See the latest review of the book 'Building Passions'and other comments.
Nick von Behr gives engaging talks on his book 'Building Passions' to suit a range of audiences and so encourage an interest in the built environment and its legacy. Nick is an active STEM Ambassador and can speak to schools and colleges on career topics. Please contact for all talk requests - we are looking into the possibility of remote casting given the current restricted  circumstances.


The book Building Passions: Brunel, Barry and 'modern' Victorian architecture).is about the shared story of two families of 19th-century engineers and architects who were passionate about building what would become iconic Victorian structures. One family was the Brunels. The other family was the Barrys. You can just 'Buy the book', or if you would like to know more about it first, then please read on.

The key structures built by the Brunels and Barrys include:

  • Tower Bridge, London
  • The Houses of Parliament including Big Ben, London
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
  • The Royal Opera House and Floral Hall, London
  • Paddington Station, London and Box Tunnel, Wiltshire, part of the Great Western Railway
  • TheThames Tunnel, London
  • Highclere Castle (location of "Downton Abbey") and Cliveden House, Berkshire
  • The Travellers and Reform Clubs, London
  • The SS Great Britain, Western and Eastern

The book also refers to these significant structures:

  • The Crystal Palace, London (has since disappeared)
  • The Grange, Ramsgate, UK
  • Oriel Chambers, Liverpool, UK
  • The Red House, Beckenham, UK
  • The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
  • Hotel Tassel, Brussels, Belgium
  • Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

You can see a full list of the structures mentioned in the book with links to more information on them.