Reinventing the Wheel
Edited by Ian Lambot

The creation of the London Eye on the Thames riverfront is one of the architectural and engineering triumphs of our time. Ian Lambot followed this process from the concept stage to the opening day with his camera, and this wonderful book is the result. It encompasses everyone who made the wheel possible, from scientists to site workers, all captured on film, often breathtakingly.

Wisely, the commentary is kept to a minimum. The pictures and the people speak for themselves, and take us through the full technical detail of the manufacture, assembly and ultimate erection of every element of the wheel. So, we are taken to the head office of Hollandia, the engineering contractor, where 60 000 hours of work had to be found at short notice; to the Skoda steelworks, where the 180-tonne hub spindle was cast; and then to the riverside, and the agony of the first, failed uplift in front of the world's press.

More than anything, Lambot's photographs show that the best architecture is as much about engineering, purpose and setting as it is about form, thus all the nitty-gritty details are treated as being as important as the beauty of the finished structure.

This is a big, bold, beautiful book – just like the wheel itself.