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Reviews

  • [An] engaging study... It has something of the appeal of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel - that of grounding historical mysteries in material facts... Partly a hymn or elegy to the world that fossil fuels made, partly a warning of the disasters they are bringing... Calder makes a simple and important point, often with engaging and unexpected detail: architecture is indeed made by energy, which makes crucial the next stage of its evolution

    Rowan Moore, Observer
  • A survey of construction and its entanglement with energy use... Superb

    Financial Times
  • An essential read: clarifying, alarming, but hopeful

    Architects' Journal
  • An insightful, often impassioned journey through the history of buildings

    Simon Ings, New Scientist
  • [A] powerful, disturbing account of architecture and energy since ancient times

    Andrew Robinson, Nature
  • A brilliantly written and timely investigation into a fundamental truth that is often overlooked: energy, in particular the availability of certain types of fuel, is perhaps the single most important driver of architectural design

    Florian Urban, Professor of Architectural History, Glasgow School of Art
  • Brave and brilliant, Barnabas Calder's Architecture is a global history and a call to arms

    William Whyte, Professor of Social and Architectural History, University of Oxford
  • Fierce and elegantly written, this book tells the "energy story of architecture" from the agrarian millennia onwards, as we hurtle towards the pending cataclysm. Read here of fossil fuel dependency, sometimes hidden and surprising, and wander the City of London, or, virtually, Shenzhen and repent. Barnabas Calder has written a fine alternative architectural history, with a venomous sting in its tail

    Gillian Darley, author of Excellent Essex
  • Finally a book to replace Pevsner's standard history of architecture. Calder retells the story of architecture for the climate change generation. A dazzling tour of the history of architecture told through the lens of energy use

    Dr. James W. P. Campbell, Head of Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
  • With this fascinating deep dive into the energy economies behind buildings, from bone huts to the Barbican, Calder reframes the entire history of architecture for the age of climate emergency. Through this prism, our time of crisis suddenly makes so much sense

    Joe Giddings, Architects Climate Action Network

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