Structural Awards 2018 showcase unrivalled global engineering excellence

The Institution of Structural Engineers has announced the winners of The Structural Awards 2018, at an awards ceremony in London.

The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 53 pioneering global projects, “celebrating the ingenuity and expertise of the engineers behind them,” said organisers. A diverse range of structures, from beautifully crafted sports stadia to sparkling glass staircases, were recognised across 14 categories. This year’s entries “perfectly underlined the creativity of structural engineers, with the winning projects showcasing cutting edge examples of innovative engineering solutions”. Tamina Canyon Crossing in Bad Ragaz, Canton St. Gallen, Switzerland (pictured right) received the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence. The award is presented to the year’s “finest example of structural engineering design” according to ISE judges. The judging panel, made up of a distinguished group of industry experts, were unanimous in their view that this bridge, which crosses the Tamina Canyon


Cafe in Melbourne is a tulipwood first

A cafe which recently opened in Melbourne is the first project in Australia to use thermally-modified American tulipwood in exterior cladding. The Hungry Fox (by LaManna), located at Autocentro at Essendon Fields, has been designed using a range of natural materials from around the world. Selected for its rich colour and uniform

texture, American tulipwood provided not only the aesthetic impact sought by Bruce Henderson Architects, but also the stability. The thermal modification process heats the tulipwood almost to the point of

combustion. This changes the molecular structure of the timber and results in a material that provides the necessary durability for outdoor use. According to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), it “requires minimal attention once outside which makes it a perfect choice for a project such as this”. Interior architects Lukas Partners

created an interior mood inspired by earthy Australian fauna. Their focus was on natural materials, inspired by gum nut and eucalyptus tones. The vaulted ceiling, taking its lead from the exterior design, is also of thermally-modified American tulipwood. The interior also features a stone counter and exposed concrete floor. American ash tables, are accompanied by chairs created from the same timber

with perforated leather seating, and wool which has retained its natural colour variation. This perforation forms a motif throughout the space, the screens in the waiting area and the laser cut American walnut veneer panels that mask an acoustic board. The playground adjacent to the cafe has been created in Australian white cypress, treated with a tint to match the American tulipwood cladding.

200 metres above a deep gorge, was an “outstanding engineering solution” and a worthy recipient of the top award. The judges were “impressed by the elegance, clarity and economy of the design, noting the efficiency of the structural system, as well as the beautiful way that the design integrates with its spectacular surroundings”. They said: “This is a concrete arch design in the best traditions of Christian Menn and Robert Maillart, and the engineers [Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner] have produced a world class, graceful design.” Chair of the judges, Professor Tim Ibell, comments: “Congratulations to our award winners and thanks to all those that entered. As always the quality was high and the competition fierce. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all the judges when I say that it was hard to choose an overall winner, as there were many deserving candidates. Tamina Canyon Crossing’s Supreme Award win recognises the very best in bridge design and engineering, setting an example of best practice to the global construction industry.”

© Bastian Kratzke

He continues, “In this, The Year of Engineering, The Structural Awards perfectly encapsulate the skill and creativity of structural engineers as problem-solving design professionals, making a positive impact to society on a global scale.” Now in their 51st year, these prestigious awards celebrate the world’s most outstanding achievements and demonstrate the diversity of structural engineering, recognising excellence, creativity and innovation, as well as sustainability, economic viability and value for money.



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