We don't just look at buildings: their facades, beautiful or ugly, conceal the spaces we inhabit. We are born, work, love and die in architecture. We buy and sell it, rent it and squat in it, create and destroy it. These aspects of buildings – economic, erotic, political and psychological – are crucial if we are to understand architecture properly. And because architecture moulds us just as much as we mould it, understanding architecture helps us to understand our lives and our world. Through ten great buildings across the world Tom Wilkinson reveals the powerful and intimate relationship between society and architecture and asks: can architecture change our lives for the better?
THE TEN BUILDINGS: The Tower of Babel, Babylon (c. 650 BC), The Golden House, Rome (AD 64-68), Djinguereber Mosque, Timbuktu (1327), Palazzo Rucellai, Florence (1450), The Garden of Perfect Brightness, Beijing (1709-1860), Festival Theatre, Bayreuth, Germany (1876), Highland Park Car Factory, Detroit (1909-1910), E.1027, Cap Martin (1926-29), Finsbury Health Centre, London (1938), Footbridge, Rio de Janeiro, London (2010)