When architectural engineering and structural engineering comes with a new structure called architecture structure, a space frame or space structure is a truss-like, lightweight rigid structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports.
A graceful building becomes iconic by striking a permanent pose. Such elegance in Architecture structure makes it a ‘timeless fashion’. However, this elegance goes beyond just the aesthetic covers of buildings. Within such timeless buildings lies a structure giving its aesthetics an extended life and imparting a visual identity to the building.
Beauty, in architecture, lies in the performance and behavior of building’s structure and façade elements as a component. The structural form should have an aesthetic appeal while being simultaneously driven by engineering considerations. An elegant design is the one that arises from engineering creativity, satisfies the requirements of efficiency and economy, and is elegant.
Works of structural engineering designs can be regarded as ‘Structural Art’, only when they pursue all of the 3 Es – Efficiency, Economy and Elegance.
Structural performance of the highest order is achieved when it excels all these 3 Es, of which – ‘elegance’ stands for more than just aesthetics. A structure cannot be a successful work of structural art without also being a successful work of structural engineering design – that is functional as well as safe.
The architectural stage has witnessed the creation of ‘Structural Art’ by many masters of design and engineering. They have charmed the history of architecture by contributions that were important because they highlighted structures to be beautiful, and still bold.
It is also to be put to light that a work of structural engineering design that is safe, functional and performs well might not rise to the level of ‘structural art’ because they fail to be elegant. The answer to how efficiently architects can work this out lies in – Parametric design.
Parametric design provides with the much-needed and efficient link to bridge aesthetics and performance of structures. With the advent of such designs, architecture has been able to take one giant leap in the realization of structures that once seemed to dwell only in fantasies.
A mere scroll down on this article would be enough to notice that as we approach this era Parametricism from the days of Roebling, there is a rise in ‘complexity’ of the structures.
It is the medley between the aesthetic and the performance/functionality of structures that creates a seamless architectural melody. Whether an architect or a structural engineer, both the inevitable sides of the same coin have to be considered while designing.
If aesthetics bring in ‘appeal’ to the structure, then its functionality is the ‘grammar’ and striving for excellence in both will create the right elegance – architecture that looks good and performs better.