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metal structures


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The first were bridges, such as the iron structure at Coalbrookdale, Salop., designed by Pritchard (1777–9), and various industrial and storage buildings where cast-iron columns carried beams from which low segmental brick vaults sprang. Schinkel designed cast-iron monuments (e.g. to Queen Luise of Prussia, Gransee (Gothic sarcophagus and canopy—1811), the war-memorial at Grossbeeren (Gothic pinnacle—1817), and the Kreuzberg monument, Berlin (tall Gothic spire-like cross—1818–21) and a cast-iron formal interior staircase (at Prince Albert's Palace, Berlin (1830–2), while iron was also used by many C19 designers including Baltard, Bélanger, Burton, Fontaine, Haviland, Labrouste, Lanyon, Menelaws, Paxton, Stasov, and Woodward. Loudon was a pioneer in the evolution of iron-and-glass conservatories. Whole cast-iron fronts were designed by John Baird in Glasgow, and Badger, Bogardus, and Kellum, among others, in the USA. Early iron-and-glass walls were used by Ellis in Liverpool. Paxton's Crystal Palace, London (1850–1), was the prototype for many C19 exhibition buildings, and there were many conservatories, railway-stations, and other structures using iron and glass. (Sir) William Fairbairn (1789–1874), the Scots engineer, designed a prefabricated mill in 1839 which was erected in Istanbul in 1840: later (1854) he brought out his important On the Application of Cast and Wrought Iron to Building Purposes. Badger's illustrated Catalogue of Cast-Iron Architecture (1865) was also a remarkable compendium. Viollet-le-Duc, in his Entretiens (1858–72), promoted the employment of materials such as metal in architecture, and his work was influential. Pre-fabricated iron structures, such as churches (e.g. that published in 1856 by William Slater (1819–72), a pupil of R. C. Carpenter), were designed, and kits-of-parts widely available for industrialized buildings. Metal-framed buildings were evolved, starting with wrought-iron, and then the steel skeleton was developed for tall buildings, including sky-scrapers, notably in Chicago and NYC. Then came the use of steel as an element in reinforced concrete, and the concept of the completely framed building with a light envelope of metal and glass, the curtain-wall. Later structures have included space-frames, light trusses, and various developments allowing speed of erection as well as prefabrication, lightness, and adaptability.

Behnisch & G. Hartung (1982);Blanc et al. (1993);Gayle & Gillon (1974);N. Jackson (1996);Jodice (1988);Lemoine (1986);Loudon (1834);Mainstone (1975);Marrey (1989);Marrey (ed.) (2002);Roisecco et al. (1972–83);Thorne (ed.) (1990)

Subjects: Architecture.


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