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Why Buildings Stand Up

author: Mario Salvadori (1990)
date read: 20 October 2019
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

An easy read which gives an overview of some common ideas in architecture – materials, structures, shapes, and so on.

It strikes a good balance between detail and simplicity. It explains enough of the concepts to be interesting, but stops well short of training me to be a qualified architect – which is exactly what I wanted. I learnt plenty of new ideas, but I was never bored. For example: knowing that there are building codes for minimum/maximum load on a structure is interesting to me. Knowing the exact numbers is not, and so the book omits them.

I did skim in parts, and found it easy to do so.

It feels like quite a Western take on architecture – most of the examples are drawn from the US or Western Europe. There was a line about earthquake preventing-structures being quite a recent thing; my impression is that Japan is fairly advanced in this regard.

Recommended if you went a gentle introduction to architecture.

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