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.
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…
The Master Builders - The Construction of a Great Church
Medieval builders produced some of the finest structures that the world has seen in terms of technical sophistication, engineering skill, grace in design, and sheer size. This program follows the building of a cathedral from the earliest stages of fundraising and planning to its construction from the foundations to the…
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).
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright is today recognized as one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. During the seventy years he devoted to making architecture matter, he created over 1,100 designs, nearly half of which were realized. These included government and commercial buildings, hotels, apartment towers, recreational complexes, museums, religious…
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.
Modernist Architecture in Barcelona
Modernism is defined in this program as the revival, beginning toward the end of the nineteenth century, of an inventiveness and exuberance in building and craftsmanship that Spain had not seen since the Middle Ages. The works of three major architects are highlighted: Domenic y Montinair, Pug y Carafalc, and…
Cathedrals: Who Builds? Who Pays? How Long?
Episode 16 of The Cathedral Series
You've witnessed the majesty of some of Europe's great cathedrals. But how on earth were they actually built? This episodes eparates myth from reality, using models, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass windows, and other sources to reveal the technical process of creating impressive buildings that would inspire millions.
Philip Johnson - Diary of an Eccentric Architect
"My place in New Canaan is...a diary of an eccentric architect." Thus begins a fascinating look into the mind of one of our most creative and significant architects. Philip Johnson was always on the forefront of stylistic change, and his property in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a kind of laboratory…