Seventy Wonders of the Modern World: 1500 Years of Extraordinary Feats of Engineering and Construction
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Seventy Wonders of the Modern World: 1500 Years of Extraordinary Feats of Engineering and Construction

by Neil Parkyn
     
 
St. Peter's Basilica, the Taj Mahal, the Topkapi Palace, the Sydney Opera House, the Hoover Dam—the world's greatest structures capture the imagination, whether they are places of worship, palaces of pleasure, skyscrapers, bridges, dams, or colossal statues.

How was the Empire State Building erected in the middle of the crowded city of New York? What machines

Overview

St. Peter's Basilica, the Taj Mahal, the Topkapi Palace, the Sydney Opera House, the Hoover Dam—the world's greatest structures capture the imagination, whether they are places of worship, palaces of pleasure, skyscrapers, bridges, dams, or colossal statues.

How was the Empire State Building erected in the middle of the crowded city of New York? What machines were used to dig the Channel Tunnel? Why does the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean—and why does it not fall over? How can the Akashi Kaikyo suspension bridge in Japan span 1.4 miles yet withstand earthquakes and typhoons? And what supports the soaring, lofty vaults of Chartres Cathedral? Such questions are answered by an international team of architects, engineers, and architectural historians who chart the progress of human ingenuity and creativity from AD 500 to the present day.

Many of these structures are the tallest, longest, or largest of their kind, but sheer size alone does not make a building impressive. Aesthetic power is combined with structural virtuosity in the small chapel at Ronchamp in France or the temple of Byodo-in near Kyoto, with its elegant wooden roof. The ability to harness or overcome the forces of nature is equally spectacular, as seen in China's Three Gorges Dam or the Jungfrau Rail System in Switzerland. While some buildings, including Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the Potala Palace in Lhasa, were erected using traditional methods and materials, others represent the latest in computer-aided design and space-age technologies, such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Kansai Airport in Japan.

Diagrams, reconstructions, and spectacular photographs explain and celebrate these masterpieces of design and engineering. All the structures manage to transcend mere utility—they have changed landscapes and can encapsulate the identity of a city or a nation, becoming iconic forms that are instantly recognizable and infinitely memorable. 352 photographs and illustrations, 267 in color.

Author Biography: Neil Parkyn, an architect and city planner, has worked in sixteen countries. He is also a prize-winning journalist and illustrator.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This companion volume to The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World and The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Ancient World examines well-known structures worldwide. Although the book is subtitled "1500 Years of Extraordinary Feats of Engineering and Construction," most of the featured "wonders" date from the second half of the 20th century. The selections are divided into seven categories: churches, palaces, public buildings, towers and skyscrapers, bridges and railways, canals and dams, and statues. Each entry includes basic information on history, structural and engineering details, innovations, aesthetics, and a sidebar "factfile." Written by 28 architects, engineers, and historians, primarily from the United States, Britain, and Australia, the book is intended for general readers. The photos and diagrams that complement the text are uniformly excellent. A more sophisticated, broader, but more expensive choice in the "building wonders" category is Donald Langmead and Christine Garnaut's Encyclopedia of Architectural and Engineering Feats. Suitable for school, public, and basic academic collections.-Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A beautifully executed, well-organized work. Accompanied by good (mostly color) photos with explanatory captions, the text relates lots of facts: when a structure was built and why; its construction history; politics, if any; and basic statistics such as dimensions, etc. The information is condensed into two to four pages of interesting writing and illustrations per project. Sites are arranged by category: churches, mosques, temples, and shrines; palaces and castles (ranging from the Forbidden City to Hearst's Castle); public and state buildings; towers and skyscrapers; bridges, railways, and tunnels; canals and dams; and colossal statues. The piece on the World Trade Center includes informed speculation on the reason for its collapse. Useful for history, civilization, architecture, engineering, and physics classes as well as for general readers.-Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500510476
Publisher:
W W Norton & Co Inc
Publication date:
11/28/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 10.50(h) x 1.33(d)

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