- Series: Architectural History Foundation Book
- Hardcover: 167 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press; 1st Edition edition (December 3, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262023105
- ISBN-13: 978-0262023108
- Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 0.6 x 11.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,235,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Robert Maillart and the Art of Reinforced Concrete Hardcover – December 3, 1990
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Top customer reviews
Inside, the 151 page book is printed on glossy stock. German and English text side-by-side. About 125 illustrations, mostly photographs with some technical drawings; many color photographs.
Map, End Notes, Glossary, Index, Foreword, and Preface.
This book (in English and German) traces his works from 1905 to his death (about 1940). Billington shows how Maillart takes his designs, step by step, from the historical stone arch design to the modern use of reinforced concrete. His bridges are wonderfully designed to be functional as well as perfectly suited to their placement in the environment.
Because of their locations deep in the Swiss countryside, they tend to be difficult to view and photograph. But Billington includes excellent photographs (both historic and contemporary).
The best part about the book is the way Billington shows that the later works are built upon the concepts explored in the earlier works. There are some discussions of engineering concepts, but this is really a book about art and aesthetics, not about stress and strain. As Maillart proved, you can provide gorgeous aesthetics and still create structures that serve a useful purpose for 100 years (and still going strong).
I wish the chapter about his influence on later engineers had been more developed. I also wish there could have been more discussion of the economics involved, perhaps a detailed exploration of one of the design competitions. (Maillart had to not only build the bridges, but he also had to be the low-bidder!)