The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories
A strikingly original, beautifully narrated history of Western architecture and the cultural transformations that it represents
Concrete, marble, steel, brick: little else made by human hands seems as stable, as immutable, as a building. Yet the life of any structure is neither fixed nor timeless. Outliving their original contexts and purposes, buildings are forced to adapt to each succeeding age. To survive, they must become shape-shifters.
In an inspired refashioning of architectural history, Edward Hollis recounts more than a dozen stories of such metamorphosis, highlighting the way in which even the most familiar structures all change over time into "something rich and strange." The Parthenon, that epitome of a ruined temple, was for centuries a working church and then a mosque; the cathedral of Notre Dame was "restored" to a design that none of its original makers would have recognized. Remains of the Berlin Wall, meanwhile, which was once gleefully smashed and bulldozed, are now treated as precious relics.
With The Secret Lives of Buildings, Edward Hollis recounts the most enthralling of these metamorphoses and shows how buildings have come to embody the history of Western culture.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Dreesie - LibraryThing
This book is definitely interesting, but it is also uneven. A major theme throughout several--but not all--chapters is the idea of "restoration." I think if Hollis had made this an overarching theme ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing
Loved it! Possibly one of the most intriguing books I've read in recent years. I thought I was picking up a book on architecture, but what it was instead was a fascinating read in history through 13 ... Read full review
The Basilica of San Marco Venice
The Santa Casa of Loreto
The Alhambra Granada
The Tempio Malatestiano Rimini
Sans Souci Potsdam
Notre Dame de Paris
The Hulme Crescents Manchester
The Berlin Wall
The Venetian Las Vegas
The Western Wall Jerusalem
Other editions - View all
The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas ...
No preview available - 2009
The Secret Lives Of Buildings: From The Parthenon To The Vegas Strip In ...
No preview available - 2011