- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 Feb 2018
What's so great about the Eiffel Tower? - review
Published by Laurence King (2017)
In this compact pocket-sized book, Jonathan Glancey tackles several of architecture’s most sacred cows, inviting readers to reassess their assumptions about some of history’s great masterpieces and their architects.
Taking its title from the oft-repeated anecdote about the writer Guy de Maupassant and the ‘Committee of Three Hundred’ who attacked the ‘useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower’, the book proves that history benefits from fresh interpretation and scrutiny.
Some of the contentious subjects that Glancey explores include; whether the Sagrada Familia is a work of genius or kitsch, whether St. Paul’s Cathedral is a Baroque masterpiece or Renaissance sham, and whether the likes of Le Corbusier, Zaha Hadid and Adolf Loos are really all they’re cracked up to be.
While eschewing detail in favour of brevity, Glancey nevertheless provides enough to engage and enlighten even the most fervent architecture geek. For non-experts, there’s plenty of interesting content that will reward frequent flicking through, and for pub contrarians, there’s more than enough provocation to furnish an arsenal of ‘alternative opinions’.
Glancey, who has previously written books such as ‘New British Architecture’ and ‘Lost Buildings’, writes in an irreverent and light style that successfully balances context and terminology, making the book both very readable and suitable for dipping in and out.
To purchase the book, see Laurence King.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- How Buildings Work - review.
- James Crawford - Fallen Glory.
- Last Futures: Nature, Technology and the End of Architecture.
- Owen Hatherley - Landscapes of Communism.
- The Architecture of Neoliberalism.
Featured articles and news
93% believe tackling the construction knowledge gap is very important or extremely important for the industry.
Book review: The vertebrate architecture of one of the most important practices of the 20th century.
Matt Rhodes, Quiss Technology, explains how an increasing number are falling victim to sophisticated cyber-attacks.
Assembly drawings represent items that consist of more than one component and show how they fit together.
Is the water sector under too much pressure from the regulator?
Everything you need to know about acoustics in under 800 words.
Check out our list of the 90 most unusual buildings of all time.
The government is to set a personal consumption target to reduce water use.
BSRIA calls for more education to promote fuels that are fit to burn.
Michael Gove admits air pollution is making people ill and shortening lives.
BRE call for a clearer, focused drive for the delivery of sustainable, quality developments.