How to Read Skyscrapers

A crash course in high-rise architecture

How to Read Skyscrapers
Format: Paperback / softback, 256 Pages
ISBN: 9781782406495
Publisher: Ivy Press
Series: How to Read
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Throughout history, the story of the skyscraper has been defined by our desire for ascendance—politically, militarily, economically, religiously, culturally, and, of course, physically. These spectacular superstructures epitomise more than architectural aspiration, they excite the imagination and inspire awe. The scope of the book is deliberately broad with a thematic first section and a geographical second section. Conceptual chapters, introduce the origins of our desire to build high and explore the skyscraper’s role in fuelling our imaginations through different modes of cultural expression. How To Read Skyscrapers offers a deep and rich understanding of the skyscraper by providing a comprehensive account of this unique and captivating building-type, from its origins in myth and legend to its future potential in satisfying humankind’s needs and aspirations.

The author

Edward Denison is an award-winning design and planning consultant, with an expertise in packaging and sustainable design. He lives in London, UK.

Dr Nick Beech an architectural historian with a particular interest in cultures of construction and building. Nick has taught the history, theory and cultural context of architecture at a number of architectural schools in London and Oxford.


He is a Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) and an independent consultant, writer and photographer specialising in global histories of architecture and the built environment. His work for various international organisations in places as diverse as Africa, China and Europe regularly features in print, electronic and broadcast media internationally. In 2016 he won the RIBA President’s Medal for Research for ‘Asmara - Africa’s Modernist City’ and was very instrumental in the Eritrean capital being included on the World Heritage list in August 2017. Edward specialises in consulting on Urban Development and Cultural Heritage, Architectural Photography, Professional Research, Writing for academic, specialist and public readerships, and Sustainable Design.

Nick’s research contends with two broad, open questions of architectural and urban history—what industrial changes occurred in building and architectural practices in mid-twentieth century Britain? How might those specific processes of change illuminate transformations in wider cultural and political dimensions? He has considered these questions in relation to the building industry, architectural profession, and wider cultural and political institutions, of mid-twentieth century London in particular. Nick continues to collaborate with a diverse range and number of scholars, public intellectuals, artists and architects in pursuit of this research.

Reader reviews


Format: Paperback / softback, 256 Pages
ISBN: 9781782406495
Illustrations: 550
Size: 5.315 in x 6.496 in / 135 mm x 165 mm

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