The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond

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Product Details

$21.99  $20.45
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publish Date
10.0 X 11.4 X 0.7 inches | 2.25 pounds

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About the Author

Patrick Dillon is an architect and historian. He is the author of The Story of Britain from the Norman Conquest to the European Union, a narrative history for children, and of two highly acclaimed history books for adults. On writing The Story of Buildings, he says, "My two favorite things are stories and buildings. Telling stories about buildings is as good as it gets." Patrick Dillon lives in London.

Stephen Biesty is the creator of Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections, which has sold more than a million copies worldwide since its publication in 1992. He lives in Somerset, England.


Clear explanations of basic building concepts (cantilevers, arches and domes, reinforced concrete) are balanced with discussions of more abstract principles such as symmetry, geometry, and pattern. But the volume is truly set apart by Biesty's elaborate, meticulously detailed, and clearly labeled drawings (some stretching across two large-format pages plus two half-page fold-outs). ... Biesty here adds a kaleidoscopic yet tightly integrated visual dimension that will transfix readers.
--School Library Journal (starred review)

A diverse selection of buildings are highlighted... Working with colored pencil, Biesty uses a gentler line than in his hyperattentive Cross-Sections books, but there's no loss of detail: you could, if so inclined, count the steps leading up to the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City. Each picture is thoroughly but unobtrusively annotated... The main text has a nice narrative flow that links the buildings and eras together, and Dillon has a gift for evocation as well as explanation. ... [I]ts absorbing pictures and spacious design invite you to start where you like. You'll go back for more. An index and a timeline, fascinating in its own right, are appended.
--The Horn Book (starred review)

Biesty's precisely drawn, finely detailed architectural views supply the highlights for this ... survey of homes and prominent buildings through the ages. ... Broad of historical (if not international) scope and with illustrations that richly reward poring over.
--Kirkus Reviews

This large, handsome volume combines broad discussions of architectural history with exceptional drawings of significant buildings from ancient to modern times. ... An English architect, Dillon clearly knows his subject and presents it in a readable way. ... Intricate and precise, Biesty's colored-pencil drawings offer viewers a good sense of the scale as well as the form and presence of each building. Through his signature cross sections, details of interiors and construction can be seen as well.

Ambitious... Stephen Biesty supplies his signature cutaways for sixteen of the buildings, and these details, together with truly informative insets, are likely to captivate reader attention.
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Reading the story and poring over the fascinating illustrations will amaze as well as inform the reader.
--Library Media Connection

The best buildings are more than the sum of their prosaic parts--they are meeting places of imagination and practicality, embodiments of man both as he is and as he aspires to be. It is these rather elusive architectural qualities that Stephen Biesty captures brilliantly in his warm, finely drawn illustrations for "The Story of Buildings." Here, in honey-colored drawings on creamy paper, young readers ages 10-16 (and their parents) can explore famous structures along a timelines from antiquity to the present. ... [A] sympathetic and highly readable chronicle of man's most enduring means of cultural expression.
--The Wall Street Journal

An elegant survey of man's most enduring means of cultural expression written by Patrick Dillon and filled with delicious, detailed drawings by Stephen Biesty.
--Wall Street Journal

Sixteen iconic feats of architecture, such as the Chrysler Building (still the tallest brick building in the world), reveal their histories through lively text and cross-section drawings.

Stephen Biesty's intricate, detailed cross-sections of buildings make this an unsurpassable work.
--East Bay Express

Perfect for junior architects, this educational introduction to the world of buildings features Bietsy's trademark cutaway illustrations.
--The Globe and Mail