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The Structural Engineer

Sir,-After reading Mr. Lloyd’s valuable paper and noting the extreme care with which the tests are conducted, it is a little disappointing to find that in common with other investigators he gets some freak results such as 10 of series 3, Table No. 6. The relatively high values of 11 and 12 of Series No. 4, Table No. 5, seem to go with relatively high weights of the blocks, but the low value of 7 Series 1 Table No. 5 also goes with a relatively high weight, so that it does not appear that an explanation can be sought in the density of the blocks.

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The Structural Engineer

MR. DEANE said he was sure they all felt very much indebted to Mr. Leverton for his extremely interesting paper and for the very excellent slides that had been thrown upon the screen. The subject was one in which the structural engineer was very much concerned, and although those present might not agree with all Mr. Leverton had said, they had been given a great deal of food for thought, which it was to be hoped would result in years to come in some developments of the treatment of concrete. There were one or two points to which he (Mr. Deane) would like to refer to specifically before formally moving the resolution for a vote of thanks. The first of these was the suggestion about the employment of the architect to adorn the engineer's structure. As he had said before, this was not a question of engineer versus architect or architect versus engineer, but it was the artist in engineer or architect who determined the beauty of the structure. Engineers were not supposed to be artists, but they sometimes got off their pedestal, and descended, if he might so express it, to become producers of the beautiful. Mr. Leverton had shown in the slides some very interesting examples of colonnades where it had been necessary to brace interior arches by metal rods, but the appearance of an interior arch supported on the outside by a single column which had no buttress to it was a most unsatisfactory thing. The Author in his paper said, "The piers under the central tower of a church, for instance, they occupy the most valuable art of the space, therefore must not be an inch larger than necessary. The tower is not seen from the inside, so there is no question of satisfying the eye." He (Mr. Deane) ventured to think that although there was no question of satisfying the eye, one must not forget the imagination which led one to suppose there would be some considerable weight resting on to those columns. He did not agree with the remarks in regard to the reproduction of half-timber structures, such as Staple Inn, which had been shown on the slides-for this was slavish copying of what had been forced on their predecessors by circumstances. Possibly what Mr. Leverton meant was what he had rather emphasised later on, that the use of the corbel presented valuable ideas for the evelopment of structures in reinforced concrete. He had very much pleasure in moving a vote of thanks to Mr. Leverton for the very excellent and interesting paper that had been given.

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The Structural Engineer

In our own times we have seen remarkable developments in structural practice, in fact we may reasonably affirm that in the present we have a period of great achievement in such matters. The nearness of these events, however, tends to hinder the right assessment of their actual value, producing in some an exaggerated notion of their slgnificance and in others an indifference to their great claims, and it is very important that we should know something of the manner in which great periods of development are prepared and finally spring to life; especially if we are to obtain undistorted views of the present and, possibly, some guidance as to the part which we may play in the preparation of other and yet greater achievements in the future, the nature of which can at present be foreshadowed only with difficulty and with hesitation. J. Leask Manson

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Author – Manson, J Leask

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The Structural Engineer

There are, obviously, two ways of treating the material wholse appearance we are to discuss. The first, usual, and wrong way, is to case it with brick, stolne, or terra cotta. An unsatisfactory example of casing, or rather, marking, is Sir Reginald Blomfield’s design for Lambeth Bridge. “The gods nod sometimes.” Professor Beresford Pite denounced it in the “ Times, ” and crossing pens with Sir Reginald, completely disarmed him. W.J.H. Leverton

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Author – Leverton, W J H

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The Structural Engineer

IN the last chapter arguments were advanced to show that in the design of street façades it was necessary to take into account several other factors besides that of construction. One of these factors is scale, and I shall now investigate a little further how considerations of scale may affect the disposition of the constructional members of a building, or if not the constructional members themselves, the appearance which these latter are allowed to present to the public. There is one particular type of façade which is becoming more and more common in our streets, and it is claimed in defence of it that in a peculiar manner it expresses the new ferro-concrete construction. It will be contended here that this particular species of design not only belies the ferro-concrete framework, but that it has the further disadvantage of violating architectural scale in so grievous a manner that even one such façade will do much to destroy the pictoria1 merit of a whole street. Figure No. VII. shows a whole row of these new façades and enables us to judge of their character far better than it is possible to do by visiting actual streets in our towns, for at present the new experiment in design is being conducted here and there by the setting up of isolated examples, which are seen in contrast with the old-fashioned types of façade rather than in conjunction with buildings belonging to their own genus. In architecture, before judging of any type of building which must take its place in the city, we must always generalise and ask ourselves the question, “What if all buildings performing a similar function were to adopt the same style, how would this affect the appearance of a street on which such buildings were aligned?” At the present time it is, unfortunately, true to say that the designers of buildings are often actuated by no more worthy motive than to make the the façades for which they are responsible as different as possible from the neighbouring ones. These modern façades with their "vertical emphasis" (an effect which is achieved by arranging the fenestration in vertical rows enclosed in long reveals or recesses) do indeed separate themselves most conspicuously from the old-fashioned street frontages which have rather an horizontal emphasis due to the presence of substantial horizontal spans of wallage between each row of windows. The author of the façades with "vertical emphasis" is able to proclaim to his acquaintances that his new building is something quite remarkable and is easily recognised as belonging to a new order of architecture. He has achieved notoriety, but we are compelled to ask ourselves whether he is making a worthy contribution to civic design. An examination of Figure VII. makes it clear that the system of what is called vertical composition effectively dissociates a façade from its neighbours, and especially is this the case if the façades happen to be of different heights, for the unit of fenestration is no longer the individual

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Author – Billington, David P

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The Structural Engineer

An interesting work of construction is here illustrated in the viaduct at Cray for the Breconshire County Council on the Senny-bridge - Ystradgyn-tais Road. Owing to circumstances the construction had to be carried out as economically as possible, and the cross bracing was arranged to support temporary stagings at convenient heights so that no independent scaffolding was necessary.

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