A Burglar’s Guide to the City Not your typical architecture book, this intriguing volume explores its role in heists, burglaries, and prison breaks over the last 2,000 years.


Some architecture books are meant to regale with pictures of enthralling structures. Others are designed to educate on the finer points of the craft. A Burglar’s Guide to the City discusses architecture from the point of view of someone looking to exploit it, exploring the myriad of ways someone can get past the obstacles presented by the man-made structures we’ve erected over the years.

Written by BLDG BLOG author Geoff Manaugh, the book covers various heists, burglaries, and escapes carried out over the last 2,000 years, filtering each one from an architectural perspective. As in, how a city’s tunnels, a building’s elevator shaft, or the walls of a high-rise apartment complex can help facilitate a felonious undertaking, making for one seriously intriguing read, both for budding criminals and curious minds alike.

Over 304 pages, A Burglar’s Guide to the City explores architecture as an obstacle to both outwit and undercut, combining input from both sides of the law, as well as those from architects both past and present. In shining a light on the relationship between burglary and architecture, the book uncovers the hidden world of architectural vulnerability and overlooked design flaws that thieves and their ilk have turned into spatial puzzles to solve. Since architecture is only one part of the equation, the book expands its discussions to take advantage of those vulnerabilities, detailing such information as the tools needed to successfully break into a facility, how thieves find gaps in a museum’s surveillance system, and more.

If you love heist movies, we can’t imagine you not loving A Burglar’s Guide to the City. It’s available now, priced at $9.99 (Kindle format).

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