Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. We are born, work, love, and die in architecture. We buy and sell it, rent and squat it, create and destroy it. All of these aspects of buildings—economic, erotic, political, and psychological—are crucial if we are to understand architecture properly. And because architecture molds us just as much as we mold it, understanding architecture helps us to understand our lives and our world.

In this book, ten buildings from across the globe tell stories of architecture from the beginning of civilization to the present day. From the remains of the Tower of Babel to the Summer Palace in Beijing, built and destroyed by Europeans, to the Ford car plant where the production line was born, Tom Wilkinson unpicks these structures to reveal the lives of the people who built and used them.

Architecture has always had a powerful and intimate relationship with society and the lives of those who build and live with it. It has often been used to try and improve society. But can architecture change our lives for the better? Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews.

Bricks & Mortals (Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made)

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TOM WILKINSON - Author of BRICKS AND MORTALS - PFD

Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Jul 28, Tuck rated it really liked it Shelves: bloomsbury , essays , music-and-others. Jun 16, Jason Vigorito rated it it was amazing Shelves: sociology , history , art , advanced-copy , goodreads-first-reads , architecture.

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I found "Bricks and Mortals" an exceptional read! I am lucky to have received an advanced copy of the book via Goodreads Giveaways, because I would plop down more money than I'm comfortable with to have this book read and resting among my bookshelves.

Tom Wilkinson provides such an expert job in overcoming the drudgeries of such a mechanical field--architecture--by bringing architecture into a discourse of its relationships and tangibilities with the world. What a relief considering my mindset! I have been accumulating a significant body of works on general art--art histories, artist biographies, art theory, books devoted to a single art piece, the psychology of art--and art's various modes--paint, illustration, cinema, music, sculpture, textiles, even fonts.

A hold-out niche for me has been architecture. Apprehension has plagued my mind, because ever since college art history classes I've worried about drowning in the discipline's technicalities and multitudinous components and vocabularies.

I do not possess an engineer's mind, and I do not feel natural inclinations toward studies of measurement, angles, and the like. My brief exposure to the architectural discipline left a stigma in my mind. Wilkinson uses a thematic philosophical approach, pulling from a variety of fields: history, psychology, sociology, art itself, literature, even politics. He discusses causes and effects. He "reads between the lines. Wilkinson takes a particular building and develops an entire chapterial essay on: its construction, its purpose s , the people directly involved in its production and use, its influence locally and abroad, its legacy ies , its style representation--its meaning s , its essence.

From ancient Babylon to feudal Shanghai to modern-day London to Rennaisance Venice to earlys Detroit to early Timbuktu, the buildings he showcases are from all times and places. Among other themes and concepts, Wilkinson considers: primitive vs. I won't be giving away any spoilers now, mind you. The chapter on the E. How does architecture and sex link up, and in what ways has architecture affected human sexuality?

BRICKS AND MORTALS by Tom Wilkinson | Kirkus Reviews

Just in this one chapter, Wilkinson links together such seemingly unrelated things: women as architects, architect Le Corbusier, Freudian psychology, David Bowie, Ovid, Bocaccio's "The Decameron", Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Amsterdam's red-light district, Virginia Woolf, Manet, people who marry objects, the Berlin Wall, German cinema, voyeurism, and the reality show "Big Brother"--to name but a few discussion points.

The perspectives provided, and the extensive amount of provoked thought, nearly overwhelmed me. Some days I felt I could only read one chapter so I could reflect on all the material I absorbed. Wilkinson's insights set me up for looking at the world in a newer, more complete light. I would highly recommend perusing "Bricks and Mortals" for mental stimulation. If you want a clearer, fuller understanding of architecture's importance, practicality, and influence, on our every day lives and society's trends, this is the book for you.

While you may not fully agree with Wilkinson's opinions or descriptions, you cannot deny the education he will provide you in this book. Insightful, delightful, and definitive, a whole new way of viewing architecture and considering the world around you awaits in this book.

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So what are you waiting for? Get started already! May 18, Steven Yenzer rated it did not like it.

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Couldn't wait for this obnoxious book to end. I tend to get bored quickly by theory, especially when it feels like an author has started with theory and is cherry-picking or bending the truth to match his or her ideas. Wilkinson is so guilty of this, as when, after dismissing the miasma theory of Victorian medicine and its modern "sick building" counterpart as the dead-end it is, he then reverses course to suggest that Legionnaires disease contradicts this dismissal!

Well, because Wilkins Couldn't wait for this obnoxious book to end. Well, because Wilkinson hates capitalism and modern hospitals are a product of capitalism, so he takes pot shots whenever he can. This book was almost entirely intellectual masturbation, full of tortuous sentences and pretentious language. Wow, I really hated it. Just realizing that now.

It blew. Jul 15, Shelley rated it liked it. I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads. I received Bricks and Mortals as a Goodreads giveaway and I was impressed with how much information is packed into this book.

This is not a book I would have normally picked up for leisurely reading but I really enjoyed learning about how building styles are linked together and the history behind how this came to be. I think I was hooked early on by the opening chapter discussing the Tower of Babel and I also was also intrigued by the Gard I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads.

I think I was hooked early on by the opening chapter discussing the Tower of Babel and I also was also intrigued by the Garden of Perfect Brightness in Beijing. The biggest difficulty I had with this book is it was not completely finished. With most books, receiving an Advanced Reader Copy is really not an issue, however with this book many and I mean many of the images had not been added. When I am reading a book on buildings, I would like to have those images so I do not have to turn around and look up each one of these buildings so I can see what the author is trying to explain to me.

Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award We don't just look at buildings: their facades, beautiful or ugly, conceal the spaces we inhabit. We are born, work, love and die in architecture. We buy and sell it, rent it and squat in it, create and destroy it. These aspects of buildings — economic, erotic, political and psychological — are crucial if we are to understand architecture properly. And because architecture moulds us just as much as we mould it, understanding architecture helps us to understand our lives and our world.

Through ten great buildings across the world Tom Wilkinson reveals the powerful and intimate relationship between society and architecture and asks: can architecture change our lives for the better? The combination of perceptive architectural observation and licentious historical analysis Mr Wilkinson's method is to select a building and then see where it takes him.

Wilkinson's writing is informed by an astonishing breadth of knowledge

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