Innovative Surface Structures: Technologies and Applications

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Press: Taylor & Francis; 1 edition (March 20, 2008)
Publication Date:2008-2
Author Name:Bechthold, Martin
Edition:1st Edition


The book focuses on the recent innovations in computational techniques, material and digital fabrication technology that are revolutionizing the design, analysis and construction of surface structures. 
Powerful analysis tools now enable the accurate prediction of structural behaviour and manufacturing processes.
Material innovations in the area of cementitious and other composites, glass, or smart materials, to just name a few, are challenging architects to find appropriate forms and applications.
Digitally supported fabrication technology has taken a quantum leap since the time of the master shell builders 40 years ago, unfolding new potential to realize complex structural shapes in new and innovative ways.
These innovations are presented in the context of an in-depth introduction to the fundamentals of surface structures providing the necessary knowledge for the successful design of shells and tensile systems in a broad variety of materials.
Many of the principles are demonstrated using new material of some of the masterpieces in surface architecture.
The book is structured into three parts.
The first part familiarizes the reader with the topic of surface structures.
It provides a historic overview and explains the underlying structural principles and traditional construction techniques.
Part II introduces design methods, emphasizing recent developments in computational design and analysis that have greatly facilitated the design and construction of surface structures.
Part III presents case studies demonstrating use of innovative and emerging materials.


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Comment List (Total:6)

  •     I recently had the opportunity to study prof. Martin Bechthold's book "Innovative Surface Structures", published by Taylor and Francis in 2008. It proved to be very much up to my expectations for a book on this fascinating topic. It is well structured and written, and it gives an overview and insight into different rigid and non-rigid spatial structures ranging from tensile membranes to shell beams and grid shells. I particularly appreciate the chapters that deal with materials and the manufacturing of these complex shapes, subjects that are too often omitted from books on structures and structural systems. It is a pity, though, that the FEA diagrams are black and white, preventing an even better reading of stresses and deformations that could be had in color.Prof. Bechthold's book is clear and highly instructive, and is well suited to appear on a short list of titles that should be compulsory reading in an advanced course on structures. I certainly encourage my students to buy a copy for themselves.
  •     No Problem
  •     Very nice book, suitable for newcommers to the field and architects. Good for creating an overview in the topic, but experienced engineers have to look somewhere else.
  •     The Author is able to make his presentation as simple as possible without making it simpler (borrowing the words of Einstein.) The book elicits academic rigor and a serious pursuit of the truth.The price is reasonable.
  •     A review by Ana Aleman and Axel Paredes, educators and professionals in the field of architectural design.Innovative Surface Structures, Technologies and Applications is a book that will inform students and professionals in the field of architecture and engineering about the principles behind efficient, complex, architectural surfaces. Its author, Martin Bechthold, Professor of Architectural Technology at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, known for his innovative research on the subject, provides in this important publication the fundamental knowledge needed during the conceptual design and development processes for these spatial designs.The book is a valuable source of information on material and structural performance of surface structures, especially in an age where optimization and sustainability are becoming increasingly relevant. The author explains in great detail the structural principles of tensile membranes, rigid shells and folded plates, all of which he states to be highly efficient systems if conceived under the right conceptual approach.Through the analysis of contemporary and innovative case studies, Bechthold provides an up-to-date account of emergent digital analysis and simulation technologies, as well as new construction techniques. With the aid of a rich amount of easy-to-understand diagrams, images and computer illustrations, the book focuses on an in-depth understanding of structural surfaces as systems. It supplies designers with the tools to understand a variety of geometrical principles, structural behaviors and materials for surface architecture, without undermining contemporary issues of formal aesthetics and spatial organization.The author also provides a detailed understanding of iconic structures through the analysis and illustration of masterpieces built by architects and engineers such as Félix Candela, Eladio Dieste, Frei Otto and Heinz Isler.The book is divided into four main parts: 1) Surface architecture 2) Membrane structures 3) Rigid surfaces and 4) Perspectives. This last part focuses on interesting research on high performance materials and systems, speculating about possible applications related to the main topic of the publication.The author underlines the importance of understanding the behaviors and principles of construction, and the way this knowledge enables new and appropriate designs that respond adequately to program, place and time. It is a clearly laid out book full of valuable information that should be part of every architectural and engineering library.
  •     The book focuses mostly on the innovations in computational techniques, materials and powerful analysis tools which now enable the accurate prediction of structural behaviour and manufacturing processes.New materials and software possibilities are challenging architects and structural engineers to find appropriate form which gives acceptable structural behaviour.Author gives us a valuable source of information in understanding of iconic structures,through new structural analysis and quality illustrations.

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