Aesthetics of High-Rise Building Structures

by Joseph P. Colaco, CBM Engineers Inc, Houston, TX, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: The Engineering Aesthetics of Tall Buildings


The structural aesthetics of high-rise buildings is discussed, with particular emphasis on building frames, individual members and on joints and connections. Examples are given of towers that exhibit appropriate building structures, considering the building type, geographic location and height. At the member level, the shapes of building elements that can be derived from actual behavior are investigated. The importance of carrying an aesthetic philosophy down to the connection details is also emphasized; the elegance and simplicity of details not only express the structural behavior, but have often resulted in more economical buildings. The conflict between architectural aesthetics and structural aesthetics is a major theme of this paper.

Subject Headings: Structural behavior | Aesthetics | High-rise buildings | Structural analysis | Connections (structural) | Economic factors | Structural design | Structural members

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