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Built to Last: The Illustrated Secrets of Mankind’s Greatest Structures

What gargoyles and mosques have to do with King Edward I and the secrets of Ancient Rome.

Castles. Cathedrals. Mosques. Those are some of humanity’s greatest feats of architecture, design and civic engineering, but how exactly were they built and what makes them stand the test of time? That’s excatly what Caldecott Medal-winning artist and prolific how-things-work author David Macaulay explores in Built to Last — a fascinating illustrated volume of insight into the how and why of mankind’s greatest structures. It combines three of Macauley’s most beloved construction books — Cathedral (1981), Castle (1982), and Mosque (2003) — into a single tome full of never-before-seen full-color drawings and new material.

A reference model for the ribs of the vaulting on the roof truss
Laying out the drawing of the roof trusses
A quick reference model for the roof trusses
An early sketch of the flying buttresses and one gargoyle
Sketch for the kitchen scene while making dinner fit for a king
Macaulay modeling for the drawing of King Edward I. Note the headband and royal Tin Tin watch

Whether the three building types in this book were built to last or simply to impress, they were certainly constructed with determination and care. And without the lessons they offer, our past would be more remote and therefore less useful as we stumble into an uncertain future.” ~ David Macaulay

Combining rigorous research, poetic illustration and the captivating human stories behind these architectural marvels, Built to Last is equal parts illuminating and inspirational, brimming with a kind of visceral curiosity that makes Macaulay’s timeless drawings spring to life.


Published July 7, 2011

https://www.brainpickings.org/2011/07/07/david-macaulay-built-to-last/

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