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Aesthetics of Architectural Structural Detailing

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This paper examines one aspect of the art of structural engineering, namely how structural detailing can contribute aesthetically to architecture. After a brief historical overview, a study of structural detailing in contemporary buildings with exposed structure is described. Structural details are analysed from the perspective of their architectural aesthetic contribution and brief case studies are presented. Although a very diverse approach to detailing is observed, ten commonly occurring structural detailing characteristics are identified. It is suggested that structural engineers use this list of characteristics to evaluate the aesthetic qualities of their own structural detailing. This process may lead to a greater appreciation of architect's attitudes to detailing, and deepen the level of design collaboration between architects and engineers.

Keywords: Aesthetics; Architectural structural detailing; Contemporary detailing; Structural detailing; Structural engineering

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1997-11-01

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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
    Abstracted and indexed at: Web of ScienceSM; Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch); Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition; Current ContentsR/Engineering, Computing and Technology; CAB Abstracts database; INSPEC, CBA and others.

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