This book contains a unique collection of various perspectives on the relationship between structures and the forms and spaces of architecture. As such it provides students and professionals alike with an essential sourcebook that can be mined for visual inspiration as well as for textually rich and authoritative insight into the links between structure, architecture, and cultural context. The chapters address fundamental structural elements and systems: columns, walls, beams, trusses, frames, tensile structures, arches, domes and shells. Each chapter is subdivided into two parts:
• The essays – introduce the chapters with the reprinting of a curated set of essays and excerpts by various authors that uniquely address how particular structural elements or systems relate in essential fashion to architectural design concepts.
• The model studies – physical models of the overall structural systems of several notable contemporary buildings from Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia are illustrated with large photographs, detail close-ups, and views of their external forms and internal spaces that establish the exceptional qualities of these projects in connecting structural form to architectural design objectives. Mosaic layouts complete the chapters with a collection of photographs of yet more models whose particular details and unique features serve to extend the visual repertoire of the structural type being considered.
The combination, juxtaposition and mutual positive reinforcement of these two collections, one largely textual and the other image based, provides the reader with unique and multifaceted insights into how structural forms and systems can be related to architectural design intentions. Conveyed by a strong and deliberate graphical design format, this assembly of materials gets to the very essence of structures within the context of architecture, and will inspire students and practitioners alike to make strategic design decisions for their own projects.