Back in print–the standard work on Heino Engel’s structure systems. The hundreds of drawings and photographs reproduced in this hardback volume offer almost endless variations on the many structural systems that can keep buildings together: within a few pages of one another, tents, domes and cubes are shown supported by poles, cables, ribs, rafters and beams. Engel’s presentation and explanation of this highly complex material differs fundamentally from others’ work on the subject in that he focuses entirely upon the functions and design effects of these mechanisms, without regard for technical details: More than an engineering text, this is a catalogue of ideas and forms for architects and dreamers, a David Macaulay book for adults. Structure Systems skips over more commonly treated special designs and completed buildings for typical, representative and surprising shapes. As a reference work or daydream material, it is an indispensable repertoire of forms.
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