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Issue 6.2

Pivoting to Infrastructure: The Fusion of Architecture and Engineering

Founded in London, WilkinsonEyre is an architectural practice closely associated with the parallel engineering discipline. Many of the practice’s notable projects are defined by breaking down presumed distinctions between engineering and architecture roles. While the former tackles challenges requiring a command of physics to achieve durability and safety, the latter is engaged with the modulation of space and plan within a broader design philosophy encompassing aesthetics. History tells a story of consistent and fruitful overlap between the two disciplines, exemplified in the careers of Telford, Brunel, and Eiffel in the nineteenth century and Nervi, Arup, and Calatrava in the twentieth. The emergence of the High-Tech movement in the late 1960s and the architecture of Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Michael Hopkins, amongst others, brought a celebratory technological overlay, at least in theory and at best in observable and quantitative performance, to the fusion of engineering and architecture. WilkinsonEyre, whose founding directors worked with this first generation of High-Tech practitioners, represents an organic evolution of this fusion of architectural and engineering practice applied to twenty-first-century design problems in the built environment.

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