infocobuild

Building Big

How does a bridge withstand the forces of nature and traffic? How does a dome support itself? What does it take to erect a skyscraper 100 stories tall? How does a dam resist the crush of millions of gallons of water? What keeps a tunnel from collapsing? Building Big is a five-part PBS documentary series hosted by David Macaulay, exploring some of spectacular structures from Roman times to the modern era - in five categories: bridges, domes, skyscrapers, dams, and tunnels. Macaulay highlights the engineering principles and human stories behind some of the most remarkable achievements in the history of building.

Episode 1 - Bridges
How does a bridge withstand the forces of nature and traffic? David Macaulay takes viewers from the stone arch bridges of the Roman Empire to Japan's giant, all-steel Akashi Kaikyo suspension bridge, the longest in the world.

Episode 2 - Domes
How does a dome support itself? Ever since the Roman Emperor Hadrian topped his Pantheon with a dome, this roof-with-class has been the prestige building form.

Episode 3 - Skyscrapers
What does it take to erect a skyscraper 100 stories tall? From the medieval towers of Italy's San Gimignano to today's race to build the world's tallest skyscraper, David Macaulay chronicles our aptitude for altitude.

Episode 4 - Dams
How does a dam resist the crush of millions of gallons of water? David Macaulay surveys the dam from Hoover's concrete arch confronting the Colorado River to the Aswan High Dam.

Episode 5 - Tunnels
What keeps a tunnel from collapsing? David Macaulay takes viewers underground to explore the history and ingenuity behind some of the world's tunneling marvels.


Related Links
Big, Bigger, Biggest (Season 1)
This is a four-part documentary series exploring the engineering breakthroughs behind the world's biggest structures - Burj Dubai, USS Nimitz, Japan's Akashi Bridge, and London Heathrow Airport.
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
This is a BBC documentary miniseries examining seven epic engineering feats of the Industrial age such as the SS Great Eastern, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Bell Rock Lighthouse.
Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections
This is a documentary series presented by Richard Hammond, looking at how engineers and designers use historic inventions and clues from the natural world in ingenious ways to develop new buildings and machines.
Ancient Megastructures
This is a National Geographic documentary series discovering the secrets of revolutionary structures in ancient megastructures.
Engineering an Empire
This is a History Channel documentary series hosted by Peter Weller, exploring the engineering feats accomplished by some of the great civilizations in history.