chapter  7
Structural detailing
Pages 19

Exposed structural detailing can contribute significantly to the architecture of a building. Detailing can transform ordinary or purely utilitarian structural members and connections into objects of aesthetic delight, as well as communicate design ideas and concepts. This chapter begins by illustrating how architects express a wide diversity of design ideas through structural details. An analysis of observed structural details suggests that most express or respond to some aspect of the building of which they are part. Examples illustrated details that relate to architectural form, building function, materiality and construction, and structural actions. Detailing that expresses structural actions can either express states of stress within members or articulate structural connectivity, like clamping or clasping. Sources of detailing inspiration also lie completely outside the building and its programme. The multiplicity of examples, the sheer diversity of expressive and responsive details, and the different aesthetic qualities of details all indicate the enormous potential for exposed structural detailing to enhance architecture.