Built: The Hid­den sto­ries Be­hind our struc­tures

Tow­er­ing achieve­ments

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Au­thor: Roma Agrawal

Pub­lisher: Blooms­bury

Price: £20 / $28

Re­lease date: 8 Fe­bru­ary 2018 (UK) / 13 Fe­bru­ary 2018 (US)

The im­pact that ar­chi­tec­tural en­gi­neers have on our lives is both ob­vi­ous and un­der­stated in equal mea­sure. Sure, the re­sults of their hand­i­work are clear to see in the tow­er­ing ex­am­ples that rep­re­sent some of the world’s most renowned build­ings, but at the same time it doesn’t tell the story of the level of work that goes into them. Luck­ily, we have Built: The Hid­den Sto­ries Be­hind our Struc­tures to do that job.

Penned by Roma Agrawal, most noted for de­sign­ing the foun­da­tions and spire of The Shard, we’re pre­sented with a tale as old as time; how have build­ings have evolved from hum­ble mud huts to some of the go­liaths we see to­day and some of the feats that

have been achieved to make this pos­si­ble. Agrawal draws on her own ex­pe­ri­ences to great ef­fect, with some of her own il­lus­tra­tions form­ing a back­drop to the points she makes.

At one point she de­scribes an en­gi­neer’s job as “plate-spin­ning”, which proves to be a mas­sive un­der­state­ment when you con­sider the level of re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity in­volved, es­pe­cially in light of cer­tain dis­as­ters she brings up.

By fram­ing this al­most as a story, Agrawal en­sures that the nar­ra­tive is en­gag­ing and easy to fol­low and thus brings a high level of clar­ity to a po­ten­tially dense sub­ject mat­ter.

“Agrawal is noted for de­sign­ing the spire of the shard”

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