The Secret Lives Of Buildings: From The Parthenon To The Vegas Strip In Thirteen Stories - Edward Hollis (Edinburgh College of Art) (Paperback) 02-09-2010 Long-listed for Guardian First Book Award 2009 (UK) and Samuel Johnson Prize 2010 (UK).
The plans are drawn up, a site is chosen, 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 reimagining 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, Gloucester Cathedral and Haghia Sofia, Sans Souci and Notre Dame de Paris, Malatesta's Tempio and Loreto, and explores landmarks of our own time, from Hulme's legendary crescents to the Berlin Wall and the fibre-glass theme parks of Las Vegas.