The Collaboration of the Architect and Engineer in Post-war Building Discussion on the Paper by Mr. Henry Elder
MR. S. BYLANDER, proposing a vote of thanks to the author for his excellent paper, said Mr. Elder had been very courageous in expressing his views and showed a good knowledge of the problems confronting both the architect and the engineer, particularly those which would have to be faced after the, war. It was very interesting to hear how the author thought the architect and the engineer could be brought closer together through education, as that was a subject in which he himself had been very keenly interested for a long time. For some 40 years he had been engaged in building construction as a structural engineer and the problem of collaboration between the architect and the engineer resolved itself, in the first place, in their being good friends and appreciating the ability of each other. The architect who was most eager to have the assistance of the engineer was the one who had a fair knowledge of the engineering point of view and understood when he should deal with an engineer. Likewise, the engineer must have a fair knowledge and experience of buildings and the points which, to the architect, were very essential for his success in his part of the work. It was only in such conditions that it was easy to collaborate. It was hardly useful to the architect to be introduced to an engineer who could only calculate the size of a beam or a column or even have great scientific knowledge. What the architect wanted was an engineer with considerable practical experience and sound common-sense, so that a good plan could be worked out and objectionable features in design avoided. At the same time, the engineer had the right to expect the architect to listen to his recommendations because he would say that a good building was not one only with a good plan. Due regard must be had to cost and safety and stability from the engineering point of view.