Learning to See and Understand Structure

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From Wood to Steel - Properties of Materials
Materials profoundly influence the form, function, and structure of great buildings, bridges, and towers. Using steel (which is superior in terms of strength, ductility, and stiffness) as a benchmark, compare the structural properties of wood, masonry, concrete, and iron: and see them at work in thousands of years' worth of…
Great Cantilever Bridges: Tragedy and Triumph
Professor Ressler shows how structural catastrophes produced two bridges that provide a wonderful opportunity to see and understand structure: Scotland's Firth of Forth Bridge and Canada's second Quebec Bridge. You'll also gain insights into the human element of engineering, and the reasons structures turn out the way they do.
The Beauty and Versatility of Modern Concrete
Concrete, the world's most commonly used construction material, has been used in buildings that are anything but common. See concrete's versatility at work in an incredible range of structures, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, the Salginatobel Bridge in the Swiss Alps, and Dubai's Burj Khalifa (currently the world's tallest building).
Robert A.M. Stern - 15 Central Park West and the History of the New York Apartment House
Even during the Great Recession of 2008, one new apartment house in New York City continued to set the bar for real-estate prices: 15 Central Park West. Designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, the lavish, limestone-clad structure from 61st to 62nd streets is arguably one of the most luxurious…
Villard de Honnecourt: Builder of Cathedrals
The thirty-three pages of this parchment 'album,' covered with notes and drawings, speak directly to us of a world about which we know very little. Villard de Honnecourt, thirteenth-century architect, engineer and journalist, 'greets you and bids all of those laboring at the tasks described in this book to pray…
Nakagin Capsule Tower - Japanese Metabolist Landmark on the Edge of Destruction
Metabolism is the first Japanese architecture movement after the World War II, manifested in 1960 by Noboru Kawazoe, architecture critic, and the five architects, Kiyoshi Awazu, Kiyonori Kikutake, Kisho Kurokawa, Fumihiko Maki, and Masato Otaka. They envisioned a new direction for future Japanese architecture and urbanism. They created various architecture…
Strategies for Understanding Any Structure
What happens when you encounter a noteworthy structure that hasn't been included in this course and you want to know more about it? Professor Ressler devotes his final episode to answering this question; sending you out into the world with suggested strategies for understanding any structure: great or otherwise.
The Great Skyscraper Race
The human aspiration to build upward reaches its climax with the skyscraper. Learn the story behind America's great skyscraper race and the increasingly sophisticated buildings it produced. Among the structural masterpieces you examine in depth are the Wainwright Building, the Chrysler Building, the Willis Tower, and the World Trade Center…
Internal Forces, Stress, and Strength
Use the Simple Tension Test (pulling on a structural element until it reaches the breaking point) as a gateway to understanding the concepts of internal force, stress, and strength. Then, see these concepts at work in structures such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Athens' Olympic Velodrome.
Everyday Engineering - Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life
Look around you. Great masterpieces of engineering are everywhere. As soon as you get out of bed in the morning, you are putting centuries of scientific and mechanical ingenuity to use. So familiar are these structures, inventions, and services that they are all but invisible. Yet they are just as…
Suspension Bridges: The Challenge of Wind
In July 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge dramatically collapsed in a steady 42-mph wind. In this concluding episode on suspension bridges, focus on how the Brooklyn Bridge, the Severn Bridge, and other bridges were designed to combat the second great challenge of these record-breaking bridges: their vulnerability to wind-induced vibrations.
John Hejduk - Builder of Worlds
A poet among architects and an innovator among educators, John Hejduk converses with poet David Shapiro at The Cooper Union about the mystery and spirit of architecture. His own sketches and structures are shown.