The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 4 (1926) > Issues > Issue 3 > Discussion on The Architectural Treatment of Reinforced Concrete by W.J.H. Leverton
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Discussion on The Architectural Treatment of Reinforced Concrete by W.J.H. Leverton

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.