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High-resolution (HR) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of urban areas reveal a large variety of details that, although potentially bringing a lot of information, are often very difficult to interpret. Until now, most of the research activity in this field has been devoted to the attempt to retrieve geometric information on buildings in terms of their positions and sizes, by using simplified geometrical models. However, this approach does not allow us to fully exploit the large amount of information present in HR SAR images. In order to improve information retrieval from such images, and, hence, their interpretation, in this paper, we propose to employ a more refined model that accounts for both geometrical (including fine details) and electromagnetic properties of the building. A meaningful case study is presented to show that the main features appearing on the SAR image of a building can be interpreted by using our geometric and electromagnetic model. In addition, a first example of retrieval of the complex dielectric constant of building materials from a SAR image is presented.