Anton Tedesko: Thin Shells and Esthetics

by David P. Billington, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Princeton Univ., Princeton, N.J. 08544,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 11, Pg. 2539-2554

Document Type: Journal Paper


Rarely can historians attribute to one person the introduction into a society of a new and widely useful engineering idea. We have no difficulty, however, in attributing to one structural engineer, Anton Tedesko, the introduction of thin-shell concrete roof structures into the United States. This achievement merits some reflection not only on the events themselves, but also on the background and personality of the individual engineer. Anton Tedesko's work and ideas in thin shell concrete studies demonstrate: First, his educational background broadened his vision, emphasized design at least as much as analysis, and included aesthetics as a serious part of structural design. Second, his experience in European practice gave him not only a solid grounding in thin shell construction, but also a first-hand view of the operation of designer-builders. Third, the history of thin shell structures shows how new ideas in structural engineering came from designers and especially those with construction experience. Fourth, Tedesko's long career has focused on the design of full-scale works in which behavior, cost, and appearance have been the criteria for success.

Subject Headings: Tensile structures | Structural design | Concrete structures | Shell structures | Distinguished engineers | Aesthetics | Engineering history | Concrete | United States

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search