Structural design in the Warsaw school of architecture

Ewelina Gawell


The architectural design process requires the collision between art and technology. Their clash leads to an interaction which shapes the building, whose interdisciplinary content is subjected to a multifaceted assessment. Structural design is the technical discipline, which has the greatest impact on the form of the object being designed. It is concerns itself not only with the important material and technological decisions, but above all the structural idea, which greatly affects the function, artistic expression, etc. In the history of architecture many of the iconic buildings are characterized by an unconventional structure with an impressive geometry, span or material technology. Regardless of whether their author was an architect with structural intuition, or a civil engineer with a high sensitivity to beauty, and whether the building was created as a result of cooperation between industries – the "emergence" of the structural form, is invariably a creative process requiring multi-criteria evaluation, compromise and a coherent vision. There are many examples of objects that have arisen through the synergy of architecture and structure - including the J.S. Dorton Arena sports and entertainment hall in Raleigh opened in 1952, which was designed by the architect Maciej Nowicki, or the impressive search for bio-morphic reinforced concrete forms by eminent architects and engineers such as Felix Candela, Pier Luigi Nervi, Otto Frei or Eduardo Torroja. The interactions between architecture and structure are very important part of the design process that should come at the beginning. The difficulty in running a creative and co-dependent process results from the original vision of the structural form, often arising from a momentary inspiration, while thinking about the technical side is still far in the future – unless it is an intuitive reflex dictated by a proper habit and previous positive experiences. From this perspective, the process of educating young architects and preparing them to search for innovative architecture through rational technical solutions seems to be interesting. Supporting the creation of such habits and experiences has been the aim of the Warsaw school of architecture since the beginning of its existence, ie from 1915. The Interdisciplinary, practical education based on knowledge and historical achievements was the underlying idea which guided the founders and later the lecturers of the university, including Józef Dziekoński, Oskar Sosnowski, Stefan Bryła and many other eminent professors. The care for the integration of art and technology continues even today and it motivates the development of new subjects as well as the vision for education. Particularly noteworthy in the context of the interdependence of architecture and civil engineering is the subject created by prof. Adam Pawłowski – structural design, which is carried out continuously since the late 1960s. The paper deals with the selected curiculum topics and presents both the original teaching method as well as its effects on the structural design subject from the Warsaw school of architecture, pointing to the creative interdisciplinary aspect of the learning process.
Author Ewelina Gawell (FA / CSDCETI)
Ewelina Gawell,,
- Chair of Structural Design, Civil Engineering and Technical Infrastructure
Publication size in sheets0.65
Book Yilmaz Işık, Marschalko Marian, Drusa Marian (eds.): World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering-Architecture-Urban Planning Symposium. WMCAUS, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, no. 603, 2019, IOP Publishing, 612 p.
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)20
Score sourcepublisherList
ScoreMinisterial score = 20.0, 14-02-2020, ChapterFromConference
Publication indicators Scopus Citations = 0
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