More on The Structure of Skyscrapers

A week from today, on December 11, I’ll be giving an online talk about The Structure of Skyscrapers. In addition to discussing some of the main themes in the text, I’m going to discuss why I started the project and how I think it can be useful to people. I’m going to use some pictures …

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Chaos From Order

About the time that Frank Gehry’s design for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was grabbing headlines, I started to hear about blob architecture. The gist of the discussion was that the development of 3-D architectural modeling tools had freed designers from the tyranny of regular -or worse, orthogonal – geometry, and the future would be blobby. …

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Taxonomy, Maybe

If it’s difficult or impossible to easily categorize the structural types in buildings, as I suggested yesterday, then how do you do it? I guess the first question to answer is why would you do it? Being able to categorize the structure of existing buildings greatly speeds investigation, alteration design, and repair design. Since most …

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Taxonomy, Not

The distinctions between the different truss types used in bridges are clear and easy to define. That is not true for building frames and it seems to me that the reason why not is useful in contrasting bridge structural design with building structural design. I’m limiting the discussion below to steel framing, but it could …

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Taxonomy

The National Park Service – in the form of the Historic American Engineering Record – was kind enough to create this illustrated guide to trusses. It’s incredibly handy to have around when you want to categorize an old bridge, but it occurs to me that it inadvertently says something about the way engineers design. First, …

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