When architecture comes up in conversation, the topic is rarely so-called functional buildings. At the same time, our environment is shaped not only by concert halls and museums, but also railway stations, bridges and power plants. Loadbearing structures and spatial effect are very much linked in such buildings, which means that convincing solutions mainly come about only as the result of close collaboration between structural engineers and architects.
In accord with the basic concept of Detail structure, the project discussions in this issue focus on the role of the structural engineer. Roof and supports work together as a system in the central station in The Hague, with its glass-covered roof construction supported on tree columns and composed of rhombic panels. In Surrey, Canada, an extremely slim, timber suspended roof describes a long vertical curve over swimming pools serving families and competitive swimmers − and succeeds in overcoming wind uplift forces.
The exceedingly slender steel shaft of the new observation tower in Brighton, on which visitors slide up into the sky in a glazed cockpit, required special engineering measures to dampen vibrations. All the projects clearly show how engineers overcome structural challenges and contribute to a successful completed project.