Permanence is a term often associated with unfulfilled expectations. Who can predict how buildings and infrastructure will be used in 50 or 100 years? However, the most interesting designs frequently come about when architects and engineers think far forward into the future. One example is Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família in Barcelona, which has been under construction for 135 years. The essay in this issue of structure reports on the progress of building the giant crossing towers.
Looking forward was also a theme for the new Oodi Library in Helsinki, which is to last 150 years and have a tunnel driven under it. That’s why it has been designed as a long-span steel arch bridge. In no less impressive ways, an expressive, diagonal concrete skeletal frame at the taz Publishing House in Berlin and a modular composite timber-concrete structure for the office high-rise in Risch-Rotkreuz make provision for future, still unknown uses. Hopefully, these new buildings will withstand the ravages of time just as well as the Philips Building in Vienna has done with its extravagant prestressed concrete structure.
We at structure are also planning for the future and are delighted that renowned engineers and university lecturers Konrad Bergmeister, Manfred Curbach, Winfried Heusler, Karl Morgen and Werner Sobek will be joining our newly formed advisory board.