The nature of tectonic architecture and structural design

A. Carter*, P. H. Kirkegaard, R. Tyrrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Since earliest times mankind has sought inspiration from nature for our built structures. However until the dawn of the modern era in architecture and design, the true structural character of a building was invariably fully or partially encased in an ornamented cladding, of often stylised motifs of nature. The modern emphasis on honest structural expression has resulted in more sincere and innovative interpretations of nature in spatial structures. With reference particularly to the exemplary nature inspired tectonic architecture of Jorn Utzon, the writings particularly of Kenneth Frampton, this paper will argue that the direct inspiration of nature and the increasing use of advanced parametric digital design tools that replicate virtually instantaneously evolutionary processes results in structures that are not only elegant tectonically and in terms of economy of means, but also aesthetically pleasing, profoundly satisfying experientially and often culturally significant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructures and architecture
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, applications and challenges
EditorsP Cruz
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-66195-9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Structures and Architecture: Structures and Architecture - Guimaraes, Guimaraes, Portugal
Duration: 24 Jul 201326 Jul 2013
Conference number: 2nd


ConferenceInternational Conference on Structures and Architecture
Abbreviated titleISCA 2013
Internet address


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