Preface of Structure As Architecture_ A Source Book for Architects and Structural Engineers
The second edition of this book is based largely on the first, with a number of significant enhancements. Three new chapters have been introduced, of which two consider the topic of structure in architecture from a new perspective. The first edition concentrated upon an analysis of architectural structure. It analysed and illustrated the many architectural roles structure plays in both physical and conceptual ways. Its starting point was structure as manifest in existing architecture. Now, the additional two chapters focus on the same topic, but from the perspective of design. They begin from the basis of architects’ design concepts and architectural qualities and show how structure positively reinforces the most common contemporary design concepts and facilitates desired spatial and other qualities. This new emphasis on design, rather than analysis, brings a welcome balance to the book.
The process of developing this material involved an interesting journey to identify and summarize current architectural concepts and qualities, and then illustrate them from existing works of architecture. One of the most rewarding aspects of this design-orientated emphasis was the design study undertaken by one of my postgraduate classes. Students designed spatial structure to convey a wide range of design concepts. The most relevant outcomes are presented in Chapter 11. As well as the introduction of this design-related content, the third new chapter shifts the focus upon exposed structure to structure that is hidden. This exploration not only acknowledges pragmatic aspects of structural hiddenness, but also aims to stimulate greater creativity in the concealment of structure.
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This new edition has also provided an opportunity to update case-studies, and broaden their geographical catchment. Thirty per cent of the case-studies are new additions, many from countries previously unrepresented, most notably Japan. In spite of all of these and other improvements, the central theme of the book remains unchanged: where structure contributes architecturally, other than in its primary load bearing role, it contributes other layers of aesthetic and functional richness to designs. It reinforces architectural design concepts and intended architectural qualities, thereby increasing the interest in and enjoyment of buildings, raising the spirits of their occupants. Andrew Charleson
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