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por Philip Wilkinson

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An introduction to historic buildings, unusual buildings, and buildings of the future.
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  OakGrove-KFA | Mar 28, 2020 |
Yet another example of why anything with Dorling Kindersley's DK initials is likely to be a good addition to your library. This book is ideal for 6 to 10 year olds interested in why things are built in certain ways. The book discusses the Chunnel - and the best drawings of a tunnel excavator I've seen in a children's book - and the London barrier, a structure I had never heard of that blocks inflowing tidal floods. It has a number of buildings and bridges and discusses both how they're made, and why they were made in the particular manner used. Two readers in my family have devoured practically every juvenile reference book on buildings and vehicles, but this was new to us and covered the building and architecture topic in a way I hadn't seen before. ( )
  davidpwhelan | Oct 3, 2010 |
When it comes to illustrated books – especially reference books – Dorling Kindersley are quite simply the best: although they are generally found in the children’s section of bookshops, DKs, with their superb illustrations and authoritative but readable text, will fascinate at any age.

It has become distressingly common to give youngsters gifts of money – a couple of hundred rand here for them to spend as they like, usually on a CD or item of clothing they will outgrow in a few months.

For the same outlay, a DK book is a present that will last a lifetime and give pleasure not only to the recipient but also to his parents, grandparents and younger siblings.

Two new titles to hit the shelves recently are Super Structures, and Cosmic!

Super Structures is entirely free of gimmicks and its wonderful, detailed and busy drawings are guaranteed to capture the imagination even of very young children who have not learned to read.

As to be expected in a DK book, the layout is excellent, and the well-chosen photographs displayed to maximum effect with literate, informative captions: but, as always, it is the wonderful line drawings that makes the book unique and special.

Even the most dull and jaded adult will be intrigued by the cutaway diagram of Neuschwanstein, a fairy-tale palace designed as a romantic reinterpretation of a Medieval castle, which was commissioned by ‘mad’ King Ludwig II as a private retreat, nestled in the Bavarian Alps.

Or the clean classic lines of the compound encompassing Diocletian’s Palace in Croatia, a fortified stronghold enclosing a private town which housed the emperor’s staff and his luxurious villa with its glorious view of the Adriatic Sea.

The above are the only two homes features in the book: the other Super Structures are public landmarks, ranging from the Empire State Building in New York, to the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the Spaceport America in New Mexico – the world’s first commercial spaceport.

The Millau Viaduct, the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, is here, so are the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin buildings – soaring 88 floors and featuring the world’s tallest double story bridge, connecting the towers at the 41st floor.

Curiosities such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa are not forgotten: started in 1174 and completed in 1360 it was designed as a campanile for Pisa’s cathedral but, being built on poor soil, began ‘leaning’ almost immediately.

Another oddity is the tomb of the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi who was buried in the foothills of Mount Li, together with an ‘army’ of 7000 life-like clay warriors, more than 2000 years ago. This army was discovered as recently as 1976, five metres below the ground, and although the general structure of the tomb is now known, the painstaking work of removing the terracotta soldiers is set to continue for many years.

To stimulate the imagination and the intellect, look no further than the DK logo and rest assured you have bought the best, a sound investment in any child’s development and education. ( )
  adpaton | Dec 10, 2008 |
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An introduction to historic buildings, unusual buildings, and buildings of the future.

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