SUPERSTRUCTURES: The World's Greatest Modern Structures

Neil Parkyn, Author
Neil Parkyn, Author . Merrell $45 (192p) ISBN 978-1-85894-238-4
Reviewed on: 11/29/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004

The Dutch Sea Barrier; China's Three Gorges Dam; Haj Terminal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Sydney's Telstra Stadium; France's Millau Motorway viaduct; the Hubble space telescope—these are a few of the 50-odd megastructures presented in this globally pitched (but Euro-focused) grand overview. At 10"×12", the book's scale attempts to match its subject, and many of the crisp, full-bleeds—such as of the tunnel boring machine used for the Channel Tunnel, which looks like a giant concrete snowflake with teeth—do just that. Very few of the projects, shown here in 350 color illustrations, are in the U.S., a refreshing change from endless celebrations of familiar public works. Many recent innovative large-scale architectural projects have been built elsewhere, a fact that architect Parkyn (The Seventy Architectural Wonders of Our World ) does not overplay in a brisk, business-like text. There's as much technical information as most casual enthusiasts will want ("The side panels are clamped to the stringers to form the 3 m. [10 ft.] long sections of the bridge" etc.), but the pictures, framed by bold fonts if unexceptional layout, mostly speak for themselves—in huge, thrumming chords. (Nov.)

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