Refining The Structure
Anthony Hunt (Anthony Hunt Associates)


Anthony Hunt, 1986

©Monica Pidgeon

I want to talk about the science and art of architectural engineering. Firstly, all buildings have a structure dating back centuries before the stone Greek temple, through the medieval timber frame and the engineering masterpieces of the 19th century to the present day tensile structures. Structural design is about ideas and is an art and a science. It's not based purely on mathematical solutions which concentrate on elemental calculations, while ignoring the overall concept. Mathematics is the servant of the designer. In my view, concept of structure always comes before calculation. Structures are an integral part of the architecture. They're not designed in isolation but as part of a collaborative design process between members of the design team working to a brief. The final structure for a building, which will have been through many design loops in the process, should have an immediate clarity and elegance and at the same time be practical and economic. Talking about the way 1 design; I think in 3 dimensions in my head, and by the use of axonometric sketches. History is of course an influence, and also personal preference. I think the people who have influenced me most have been, in the 19th century, Joseph Paxton, Eiffel and Brunel; and in this century Morandi,


Konrad Wachsmann: Stress Transferred Outwardly In A Spiral Fashion

©Konrad Wachsmann

Konrad Wachsmann, Felix Samuely, Eames and Prouve.

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