Building Big with David Macaulay Collection

Building Big with David Macaulay Collection

Director:  Cast: David Macaulay



David Macaulay, the renowned author/ illustrator of The Way Things Work, has a knack for demystifying mechanical structures by explaining the engineering, physics, and human ingenuity that have gone into their design -- although in sum, his explanations usually make the man-made world seem ever more curious and phenomenal. In WGBH Boston's Building Big series, Macaulay visits the world's great architectural structures to tell their stories and the stories of the men who built them. This box set includes all five of the programs, which were produced in 2000:
  • In Skyscrapers, he discusses early "skyscrapers" created by powerful Italian families, introduces rare footage of the building of the Empire State Building, explains how flaws in the Citicorp Center in New York produced a near-disaster, and profiles the career of Gustave Eiffel -- the bridge builder and eventual designer of what may be the most recognizable structure on earth.
  • In Bridges, he discusses Brooklyn's famous suspension bridge and the engineer who never saw his biggest project to completion, the Golden Gate Bridge's history and the unique construction that allows it to withstand nature's fury, as well as the Firth of Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland -- whose cantilevered design was inspired by a human tragedy.
  • In Domes, he discusses the unique design of the Hagia Sophia's dome, uses archival photos to literally reconstruct the Capitol Dome in Washington, DC, explains how (and why) a circus tycoon decided to build the Houston Astrodome, and explores the geodesic dome design of Buckminster Fuller.
  • In Tunnels, he explores Boston's "Big Dig" project, explains how the first underwater automobile tunnel was built, and profiles the radical engineer who changed London's underground. He showcases the powerful machines that made construction of the Chunnel possible, and serves as guide through the tunnels beneath ancient Rome.
  • Finally, in Dams, he discusses Frank "Hurry Up" Crowe -- the merciless chief engineer of the Hoover Dam, the effect of the Aswan Dam on Nubian society, and the cause of the Johnstown Flood of 1889 -- a disaster that produced 2200 casualties. Each disc comes packed with a topic-specific building activity.
  • Product Details

    Release Date: 10/26/2004
    UPC: 0783421322196
    Original Release: 0000
    Rating: NR
    Source: Wgbh
    Time: 5:27:00

    Special Features

    Closed Caption; Printable 40-page activity guide for educators and parents featuring activity ideas, reproducibles, and more; Scene selection; Access to the Building Big site; Closed captions

    Cast & Crew

    Scene Index

    Side #1 -- Bridges
    1. Introduction [3:49]
    2. Roman Bridges [5:42]
    3. Iron Bridges [5:57]
    4. Trusses [5:22]
    5. The Brooklyn Bridge [14:25]
    6. The Golden Gate Bridge [11:51]
    7. Environmental Loads [6:52]
    8. Building Small: Bridges [12:02]
    Side #2 -- Domes
    1. Introduction [3:57]
    2. The Houston Astrodome [7:17]
    3. The Pantheon [7:34]
    4. Islamic Domes [9:00]
    5. St. Peter's [5:56]
    6. The U.S. Capitol Building [7:53]
    7. Geodesic Domes [12:21]
    8. Building Small: Domes [11:54]
    Side #3 -- Skyscrapers
    1. Introduction [5:12]
    2. San Gimignano [4:47]
    3. Gothic Cathedrals [5:35]
    4. The Eiffel Tower [3:51]
    5. Chicago [6:37]
    6. The Empire State Building [7:31]
    7. Wind Load [12:32]
    8. Petronas Towers and the World Trade Center Attack [7:49]
    9. Building Small: Skyscrapers [10:44]
    Side #4 -- Dams
    1. Introduction [4:36]
    2. Dam Basics [6:15]
    3. Aswan High Dam Politics [5:41]
    4. Building the Aswan High Dam [11:49]
    5. Hoover Dam Politics [2:57]
    6. Hoover Dam Engineering [11:06]
    7. Environmental and Social Impacts [11:32]
    8. Building Small: Dams [9:52]
    Side #5 -- Tunnels
    1. Introduction [3:51]
    2. The Big Dig [2:01]
    3. Roman Tunnels [5:11]
    4. Canal Tunnels [4:33]
    5. The Hoosac Tunnel [7:53]
    6. Soft-Ground Tunnels [10:00]
    7. Car Tunnels [7:52]
    8. The Chunnel [12:36]
    9. Building Small: Tunnels [13:14]

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