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Aesthetics in the Context of Time

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From ancient times through the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, the master builder was more artist than engineer in today's sense of the word. The importance of artistic appearance is evident in so many of the bridges that have survived into this century, even those visible only in old prints. Over the centuries, structural engineering evolved into a science, ignoring artistic expression completely. Today, the architect is generally regarded as the artist of the built environment, and not the civil engineer. Engineers and society in general have recently come to realize that a bridge is not only an object of practical use, but also a structure rich with symbolic and artistic potential. Some engineers have studied the philosophical bases of aesthetics in bridge design and developed guidelines that have become reasonably accepted.
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Keywords: Bridge aesthetics; Bridge design; Bridge engineering; Cable suspension bridges; Erzsébet Bridge (Budapest; Hungary)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1996-08-01

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    Structural Engineering International (SEI), the quarterly Journal of IABSE, published since 1991, is the leading international journal of structural engineering dealing with all types of structures and materials. SEI offers its readers a unique blend of short profiles on recent structures, and longer, in-depth technical articles on research, development, design, construction and maintenance. Articles are written by practicing engineers and academia from around the world and reflect the high standards of IABSE. IABSE Peer Review stamps are given to papers that have passed through a highly selective review process and demonstrate a significant contribution to the state of structural engineering knowledge.To recognise contributions of the highest quality, an Outstanding Paper Award is presented each year.

    SEI is printed in Switzerland; ISSN 1016-8664; E-ISSN 1683-0350
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