Bricks & Mortals - Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made

Author(s): Tom Wilkinson


We don't just look at buildings: their facades, beautiful or ugly, conceal the spaces we inhabit. We are born, work, love and die in architecture. We buy and sell it, rent it and squat in it, create and destroy it. These aspects of buildings - economic, erotic, political and psychological - are crucial if we are to understand architecture properly. And because architecture moulds us just as much as we mould it, understanding architecture helps us to understand our lives and our world. Through ten great buildings across the world Tom Wilkinson reveals the powerful and intimate relationship between society and architecture and asks: can architecture change our lives for the better? THE TEN BUILDINGS: The Tower of Babel, Babylon (c. 650 BC), The Golden House, Rome (AD 64-68), Djinguereber Mosque, Timbuktu (1327), Palazzo Rucellai, Florence (1450), The Garden of Perfect Brightness, Beijing (1709-1860), Festival Theatre, Bayreuth, Germany (1876), Highland Park Car Factory, Detroit (1909-1910), E.1027, Cap Martin (1926-29), Finsbury Health Centre, London (1938), Footbridge, Rio de Janeiro, London (2010)


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A brilliant exploration of architecture through ten of the world's great buildings. Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2014.

Revealing the extraordinary backstories behind architectures both every day and spectacular, Bricks & Mortals is consistently informed, polemical and surprising Owen Hatherley Lively and quirky ... It's hard to imagine a history of buildings design being such good fun. You don't have to be a lover of architecture to enjoy this stimulating book with its mix of social and cultural history ... Fascinating The Times A lively combination of scholarship, cultural history and sharp-tongued social commentary ... A scholarly but swiftly flowing text that glistens with attitude Kirkus Poses the contrarian modernist belief that it's not people and use that make buildings, but buildings that direct the ideas that make societies. He kicks off with the Tower of Babel, races through mud mosques in Timbuktu and the Ford factory in Detroit, before stopping on Pine Street and Finsbury Health Centre AA Gill, Sunday Times

Tom Wilkinson is writing a doctoral thesis on art history at University College London, where he teaches an undergraduate course on architectural history. He has lectured on the history of art and architecture at the Courtauld Gallery and the University of Oxford. He has lived in Shanghai and Berlin. Bricks & Mortals is his first book.

General Fields

  • : 9781408843673
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : July 2015
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : June 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Tom Wilkinson
  • : 352
  • : Paperback