Remember to Tip Your Engineers

I finally glanced at this month’s Architectural Record, and was instantly giddy: A whole issue focusing on the intersection of engineering and architecture! It’s like they decided that since I finally payed them for my subscription, they’d write to my tastes for a month. The Engineer’s Moment essay traces the development of engineer-architect collaboration, and is worth a read. Moreover, the issue consistently credits both project architects and engineers, a rare and welcome occurrence.

More important than stoking nerds egos is that these partnerships produce superior buildings. The architecture is forced to remain tethered to the natural world, and elegantly respond to the constraints of a site. The structure is forced to go beyond standard practice and use underlying physical principals to create new systems that liberate the architecture. Many of my favorite contemporary buildings — the Gherkin, CCTV Tower, Water Cube — are appealing explicitly because of their success at blurring the engineer/architect divide and excelling in both categories.

As is the cover girl of the magazine: Borg Tower! Apparently it’s more awesome that I realized under its prickly skin and I’m debating becoming a Thom Mayne-praising drone…but not yet. Thus:

Perez’s Federal Building

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