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Mathematical Excursions to the World's Great Buildings

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  6 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
From the pyramids and the Parthenon to the Sydney Opera House and the Bilbao Guggenheim, this book takes readers on an eye-opening tour of the mathematics behind some of the world's most spectacular buildings. Beautifully illustrated, the book explores the milestones in elementary mathematics that enliven the understanding of these buildings and combines this with an ...more
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published July 22nd 2012 by Princeton University Press (first published June 10th 2012)
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BB
This book uses math to approach architecture 2-ways: 1) Calculating the forces acting upon a structure and 2) how math was used to generate form. I think the math to calculate reactions is better covered elsewhere and I was underwhelmed by the rest of the math content.

However, that said, as a bibliophile, I know this book does have some value for the completist and that's why I gave it 3-stars. For instance, it has a very clear description of the math of the catenary which can be hard to find o
...more
Charles
Jan 01, 2015 Charles rated it it was amazing
Of all the great works of art, the magnificent buildings are the ones that take the most air out of your lungs. By combining applied mathematics, engineering and serious physical effort a functional structure that is also a work of art was produced. Some of the older buildings took decades to construct and most are still as functional today as they were when first completed.
Hahn takes us on a tour of these buildings; this book is a lesson on the history of architectural styles and art theory as
...more
Bob
Feb 12, 2013 Bob rated it it was ok
Shelves: science
This is apparently a textbook (it includes problems and discussions and defines and gives etymologies for reasonably common terms), and apparently of mathematics, but Hahn tries to cover a history of building methods and architecture in the Western World (pyramids to Gehry's Bilbao museum,) the changing relations between faith and reason (until the Renaissance,) world economic history, and the breakthroughs of the world's great mathematicians -- in 300 pages. When he turns to a mathematical ...more
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