WHAT I AM THINKING: HISTORIAN AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEER TYLER SPRAGUE

Tyler S. Sprague teaches courses in structural design & architectural history at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.  He holds engineering degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Washington (UW) and worked professionally as a structural engineer before completing a Ph.D. in architectural history in the College of Built Environments at the UW. Sprague’s research investigates the intersection of architecture … Continue reading WHAT I AM THINKING: HISTORIAN AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEER TYLER SPRAGUE

StoneMatters: QAMT/Analogy

Here we present the recent work QAMT/Analogy – Stone Matters by Elias and Yousef Anastas.We are always proud to showcase the amazing works of the Form Finding Lab alumni such as Yousef. Born as a reaction to a systematic misuse of clad stone in Palestine, Stone matters is an experimentation-based research project examining the potential of including structural stone within the language of contemporary architecture … Continue reading StoneMatters: QAMT/Analogy

NETS AND DANCE: Making the invisible visible

Throughout history engineers and artists have been fascinated by making the invisible visible. For example, the visual artist and polymath Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) wanted to understand and control the forceful flow of water and found great beauty in its eddies and swirls. He recorded the 3D nature of these flows in space and time, made them legible and expressed their visual impact through his … Continue reading NETS AND DANCE: Making the invisible visible

NETS AND DANCE: What can we learn from nature and art?

In the Barry Onouye architectural studio at the University of Washington, we are exploring how nets can be imagined and built for visual expression.  In my previous post, we discussed the mechanics of nets and exemplified their behavior with nets that we use in daily applications.  In this post, we turn our attention to how net can be topologically classified and how we see those … Continue reading NETS AND DANCE: What can we learn from nature and art?

Pier Luigi Nervi in Italy (part 1): his ribbed floor slab systems

Happy New Year to you all! I am on my way to Roma Tre University (Rome, Italy) to present our work on biomimetic morphing forms and participate in workshop on Hygroscapes. This year I have some very exciting and innovative projects ligned up which I will tell you about in my next posts. No better way to start the year than to write a post … Continue reading Pier Luigi Nervi in Italy (part 1): his ribbed floor slab systems

Pier Luigi Nervi in America (part 3) – San Francisco

In the previous I wrote about the Thompson Area and the Leverone Field House projects in Hanover, USA and the Scope Arena in Norfolk, USA. In this post I write about his work in San Francisco where he was called in as a consultant and include pictures from my trip there. The other future posts will focus on his initial and most mature work in … Continue reading Pier Luigi Nervi in America (part 3) – San Francisco

Pier Luigi Nervi in America (part 1) – Hanover

This summer I took a trip to Dartmouth College Campus (Hanover, New Hampshire, USA) to photographically document the artistry in the Leverone Field House (1962) and the Thompson Arena (1975). These are respectively the first and the last structures that the Italian Engineer Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979) designed and realized in the United States of America. The Thompson Arena is arguably the last project Nervi … Continue reading Pier Luigi Nervi in America (part 1) – Hanover

Structures designed in the Low Countries: the ice shell Flamenco tower

With the cold weather upon us, we wanted to share this fascinating ice shell project with you. An international team of students and professors from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Summa College, the Netherlands, and Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China, have completed the largest ice shell ever after two years of preparation. TU/e and HIT realized this architectural ice structure, the “Flamenco Ice Tower”, … Continue reading Structures designed in the Low Countries: the ice shell Flamenco tower

HyparGate: Italian researchers reviving the ancient art of stereotomy

Italian architects of the New Fundamentals Research Group (Polytechnic University of Bari) and engineers from Roma Tre University are designing and constructing innovative reinforced stone shells and reviving stereotomy, the ancient art of cutting stones. Using advanced modeling and analysis software, and robotic fabrication, the team, coordinated by Prof. Giuseppe Fallacara, has designed the HyparGate, the first discrete hyperbolic paraboloid made of stone. The HyparGate … Continue reading HyparGate: Italian researchers reviving the ancient art of stereotomy

Structures in the Low Countries: Port House, Antwerp

The third interesting structure we discuss in the series Structures in the Low Countries is the Port House in the city of Antwerp, Belgium.  This building, designed by Zaha Hadid, is the brand new Port House. It was opened 6 months after Zaha’s sudden death  and the population of Antwerp is still making up their mind whether they like it or not.  In any case, … Continue reading Structures in the Low Countries: Port House, Antwerp