Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper” as Want to Read:
The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  23 reviews

From the author of The Works: Anatomy of a City comes a gorgeous graphic tour through the inner workings of skyscrapers.

The skyscraper is perhaps the most recognizable icon of the modern urban landscape. Providing offices, homes, restaurants, and shopping to thousands of inhabitants, modern skyscrapers function as small cities- with infrastructure not unlike that hidden

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 10th 2011 by Penguin Press HC, The
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Heights, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Heights

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 665)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ryan G
I have read some wonderfully detailed, analytical reviews of this book by people who really know their stuff. Thankfully, I'm not one of them so I won't have to beat myself up for not delving into the minute details of what the books is choosing to highlight or leave out. I'm not bogged down with a vast store of foreknowledge on the subjects of skyscrapers, engineering, architecture, or any of the stuff I was so horrible at (it all required math skills way above my level) in college. Instead thi ...more
The Heights is a coffee table sized book that is packed full of information about the history, design, construction, maintenance, and future of the skyscraper. It is full of great pictures and graphics. I thought the graphics were particularly well done and a wonderful way for a person to really understand what is going on in the text of the book. From showing how test boring is performed by a geotechnical engineer to how a wind tunnel works, the graphics were fantastic. The graphics are so amaz ...more
This book is effectively a very big and comprehensive children's book in the best sense, every page covered with informative pictures, frequently diagrams with cutaways, and every two to four pages (and thus one or two spreads) covering a section onto itself. It also incorporated frequent informative infographics, one of the most notable being a three spread chart of the largest skyscrapers over time, drawn to scale, with text describing the history of skyscrapers above. Covering history, constr ...more
Fascinating book about all the complexities that go into designing, building and maintaining skyscrapers. Part a history lesson but also part of an examination of how we currently live and, increasingly, will live in the future.
Jose Bakker
Skyscrapers have always fascinated me and this book with it's many illustrations showed me what is involved in the construction of these tall buildings. First it gives us a history of the skyscraper, then it describes the design elements from the concrete, structural steel, foundations, mechanical and electrical systems including elevators as well as the economics dictating the design and occupancy. There are chapters about safety, fire detection and firefighting high in the sky, window cleaning ...more
Great for anyone who's ever wondered how skyscrapers are built and what goes into them
Aug 08, 2012 josh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: urbanites, armchair architects, design fans
Recommended to josh by: shelf @ UAPL
a very well crafted overview of all the systems that are in play to ensure that skyscrapers are adequately designed, built and maintained.

amazing visuals & graphics bring the text to life while a brief history and vision for the future round out the technical data with an important sociological look towards the topic.

like "The Works" it was a captivating read and one that i would encourage urban dwellers to take a read through to more fully appreciate the environs they find themselves in -
Ken Eveleigh
Skyscrapers are not just tall piles of steel, concrete and glass as The Heights make abundantly clear. They are sophisticated machines designed to meet the vast and varied needs of their myriad occupants and visitors. This book is a clear and visually interesting history of skyscrapers, from their conception and design through the science and engineering of their many parts and systems. It will greatly enhance your appreciation and understanding of a tall building.
I approve of the contents of this book.
This book explained a lot of things about skyscrapers that I didn't even know as an adult. I think that as a kid this would have been the most fascinating book possible. It made me feel like a kid, I kept reading parts and wanting to tell them to someone because they were so fascinating.
Bill Stepien
This book appealed to two of my repressed personas - engineer and graphic designer. It takes on all aspects of the design, construction, and function of super tall buildings with cool visuals and easy-to-understand writing. I was amazed by something every couple pages.
Jim Skinner
A beautifully illustrated book filled with fascinating details on the history, planning and operation of skyscrapers and modern buildings.

I now have a better idea on how the 22 story apartment building I live in operates, thanks to this stellar book.

Very enjoyable and fact-filled explanation of what might be the future living and working space where many of this planet's inhabitants will spend 90% of their time in the future.
I mostly skimmed this, stopping to read the captions on interesting pictures. I especially liked the section about elevator safety. I've always been curious about what prevents us from falling to our deaths in elevators.
Interesting and complete book about skyscrapers. I was initially drawn to the large format of the book by my interest in elevator systems. Nice graphics as well.
A good layperson's look at the design and construction of these amazing buildings. Graphics were clear and organization was easy to follow.
EVERYTHING you ever wanted, or didn't want, to know about skyscrapers in an easy to read and easy to understand format.
What an amazing book! I learned so much about the design and construction of skyscrapers.
Dec 03, 2011 Pia marked it as to-read
NPR interview, sounds like Bob or henry would enjoy
Just browsed through this. Fascinating look at skyscrapers.
Research for my upcoming masterpiece.
Kristy Ann
Beautiful illustrations
Jeff marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Yoni marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2015
Emilee Romano
Emilee Romano marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Why Architecture Matters
  • Over-diagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health
  • The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch
  • Transit Maps of the World
  • The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories
  • Green Architecture (Architecture & Design)
  • Yes is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution
  • Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance
  • The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time
  • Real Simple: Solutions: Tricks, Wisdom, and Easy Ideas to Simplify Every Day
  • Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities
  • London: A Life in Maps
  • How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built
  • Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save The Economy
  • The Ten Books on Architecture
  • Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises
  • Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
  • The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What We Can Learn about Ourselves from Our Machines
The Works: Anatomy of a City The Way to Go: Moving by Sea, Land, and Air The Politics Of Privatisation: Contracting Out Public Services

Share This Book