Brick: A World History

James W. P. Campbell, Will Pryce


This totally original architecture bookthe first comprehensive work on brick, the essential building materialranges over every culture throughout history. It follows the story of brick from 5,000 BC to the twenty-first century, from the vast baths and basilicas of ancient Rome, through the wonders of Gothic brick in Germany, Buddhist shrines in Burma, and Mughal mosques in Iran, to the modern revival of brick in the hands of architects like Gaudi. Marvelously illustrated with specially taken photographs, the book is at once an historical account of how bricks have been employed by architects of every period, a technical survey of brickmaking and bricklaying, and an essay in architectural and cultural history. More than one hundred themes are covered, from bricks in ancient Egypt to their distinctive use by Louis Kahn, Alvar Aalto, and Renzo Piano. Works of engineeringrailway tunnels, viaducts, dams, and bridgesare given prominence alongside the great cathedrals and country houses, castles and temples, testifying to the versatility and importance of brick and brickwork. An illustrated glossary explains all technical terms and the various construction and bonding methods in use. The book will prove indispensable to anyone professionally involved in, studying, or simply interested in architecture, design, and materials. Over 600 illustrations, 570 in color.


James W. P. Campbell


James W. P. Campbell is Fellow in Architecture and History of Art, Queens’ College, Cambridge, and Director of Conservation with Finch Forman Architects, London.

Will Pryce


Will Pryce is an award-winning photographer who originally trained as an architect at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Art, and photojournalism at the London College of Printing. His books include Big Shed, World Architecture: The Masterworks, and, with James W. P. Campbell, the widely acclaimed Brick: A World History.