How Was That Built? The Stories Behind Awesome Structures; Roma Agrawal, illustrated by Katie Hickey
Kids love to build with pretty much anything they can get their hands on as the quest to build higher, wider and longer is pursued from an early age. This cracking non-fiction read by award-winning structural engineer Roma Agrawal will delight any curious young minds that have ever looked and wondered, ‘How was that built?’.
Humankind have been building things for thousands of years. From mud huts and primitive cities to the incredible modern structures that we see today. The race is always on to build taller, longer, wider and in ever more challenging places and behind every great building is an innovative team of women and men who have to find the answers to the question, ‘How are we going to build that?’. It’s time to see the world differently and take a peek through the eyes of an engineer…
Roma Agrawal, ‘the award-winning engineer who likes to build big’ and who was part of the team that built The Shard in London, explores and explains the engineering behind some of the world's most impressive buildings in a child-friendly non-fiction book that is as impressive as the buildings that it showcases. For any reader, young or old, that has ever looked at a building and pondered how it has been built, you’ll likely find the answer in here. Want to know how the Halley VI research station built on constantly shifting ground in Antarctica was built? How about how the Sapporo Dome in Japan can be transformed into a football stadium thanks to its impressive air blowers? Or what about the Ithaca Restaurant in the Maldives which sits five metres below sea-level? The answers to these and so much more await.
Broken into various sections that detail how to build flat, tall, long, clean, strong, across and so on, readers are thrust into the complex world of how buildings work, stay stable and are structurally sound enough to survive the daily pressures put on them by people, weather and the forces of nature. Some of the areas that make for incredibly impressive reading are those on how to build underground, how to build moving things, how to build on ice, how to build in the sea and how to build in outer space.
Agrawal’s knowledge for her subject matter exudes from every page as she expertly peels back the layers of various buildings to reveal the intricate workings and feats of engineering that have been used to create such wonders as the The Brooklyn Bridge, The Katse Dam, The Thames Tunnel and The Pantheon. Engineering concepts are revealed through accessible and fascinating explanations, all of which are accompanied by the precise illustrations of Katie Hickey.
Not only is Roma Agrawal extremely clever and a wonderfully engaging writer, she is a brilliant advocate for her profession and regularly name-checks those brilliant minds and those who came up with ingenious ideas to build higher, wider, deeper and in places that no one ever thought possible. How Was That Built? soars as high as the Burj Khalifa and is essential reading for any budding structural engineers, designers and architects. Non-fiction writing at its absolute best!
Recommended for 8+.