The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories

Author(s): Edward Hollis


The plans are drawn up, a site is chosen, and foundations are dug: a building comes into being with the expectation that it will stay put and stay for ever. But a building is a capricious thing: it is inhabited and changed, and its existence is a tale of constant and curious transformation. In this radical re-imagination of architectural history, Edward Hollis tells the stories of thirteen buildings, beginning with the 'once upon a time' when they first appeared, through the years of appropriation, ruin and renovation, and ending with a temporary 'ever after'. In spell-binding prose, Hollis follows his buildings through time and space to reveal the hidden histories of the Parthenon and the Alhambra, visiting churches that have been carried through the air by angels and ancient palaces recreated by vainglorious dictators, and exploring the monuments of our own day, from souvenir chunks of the Berlin Wall to the fibre-glass theme parks of Las Vegas.


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Product Information

Born in London in 1971, EDWARD HOLLIS studied Architecture at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh before joining a practice, working first on ruins and follies in the lagoons of Sri Lanka and then on Victorian villas, old breweries and town halls in Scotland. He now teaches at Edinburgh College of Art and this is his first book

General Fields

  • : 9781846271274
  • : Portobello Books Ltd
  • : Portobello Books Ltd
  • : September 2009
  • : 234mm X 156mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Edward Hollis
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 720.9
  • : 448
  • : Architecture
  • : 10 integrated half-tones