Integrating architectural values, such as memory, place and drawing, in the engineering design process
The example of Jürg Conzett
|Tagung:||Footbridge 2014 - Past, Present & Future, London, 16-18 July 2014|
|Veröffentlicht in:||Footbridge 2014 - Past, Present & Future|
Traditionally, bridges designed by engineers have a utilitarian approach, in a design process that usually bears two principles: rationality and functionality. Footbridges, which are b ridges that deal with shorter spans, have been in the last centuries a field for more experimental approaches, in which other values, su ch as landscape integration or cultural meanings, tend to be preferred over the structural opti mization that characterizes bridge s design.
In the last decades, architects have been selected to design footbridges. Generally, their solutions are praised for the richer experience they create, leading to a more engaging relationship with ist users. As such, the role of engineers as structural designers of footbridges is becoming less common, which brings us to the question: how can engineers reply to the public demand of designing innovative structures, in a much broader cultural sense, while respecting the basic principles and history of ist own discipline?
One solution might be integrating themes and elements from the “rationalist” architecture field in the en gineering process, such as memory, place and drawing. Jürg Conzett, a Swiss structural engineer and a former collaborator of the architect Peter Zümthor might be such case.
Studying Conzett footbridges, one can sense that the engineering design process can be informed by values and themes from the architectural practice, sublimating the classical divisions of these disciplines without losing ist own consistency, and therefore showing news paths for the practice of engineering
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