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Structure and Design

Matthew Wells


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An investigation of thirty skyscrapers from around the world—both recently built and under construction—that explains the structural principles behind their creation

Skyscrapers, ever taller, astound us with their immensity and beauty. Despite the challenges associated with their design and safety, there is continued growth in the size and number of tall buildings being built around the world. In this fascinating book, Matthew Wells, a practicing structural engineer, explains the principles behind the construction of skyscrapers and the ways they are designed to withstand such forces as earthquakes, high winds, and fire.
Beginning with a concise architectural and cultural history of the skyscraper, Wells then offers thirty case studies of high profile buildings recently built  or under construction by some of the world’s most renowned architectural firms, including Foster and Partners; Zaha Hadid Architects; Cesar Pelli and Associates; the Renzo Piano Building Workshop; and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. Each is illustrated in color alongside accompanying text, drawings, plans, and details that show how the building is constructed and what particular innovative design features it incorporates in order to address such issues as sustainability, the needs of mixed-use sites, local vernacular traditions, and technological advancements in building materials.
Skyscrapers features these buildings and more:
• Commerzbank, Frankfurt, Germany
• Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
• London Bridge Tower, London
• Turning Torso, Malmö, Sweden
• AOL Time Warner Center, New York
• New York Times Building, New York

Praise For Skyscrapers: Structure and Design

". . .a tour of twenty-nine case studies. . . All are fun to look at and contemplate."—Virginia Quarterly Review

— Virginia Quarterly Review

Yale University Press, 9780300106794, 192pp.

Publication Date: September 11, 2005

About the Author

Matthew Wells is a practicing structural engineer and author of 30 Bridges (2002).