I have discovered a new-to-me nonfiction author and illustrator and I am a fan girl! This folio-sized book is inspiring, absorbing, and a call-out to think and dream with innovation and confidence.
The text accompanying each building’s depiction is often three paragraphs, succinct but pitch-perfect descriptions of the origin, site and use considerations, and how the designs were developed.
Short “tips” and several instances of “pause for thought” lead to deeper introspection about design, function, and how humans relate to the buildings.
It’s a diverse and global selection of buildings, including some familiar to many, such as the Sydney Opera House and Fallingwater, and others that may be new discoveries, such as the Sharp Center for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Micro Yuan’er, a children’s library in Beijing, and Dandaji Regional Market in Nigeria.
In the latter, our attention is focused on the choice of building materials: compressed earth blocks which do not disintegrate in the rain, and recycled metals. Sustainability and earthkeeping matter: the CEBs do not create CO² when produced and “roofs are mounted at different heights so that accumulated hot air can be drawn upwards and accumulated air can flow in from below.”
Both female and male architects, from a wide array of countries, are featured.
In the back matter, buildings are placed on an appealing timeline, with each architect’s biography thoughtfully included. These biographies often include the architect’s philosophy of design, which the reader will find fascinating.
Well done. This is a truly fine and exciting book!
The Power of Architecture
25 Modern Buildings from around the World
written by Annette Roeder
illustrated by Pamela Baron
Prestel Junior / Penguin Random House, September 2022