Bernd and Hilla Becher are among those rare artists whose work is part of widely differing collections all over the world. In the visual arts, they have ranked since the 1960s alongside major figures in minimal and conceptual art such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Robert Smithson and Sol LeWitt. In the history of photography, their work is mentioned in the same breath as Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, Karl Blossfeldt and August Sander, with whom the Bechers share a passion for the documentary and narrative qualities of the medium. Culturally, their brilliant black and white photographs of industrial buildings are rooted in the history of architecture and engineering, where their work provided an early research tool and resource for industrial archaeologists seeking to broaden the scope of architectural conservation. With their photographs of water towers and winding towers, blast furnaces, silos and gas tanks, over sixty of which are reproduced in this book, Bernd and Hilla Becher set new standards in perceptual aesthetics, presenting heavy industry as an object of art. Rendered timeless by the camera and isolated from their original, often perplexingly complex surroundings, they appear as monumental symbols of their own history - with all the stylistic diversity of the great masterpieces of architecture.