Why We Build

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, Aug 30, 2012 - Architecture - 421 pages
1 Review
Architecture, good and bad, is shaped by emotions. In Why We Build Rowan Moore shows how buildings are driven by human emotions and desires – such as hope, power, money, sex, and the idea of home – and how buildings then shape our experiences. He explores the making of buildings from conception to inhabitation, and reveals the paradoxical power of architecture: it looks fixed and solid, but is always changing, in response to the lives around it. Moore takes us on a personal journey, moving freely across the globe and through history, through works of folly, beauty, spectacle, and subtlety. He uncovers the doomed mansion of an Atlanta multimillionaire, the phenomenally successful High Line in New York, and the remarkable Museu de Arte in São Paulo. He discusses baroque churches and Egyptian pyramids alongside works of the moment. We meet extraordinary characters: Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, the lecherous Stanford White, and Lina Bo Bardi, the most underrated architect of the twentieth century. Refusing to bow to fashion or reputation, Moore gives a provocative and iconoclastic view of what makes architecture, why it matters, and why we find it fascinating. After reading Why We Build you will never look at a building in the same way again.

What people are saying - Write a review

Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture

User Review  - John Creech - Book Verdict

Most recently the architecture critic for the Observer (London), Moore (Building Tate Modern: Herzog & De Meuron) leads the reader on an eclectic and far-ranging tour of the history of architecture ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Rowan Moore is the architecture critic for the Observer and previously for the Evening Standard. He is also a trained architect, and between 2002 and 2008 was the Director of the Architecture Foundation.

Bibliographic information