Down to Earth : Foundations Past and Present : The Invisible Art of the Builder
Author(s): Jean Kerisel
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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Written in straightforward non-technical language, with numerous diagrams and photographs, this book takes a look at ‘the invisible art’ of the great builders: how they founded their constructions in the earth and strove to understand and combat the natural forces, such as earth pressures, water, landslides, earthquakes, and almost imperceptible geological changes, with which they had to contend. A great many examples, including the ziggurats of Mesopotamia, the pyramids of Egypt, the Roman roads, the Tower of Pisa, the Eddystone Lighthouse, the Panama Canal, the Thames Tunnel and the Eiffel Tower, are used to illustrate various aspects of this long battle. Man has gradually mastered physical constraints and undertaken increasingly ambitious projects, seeking solutions initially by trial and error and later through scientific study, The final part of the book looks to the future and discusses the threats to a number of great cities and what has been done to counter them. This fascinating history, written with humour and affection, pays tribute to the largely unknown ‘backroom boys’ of construction, whose work usually attracts attention only when things go wrong.
Hardcover Publication date: August 1987