Architect/author Annette Roeder, illustrator Pamela Baron, and publisher Prestel have collaborated on a children’s book titled The Power of Architecture: 25 Modern Buildings from around the World. It’s a lovely volume with lucid prose and expressive drawings.
If you’re in the A&D field, then you might already have kids who can identify a Ghost Chair or Zeppelin Chandelier. But there’s always room for aesthetic improvement—no matter how young! And The Power of Architecture is a great place to start learning.
Diverse Buildings on Five Continents
Roeder chooses buildings that she likes, located across five continents. While her choices may seem random, there is a purposeful diversity in location, purpose, construction methods, building materials—and architects.
Out of the 25 buildings in her book, Roeder features seven women architects and multiple architects of color. She also explains the gender gap to children quite clearly throughout the book—in language that is neither didactic nor condescending. In the introduction, she writes, “Nowadays, designing great architecture really has nothing to do with gender or skin color.”
From Beijing to Burkina Faso
Throughout the book, Roeder lists buildings by name and provides a brief heading, encapsulating each project efficiently and beautifully—and in language children can understand. For example, Unité d’Habitation is “an apartment building like a beehive” and Einstein Tower is “an observatory like a submarine.” At the end of the book, the buildings are arranged chronologically along an illustrated timeline that also lists the architects.
The illustrations by artist Pamela Baron are precise and accurate, finished in watercolors with subtle hues and pops of saturated color. Baron adds whimsical details throughout, such as hot-air balloons rising above Munich Olympic Stadium and crows flying around Dirty House.
Architects in The Power of Architecture include David Adjaye. Read more about Adjaye in a 3rings Designer Profile.