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The Secret Lives Of Buildings
 
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The Secret Lives Of Buildings [Format Kindle]

Edward Hollis

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

The plans are drawn up, a site is chosen, 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 reimagining 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'. In spell-binding prose, Hollis follows his buildings through time and space to reveal the hidden histories of the Parthenon and the Alhambra, Gloucester Cathedral and Haghia Sofia, Sans Souci and Notre Dame de Paris, Malatesta’s Tempio and Loreto, and explores landmarks of our own time, from Hulme’s legendary crescents to the Berlin Wall and the fibre-glass theme parks of Las Vegas.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1369 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 404 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1846271282
  • Editeur : Portobello Books (4 août 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005IOKOX6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°36.812 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  9 commentaires
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Eccentric Look at Historic Architecture 15 décembre 2009
Par R. Hardy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
We were touring a castle in England years ago, and came to the banqueting hall. "This hall has been remodeled many times," the sign in the room said, "the last time in 1654." It was a reminder of how old old buildings in the Old World really are, and a cause for doubt: can it be that this room looked just the same as it did over 300 years ago? I thought of that sign many times as I was reading _The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories_ (Metropolitan Books) by Edward Hollis. The author is an architect and teacher who has specialized in alterations to historic buildings. Hollis says that "architecture is all too often imagined as if buildings do not--and should not--change." An emblem of this idea is included here, "The Architect's Dream," a painting from 1840 by Thomas Cole, which shows an impossibly rich array of buildings all together, from pyramids to a gothic spire, each of them looking as new as if they had been built yesterday. A dream, indeed, a complete fantasy; an architect might design a building with initial perfection, but buildings do change. "... the fact that all great buildings mutate over time is often treated as something of a dirty secret, or at best a source of melancholic reflection." Hollis argues otherwise. If we insist that pristine buildings are the only ones that count, we eliminate examples of architecture that are important, and not just the ancient ones. His book includes some famous buildings, some infamous ones, and some not buildings at all. The eccentric choices and sometimes whimsical narratives belie that this is a serious book of architectural appreciation.

It is good to start with that icon of the ancient world, the Parthenon. It was built as a home for the gods, but served many more centuries as a Christian church, first Roman and then Orthodox. Then it was a mosque. Then it became a magazine for ammunition; in all these versions, it was remodeled and changed to suit each new use. When the ammunition blew up, it became an unusable ruin, the pieces of which we see on the Acropolis hilltop today. Hollis maintains, however, it is not even the ruin from the old days. It has been subsequently ruined by depredation, with fragments dispersed not just as the famous Elgin Marbles to London, but also to the Vatican, to Vienna, and who knows where else. Hollis begins many of his chapters with "Once upon a time," calling upon legends and stories to help examine the meaning of the bricks and mortar. This is most fitting in the flitting of the Holy House of Loreto, which, like the Parthenon, is better as an idea than as a real building. The house was the very building where an angel flew in through the window to tell Mary that she was going to be having the baby Jesus. The house became a shrine within a church, and then it disappeared and flitted away to Europe, and attracted a mass of people including thieves, so it flitted to a meadow, and when those responsible for it fought over the profits it could give them, it flitted to a hill, and so on. For me, the most interesting of the chapters was about Notre Dame de Paris, one of the most-visited cathedrals in the world. If you have been, you have been impressed by the medieval gloom of the building. Victor Hugo's novel about the cathedral's hunchback came out in 1831, and was a sensation. People wanted to see the dark and Gothic old place where Quasimodo hung out. They could not. The cathedral had "enlightened" during the Revolution, with transparent windows taking the place of the pictorial colorful but dark ones, and the interior had been coated with multicolored marble, resembling "nothing so much as a gilded salon at Versailles or a scene at the opera." What you see now isn't actually medieval, but a nineteenth century imagining of what medieval ought to be.

There is a chapter about another reimagining, that of the Venice imported to Vegas (and now to China) as a gambling environment. There is a chapter here on what happened to the Berlin Wall, both the traces of it upon the city and the chunks of it that were processed to be sold to lovers of freedom (and knickknacks) the world over. A fascinating chapter gives the story of the Hulme Crescents in Manchester, a utopian housing plan that turned out to be doomed futurism. Hollis can tell a story well, adapting each chapter's style to the construction involved. For all its quirkiness and often heartfelt subjectivity, the book is bound to impress any reader with its marshalling of facts on each building and with the lively way Hollis has described the often bizarre ways people and natural forces have changed the buildings, sometimes beyond recognition.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 I liked it, and learned along the way 7 décembre 2013
Par ram - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Excellent book. Discusses the lives of some of the world's best known religious and civic buildings and how through the years they've been transformed and abused by that generation of care taker.<br/>The writing is clear, the thinking thoughtful and useful, and well edited. Had no idea what I was getting into until after it was finished.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wow! 1 août 2014
Par JuanRaymon Rubio - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book surprisingly took me on a spiritual journey. I found myself delving into the architecture that these kings and kingdoms did for glory. From Holy Wisdom to the Western Wall this book connected many pieces of man's history with a higher power.
2 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 very odd presentation 14 mars 2010
Par BeachReader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
While the information in this book was interesting, the presentation was very odd and convoluted. The author's writing was very non-linear and I found myself having to go back and re-read to orient myself as the where in time he was. There was a lot of extraneous and unnecessary information which added nothing to the book, in my opinion.

I think some serious editing could make this book much more interesting and impressive.
3 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 One Of The Bigger Letdowns So Far This Year 23 avril 2010
Par Dai-keag-ity - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This was one of those books that sounded amazingly interesting and could have been, but which disappointed in the end. Where I wanted information about the, well, "secret lives," of a number of noteworthy buildings, what I received was a mostly dry and bewilderingly uninforming series of dull chapters that told just about everything except something interesting concerning the structures in question. I was hoping for a tour of the history and intricate underworkings of the buildings, sort of like you get on several cable series these days that do this sort of thing, but this author presented more of a sociological commentary heavily slanted by his own views, and that wasn't what this book was supposed to be about. A letdown!
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