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Engineering Architecture.

CONCEPTUAL STRUCTURAL DESIGN: BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS

By Olga Popovic Larsen and Andy Tyas. London: Thomas Telford. 2004. [pounds sterling]25

The subtitle says it all. This book, written by teachers at Sheffield University's course in Engineering and Architecture, is about joining the thought processes of the two disciplines.

If we were better at our jobs, the message would be taken for granted. But at a time when architecture is dominated by wilful shape-making, it is a salutary reminder that most of the best buildings, throughout history, are based on structural concepts. Today this requires close cooperation between architect and engineer.

The book is divided into two parts, the first section deals with sources of inspiration for structural concepts natural forms, intuition, precedents, structural principles, models. Each is discussed as idea, with numerous historical examples. The second part of the book consists of four case studies where the authors interviewed the architects and engineers for buildings where they have clearly worked constructively together. All four show the iterative process at work as ideas are passed from one to the other.

Anthony Hunt, in his introduction, says of the book 'I wish that it had been around when I was a young engineer'. Well, it's around now, and the message is needed by architects even more than by engineers.
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Title Annotation:Conceptual Structural Design: Bridging the Gap Between Architects and Engineers
Author:Winter, John
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:221
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