2016 Structural Awards – The Top Structural Design Feats Shortlisted

The Structural Awards ceremony is an annual program that seeks to recognize structural engineers who make some of the most renowned new designs in the world. In many of modern day contests, architectural firms tend to be recognized as the project artists while structural engineers are credited with a supporting role. In real sense, both engineers and architects work together as a team to realize a design.

In the ceremony to be held on November 11, 2016, there are 42 projects shortlisted. The conclusion of the event will see structural engineering firms awarded for their tremendous work. At the same time, there will be an award to the project that pushes the boundaries of structural engineering known as the Supreme Award of Structural Excellence. Below are some of the projects shortlisted. Plus if you need exterior painters bucks county be sure to check it out.

The Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015

This is a polygonal project designed in 2015 in London by AECOM, the structural engineer and SelgasCano, the architect. The steel frame of this project is carefully wrapped with a multicolored, prestressed, and unreinforced translucent ETFE fabric. The project is in the arts or entertainment structures category.

JTI Headquarters

This 10 story steel framed building has a public courtyard that overflows into a transportation hub located beneath a dramatic cantilever. This triangular structure was designed by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill who were the structural engineer and architect. Also, the building has three sloped elevations that feature Pratt trusses which are affixed by momentary connections in the spandrel beams thus resisting lateral roads and gravity. This project is in the commercial or retail structures categories.

The Cube

This is a story residential development located in London. It was designed and built by Engenuiti, the structural engineers and Hankins\Brown architects. The materials used in the construction are concrete, timber and steel. It is classified under the community or residential structures category.

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum

This paleontology museum located in Northern Albata, Canada is the work of Fast + Epp structural designers and Architecture ATB, Teeple Architects. The building is framed by a timber/beam roof and modular timber panels. It is categorized under education or health care.

Transformation of Birmingham New Street Station

This is a project which cost an estimated $830 million. Atkins|AKTII, the structural engineers innovatively transformed a 1960s transit building into a modern bustling transportation center in Birmingham. The roof of this building has an ETFE inflated cushion system which is supported by curved steel tube beams which are held up by two arched trusses. It is under the infrastructure or transportation structures category.

Elizabeth Quay Bridge

Categorized under pedestrian bridges, this 72-foot-tall, cable-stayed bridge was designed to be an anchor in the recent revitalization of Perth in Australia. Before the bridge was finished and commissioned, tests were done by Arup the structural engineer as well as other independent engineers and designers particularly to check the response of the bridge to footfall vibrations. All the tests were completed and the structure was confirmed to be fit for usage.


The Top Architectural Trends that Are Redefining Residential Housing

According to the American Institute of Architects, the housing market is quickly picking up as the economy is bouncing back. This is good news especially for families because many of them are channeling their funds into building new private homes and improving the appearance of the existing ones. This development has created new and exciting opportunities for architects to display their designs and stand out. Our colleagues over at nyc moving and storage have also said moves are on the rise. Below is an array of distinct design elements which are adding a fresh and contemporary touch to residences.


The architectural field is witnessing a gradual shift from usage of sculptural forms such as shifted volumes, smooth surfaces, and projecting cantilevers to add allure into a totally new formal element known as the circular void. These consist of punched round apertures through ceilings that draw the eye to the sky.

Ceiling Screens

Ceilings are not new in architecture because for a long time, they have been used to protect against excessive rain and provide shade from the sun. As part of modern architecture, screens are increasingly being used to cover skylights in homes. They play a key role in protecting interior rooms from excessive sunlight while at the same time reducing the need to have artificial lighting. The slatted designs create incredible plays of light and pattern which change as the sun shifts.

Explicit Geometry

Large horizontal windows have oftentimes been relied upon as entry points for natural light into interior spaces. However, this modernist trademark is changing with architects incorporating a wide array of square openings which they place throughout the façade not only to let light in, but also to call attention to the beauty of straightforward geometry.

Patterned Facades

Architects are using smooth exterior walls as the perfect canvas to try out their new design features. The designed moire patterns take the form of a methodic arrangement of brick-like spaces. These patterns may appear understated and subtle from afar yet they provide an exciting play of shadows inside.

Retractable Panels

Compared to window shutters which only satisfy nostalgic décor functions, the new retractable panels are revolutionary in the sense that they provide both shade interiors during daytime and help give homes a cutting-edge look. On cloudy days, the panels retract while during summer, they can be instrumental in reducing thermal bridges and cooling costs particularly in hot areas.

Implied Windows and Skylights

The impression of a skylight or window is more exciting than even the physical glazing itself. In many contemporary residential homes, architects are using horizontal beams resting on corner pillars to create window-like voids. Implied windows and skylights act as a discernible outline which implies a solid and closed form.

Creating Contemporary Victorian Interiors

The intrigue of owning a Victorian home can make you overcome all hurdles and obstacles that come with remodeling your home. Victorian homes are so full of character and their craftsman qualities are often hard to come by especially in modern homes. Meshing modern interiors into your age-old home can give you that Victorian charm without compromising on the contemporary appeal of your house. There are lots of inventive ways you can bring back the nostalgic appeal of Victorian days in a modern manner.

Mixing Victorian Style with Modern Style

Some designers call it eclectic while others call it Modern Victorian. Some homeowners who have Victorian homes want a touch of modern design while those who do not have Victorian homes want a touch of the Victorian character and quality. The best way to create a modern Victorian interior is to mesh carefully the two styles. You can do this by:

  • Pairing ultra-modern chairs with an ancient wood table
  • Reupholstering old Victorian sofas with modern fabric or modern chairs with Victorian style fabric such as floral, damask, or tapestry.
  • Reupholstering dining chairs with bold graphic print.

These mixtures when done well create a style statement that embraces modernity, but also appreciates the quality and curves of Victorian antiques. If you need to move a piano during this process try these guys piano movers pa.

Adding Craftsman Character to Your Interiors

Victorians had a unique taste for hand carved and hand crafted items such as ornately carved wood furniture from oak, walnut or mahogany. Inasmuch as Victorian homes were meant to portray wealth and status, you can still recreate this craftsman character without necessarily doing renovations. Some of the ideas to help you do this include:

  • Adding carved pieces of wood such as mirror frames, furniture, picture frames and lamps
  • Buying furniture of the best quality. Investing in cheap factory made furniture may not do you a lot of good as far as aesthetics are concerned.
  • Adding a fireplace mantle. There are some old mantles you can find at flea markets.
  • Salvaging and repurposing old architecture. For instance, you can get old doors, windows, and trims online and use them throughout your modern home to add a Victorian vibe.
  • Adding marbles on your table tops or having a carved marble statue will not only have high quality aesthetics, but also represent Victorian styling.

Creating Themed Rooms around Color

The Victorian period was synonymous with paint color adventure. White walls were not found to be the real sign of decadence and opulence. Rich hues such as red, blue, gold-brown, and green were extremely popular.

Victorian colors are dusty in nature especially when compared to the bright colors of many modern homes. Bolder colors were mostly used to reemphasize the importance of the room over which they were painted. For example, the library and dining room could be painted dark bold colors while the kitchen could be painted light and crisp colors. The following are some guidelines when adding color into your home.

  • Where you have a contemporary open floor plan, you may want to consider painting individual ascent walls so as to add the sense of Victorian to your home.
  • If you own a Victorian home and you simply want to modernize it, you can paint everything a warm white and add the Victorian flair through accessories.
  • If bold paint scares you, you may consider adding color through accessories, textile, and window treatments.

Get Your Details Right

Victorian homes exuded detailed décor. From the paintings to the textiles and ornate furniture, these homes had everything in excess. When decorating the contemporary Victorian home, you can layer the floors with Persian-styled rugs, trim windows, and cover the walls with ornate paintings.

As seen above, creating modern interior that combines well with Victorian times can be a little bit tough, but with a keen eye, you can mix these two styles and get spot-on results.

Mountain Home Architecture

Ok well in the spirit of keeping it simple and the inspiration from a Memorial Day trip into the hills, I thought it would be a nice refresher to review the most popular types of mountain homes we see.

  1. Victorian- This doesn’t need much explaining but is still very present throughout many mountain towns due to it’s stamp on the time period that pushed many settlers into the mountains in search or gold and silver. They are remnants of the 1850’s and are if they are still there they are usually in a premo location due to it’s age. Many of the Victorian’s in the resort type mountain towns have been restored and renovated to meet the current living standard.
  2. European Style Chalets- It goes without saying that many of the American ski towns modeled their villages and structures off of their more mature culture origin in Europe. This let to the Disneyland style look of many a ski town ie Vail.
  3. A-Frame- Classic, simple, sold design that was popular throughout the 50’s and 60’s due to it’s ease with construction. The A Frame will also stand the test of time and the harsh weight of deep winter snows.
  4. Geodesic Dome- Weird and very popular throughout the 60’s and 70’s for obvious reasons. You’d have to be stoned to think this is a good idea.
  5. Yurts- Versatile, easy to construct, easy to take down and move. Perfect for the outdoor adventurer. They are used frequently by skiers, hunters, hikers and outdoor travelers.
  6. Log Cabin- Far removed from it’s modest origins are the 3000+ square foot luxury log cabins that know litter the mountain landscape. Very popular since the 1990’s to present.
  7. Contemporary- With clean lines and inspiration from guys like Frank Loyd Wright to use glass, geometric shapes and concrete to create super cool chic looking homes. These most typically are built by the hip and happening uber wealthy sporting everything from indoor pools and spas to basketball courts and more.

Of coarse I have left some out and thats where you the smart and opinionated reader comes in. Let us know what you think.

Iconic Architecture

How about we start off with some of the most iconic architecture in the world? This is not an exhaustive list but a pretty good start.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia located in Istanbul Turkey then Constantinople was built in 350 by Constantine then was burnt down and was rebuilt by Constantine’s son in 405, then the last and finally was built by Justinian in 532. The building was originally a Greek Othordox church and then when Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453 he turned it into a mosque and has bee ever since. Varies sultan’s throughout the years have added onto the structure.

The Louvre

The Louvre located in Paris was built in the late 12th century by Phillip II. It is now one of the worlds largest museums and historic monument in France. It is reported that more than 9 million visitors were there in 2014.

The Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab located in Dubai and was built in 1994 designed by Tom Wright and built by Atkins for Jemeriah Hotels. It was designed to look like a sail and is currently the second largest hotels in the world.

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House located in Sydney Australia was built in 1955 and was the design of Jorn Utzon the design contest winner. This is undeniably one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building locate in New York City was built in 1930 by William F. Lamb. It took over four hundred days to build and was the worlds tallest building for a while. Interestingly it was nearly empty for 20 years due to the great depression and the world war II.

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal located in Mumbai India built in 1633 by emperor Shah Jahan was a tomb built for his third wife whom died during the birth of their fourteenth child.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower located in Paris France was built between 1881 and 1889 by Gustave Eiffel.

Big Ben

Big Ben located in London England was built in 1852 and was designed by Augustus Pugin.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum located in Rome Italy was built in 70 AD and was designed by emperor Vespasian. Interestingly the money to build this came from treasure seized in the Great Jewish Revolt .

The Giza Pyramids

The Giza Pyramids located just outside of Cairo Egypt built during the 4th and 5th Dynasty they are the oldest structure on this list and are one of the seven wonders of the world. These we build even before the use of the wheel which is pretty impressive. There must have been thousands of slaves that broke their backs day in and day out to create these incredible structures.

That all for now folks, stayed tuned for more cool architecture stuff.