Why Buildings Fall Down

Why Buildings Fall Down

3.94 (487 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

List price: US$26.95

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


"Whatever goes up must come down" does not, fortunately, apply to most of the structures in today's world. In fact, whenever a building, a bridge, a tunnel, or a dam collapses nowadays, it is front page news and often the beginning of a hunt for clues and culprits as fascinating as any detective story. In this book, two of the world's premier structural engineers take us on a journey through the history of architectural and structural catastrophes, from the Parthenon and Rome's Coliseum to more recent disasters such as the Ronan Point Tower in London, the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City and the Malpasset Dam in France. This is a book that delights as it instructs, an easily digested feast of architectural flops and flummoxes, whether caused by natural disaster or human error, or both.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 334 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 430.91g
  • WW Norton & Co
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Ill.
  • 0393033562
  • 9780393033564

Review Text

In Why Buildings Stand Up, Salvadori wrote so knowledgeably, expressing his sheer delight, about bridges, loads, stress, weather and a host of other topics, that the general reader was totally captivated by what he might have expected to be a fairly dusty subject. This successor volume is, as may be imagined, less aesthetically satisfying but a whole lot jazzier. It chronicles and explains spectacular architectural failures - some of them horrible disasters: bridges, tower blocks, dams, some new and some ancient. The ghastly collapse of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City in 1981 is one case to be examined in detail along with the causes of this bureaucratic and engineering failure, and the author finds room as well for disasters of a different kind in such places as Dresden and Coventry. The 11 September terrorist attack in New York is also given detailed structural treatment. These books are enthralling. There's no question of having one of them: you need them both, and the way you look at buildings will never be the same again. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

487 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 30% (148)
4 40% (194)
3 24% (116)
2 6% (28)
1 0% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X