WORKSHOP
ANATOMY OF STRUCTURES
ВА2 2019-2020

The course "Anatomy of Structures 2019/20" of the Technology module at MARCH Architecture School was organized along with the exhibition “Shukhov. Formula of Architecture", held at the Shchusev Museum of Architecture from October 2019 to January 2020. The purpose of the "anatomy lesson" was to study outstanding works of structural engineering of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in particular, metal wide-span spatial structures, which signify the transition from planar (2D) to spatial (3D) systems, unique for the theory and practice of structures, that occurred in 1880-1920. Six iconic buildings were selected as objects of research, illustrating various stages of this transition.
The study of each object by a group of 5-6 students began with an analysis of the historical context, cultural and economic prerequisites, as well as placing it in the context of the general process of development of structural typologies. Further, with the help of archival materials and literary sources, a detailed 3-dimensional model of the structure was created in order to identify the basic principle of its performance. After that, a simplified structural calculation was carried out to confirm the hypotheses and comply with results from the original preserved engineering calculations of that time. The result of the research work was the creation of a large-scale model (1:50, 1:25) of the structure in whole or in part, in which the process of its assembly during construction was reproduced and technological issues of implementing the principles laid down in the calculations were discussed.