Princeton University

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Author(s): Maria Garlock and David P. Billington

Institution(s): Princeton University

Description: The course focuses on structural engineering as a new art form begun during the Industrial Revolution and flourishing today in long-span bridges, thin sheet concrete vaults, and tall buildings. Through critical analysis of major works students are introduced to the methods of evaluating structures as an art form. Students study the works and ideas of individual structural artists through their elementary calculations, their builder's mentality and their aesthetic imagination. Students examine contemporary exemplars that are essential to the understanding of 21st century structuring of cities with illustrations taken from various cities. The course has a website with more information.

Syllabus: These lectures are listed in the order given as part of the Princeton Course per the Syllabus


The Origins of Structural Art: Telford, Brunel, and British Metal Forms

John Augustus Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge

Eiffel's Bridges, Eads Bridge, and Baker's Firth of Forth Bridge

Othmar Ammann and the Bayonne Bridge and George Washington Bridge

Wind, Suspension Bridges, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge

The Origins of Prestressing: Freyssinet, Magnel, and Finsterwalder

Baker, Khan and the SOM Tradition of Structural Art in Buildings

The German vs. Spanish Tradition of Thin-Shell Roof Forms

Pier Luigi Nervi and the Italian Tradition of Ribbed Vaults