Why We Build

Rowan Moore

2014 Winner

CICA Bruno Zevi Book Award

25 April 2013
432 pages


Buildings are driven by human emotions and desires; hope, power, money, sex, the idea of home.

In Why We Build Rowan Moore explores the making of buildings from conception to inhabitation and reveals the paradoxical power of architecture: it looks fixed and solid, but is always changing in response to the lives around it.

Moving across the globe and through history, through works of folly, beauty, spectacle, and subtlety, Moore gives a provocative and iconoclastic view of what makes architecture, why it matters, and why we find it fascinating. You will never look at a building in the same way again.

‘A refreshingly humane and lucid book from one of our most intelligent architecture critics’ Daily Telegraph
‘Vivid and witty . . . it’s a book about what happens when other non-architectural matter – capital, sex, family life, the caprices of function – barges into a discipline that sometimes likes to think of itself as pure’ Guardian

‘Architecture critic for the Observer, Rowan Moore, has written a fantastic book which is well worth reading for anyone interested in architecture.’

Sir Paul Smith