The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories

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Portobello, 2009 - Architectural design - 388 pages
The plans are drawn up, a site is chosen, and foundations are dug: a building comes into being with the expectation that it will stay put and stay for ever. But a building is a capricious thing: it is inhabited and changed, and its existence is a tale of constant and curious transformation. In this radical re-imagination of architectural history, Edward Hollis tells the stories of thirteen buildings, beginning with the 'once upon a time' when they first appeared, through the years of appropriation, ruin and renovation, and ending with a temporary 'ever after'.

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User 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

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User 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

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About the author (2009)

Born in London in 1971, Edward Hollis studied Architecture at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh before joining a practice, working first on ruins and follies in the coastal lagoons of Sri Lanka and then on Victorian villas, old breweries and town halls in Scotland. He now teaches Interior Design at Edinburgh College of Art. The Secret Lives of Buildings was his first book.

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