We explore different structural forms and recognize the significance of form and ensuring that the structural form is right. In cases where structure is expressed such as fabric roofs, shells, domes and cable net tension structures, the importance of structural form is obvious and is fundamental to the architecture of a building.

For most buildings where the structure is not expressed, choosing the right structural form is nevertheless still essential in the design and construction of functional and cost effective buildings

The shape and geometry of elements affect structural behaviour and buildings can be ‘sculpted’ by shaping elements and structures – arched structures, tapered beams, cross walls, offset columns, trusses, bracing with ties and cables or the use of posts and props are all ways of creating different forms.

Manhire Associates


Manhire Associates


Understanding how the shape and geometry of elements and structures can affect how structures behave is fundamental and developing forms or ‘form finding’ is not just about the geometry of surfaces such as domes or shells and developing elegant structures.

Form plays a role in the performance of all structures - in the design of buried structures, tunnels and basements, again structural form is a key factor in the design of functional and cost effective structures and foundations.

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