AA Retro : Bridges aesthetics, 1931

In March 1931, the forth edition of L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui dedicated a few pages to the review of a special issue of the French magazine Le Moniteur des Travaux Publics, dealing with the relation between engineering work and cultural landmark.

“The French magazine Le Moniteur des travaux publics just released a special issue dealing with Bridge aesthetics, written by M. Jacques Pilpoul, engineer of Arts and Manufactures.

M.Arnaud, professor at the Ecole centrale and at the Beaux Arts, in his very interesting introduction, analysed the underlying reasons for the feeling of beauty, and studied very precisely the collaboration between architects and engineers. This subject is also the concern of an entire chapter of this special issue, made with a particular effort on documentation. This issue is made of 134 pages in-quarto raisin, illustrated with 250 photographs of bridges.

Every chapter is dedicated to a different material, and they tried, through the analysis of the most striking bridges, to determine the aesthetic possibilities of this material, and to deduce composition rules, which will be useful for both architects and engineers. With the weight reduction and the span rise, they looked for the rules that dictate the evolution of bridges aesthetics.

Bridges aesthetics had never been treated in a global study. Only a report from M. Hartmann, professor at the Polytechnic School of Vienna (Austria) brought attention on this matter.

The special issue of Le Moniteur des Travaux Publics, authentic treatise on Bridges aesthetics, is a useful contribution for engineers who develop programs, builders who imagine audacious solutions, architects who work with theses solutions, examination boards who judge the final projects.

Presented with a rare clarity concern, this special issue will also gladly be read by non-technicians who care about the beauty of the sites.”

To read the full article (in french), click in the image below.

L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui n°4, 1931 ©DR
L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui n°4, 1931

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