration of the extreme frontiers of structural and creative possibility.
Every civilization has expressed in buildings both sacred and secular the eternal quest to reach ever upward toward the sky. "Skyscrapers" invites you to relish in the stunning works born of that quest.
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Top Customer Reviews
it is fun to just browse the book and gasp at the amazing buildings, or choose one and read of its intricacies.
This is a PERFECT GIFT BOOK!