Skyscrapers: Structure and Design

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Skyscrapers, ever taller, astound us with their immensity and beauty. Despite the challenges associated with their design and safety, there is continued growth in the size and number of tall buildings being built around the world. In this fascinating book, Matthew Wells, a practicing structural engineer, explains the principles behind the construction of skyscrapers and the ways they are designed to withstand such forces as earthquakes, high winds, and fire.

Beginning with a concise architectural and cultural history of the skyscraper, Wells then offers thirty case studies of high profile buildings recently built  or under construction by some of the world’s most renowned architectural firms, including Foster and Partners; Zaha Hadid Architects; Cesar Pelli and Associates; the Renzo Piano Building Workshop; and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. Each is illustrated in color alongside accompanying text, drawings, plans, and details that show how the building is constructed and what particular innovative design features it incorporates in order to address such issues as sustainability, the needs of mixed-use sites, local vernacular traditions, and technological advancements in building materials.

Skyscrapers features these buildings and more:

• Commerzbank, Frankfurt, Germany

• Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

• London Bridge Tower, London

• Turning Torso, Malmö, Sweden

• AOL Time Warner Center, New York

• New York Times Building, New York

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Editorial Reviews

Virginia Quarterly Review
". . .a tour of twenty-nine case studies. . . All are fun to look at and contemplate."—Virginia Quarterly Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300106794
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,023,814
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 12.26 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Wells is a practicing structural engineer and author of 30 Bridges (2002).

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    For the Hardcore Skyscraper Enthusiast

    As its subtitle implies, this volume is not intended for the layperson. I'm an amateur follower of architecture and design, and I found myself having to consult an architectural dictionary for many of the terms used in the text of Skyscrapers: Structure and Design. I bought the book on a whim, but I was pleased to see that it includes case studies on several newer buildings whose construction I've been following: Renzo Piano's New York Times building in Manhattan and Santiago Calatrava's Turning Torso in Malmo, Sweden. Perhaps better geared to the coffee table in an architectural firm's lounge than for the average joe, I nonetheless recommend this book for those who want a deeper understanding of how tall buildings work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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