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Architecture : From Prehistory to Climate Emergency

Calder, Barnabas More by this author...£10.99

At first glance, the Great Pyramid of Giza might seem to share little in common with a concrete and glass building on a modern university campus. Whilst one was built for a powerful Egyptian pharaoh and was the tallest building in the world for nearly 4,000 years, the other is remarkable only because there are so many other buildings just like it. However, as architectural historian Barnabas Calder explains, the Great Pyramid took only half the energy to build as the modern campus building that is a tiny fraction of its size. In this highly original book, Calder retells the history of architecture from humanity's earliest settlements to the present by exploring the relationship between buildings and energy. Architecture is, after all, one of the world's most energy-intensive activities, and is shaped in different contexts by the energy available. In the book's first half, Calder explores how foraging and then farming societies have produced architecture ranging from the smoky hovels of ordinary farmers or the ice-bound huts of ancient mammoth-hunters to magnificent lost empires. In the second half, Calder chronicles how the fossil-fuel revolution has changed architecture beyond recognition in the past two centuries, and explores its unforeseeable consequences for our planet. Bold, imaginative and breath-taking in scope, Calder's book illustrates how architecture has always mirrored the social, economic and intellectual structures of human societies - and therefore the story of architecture is the story of humanity.

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