Monday, December 12, 2022

MMGM-The Power of Architecture: 25 Modern Buildings Around the World

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
and #IMWAYR day 

Roeder, Annette and Barron, Pamela. (Illustrations)
The Power of Architecture: 25 Modern Buildings Around the World
Published September 20th 2022 by Prestel Junior
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Architecture is fascinating, and it seems odd to me that more people don't pay attention to the buildings that fill our world. Even more alarming is the fact that people don't appreciate certain styles of the past and are quick to tear down or deface some types that are not terribly old but are considered outmoded. One of my favorite architectural elementals in Curtainwall, so it made me happy that the oldest building covered in the book was Walter Gropius Fagus Factory from 1911 that showcased this style. Can we quit tearing down or refacing similar schools and post offices now?

The 25 buildings that are described are not necessary the most famous or impressive buildings in the world, but a sample of architecture across the world over a period of time that makes a statement about the time during which it was built. There are utilitarian buildings, like the Battersea Power Station, and more decorative ones like Wright's Fallingwater. Each two page spread features a drawing of the building, a brief discussion of its history, and insight as to why it is architecturally significant. A timeline at the end of the book gives more facts about the buildings, such as location, materials, and special features, and also offers biographies of the architects. There is no index or bibliography.

The illustrations are well done and almost worthy of being framed, but I still wanted to see photographs of most of these. There are notes for web sites on some pages, directing readers to more images online, which is helpful.

This is a great book for budding architects or people, like me, who are just curious about the buildings around us. There are a few books about buildings for young people, such as The School of Life's What Adults Don’t Know About Architecture, Sayre's Citryscape, and National Geographic's Famous Fails. It's also hard to go wrong with paperback editions Macauley's classic City, Unbuilding, and other fantastic books with detailed drawings and descriptions.


  1. I had to look up what Curtainwall architecture means, but as soon as I saw it, I thought of the many buildings in Vancouver, BC that feature this. I also looked up Walter Gropius Fagus Factory. How cool it is for 1911!

  2. I wish this book had been available 25 years ago when our grandson was a teen. He loved architecture, and I searched everywhere for books that could help him with his drawings. He ended up in engineering, but her still has an eye for how things should be. This is the perfect gift for a youngster who loves buildings. What a great review today!

  3. Your review makes me want to pay more attention to architecture myself—when I do pay attention to it in real life (like when I visit a particular local art museum), it is always fascinating! And this book sounds like a fascinating intro to the subject with a lot of intriguing buildings to learn about—although the use of illustrations instead of photos is a bit surprising. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review, Karen!

  4. I have a few students who are always showing me their drawings and many of them include buildings. I will be leading them to a copy of this book so thanks for featuring it on this week's MMGM.

  5. I love books about architecture. I will have to check this one out. Thanks for the heads up.