World Tour of Structures

The aim of this workshop is to help students develop their awareness of basic structural forms and their behaviour, and to use this understanding to help them rapidly develop a number of solutions to a structural problem. This workshop is also well suited for providing students with an introduction to the various tools and learning resources on the Workshed site.

The workshop is divided into two halves. In the first, students examine a series of photographs of famous structures and try to determine how these structures resist horizontal and vertical loads. To help them, students are encouraged to use the modelling tools on Workshed to model how some of these structures behave. Having identified any common structural types, students are also asked to compare the aspect ratios of these structures with the span-to-depth ratios provided in the Engineer’s Toolbox hosted in the Tools area of this site.

In the second half, students are given a simple design task, in which they are encouraged to quickly develop a number of structural responses to design problem based on their improved knowledge of structural form.

There are two downloadable student packs the full version contains blank pages on which students can sketch their responses; the condensed version has no blank pages and so will consume less paper.


World Tour of Structures Full Version (pdf, opens in new tab, 7KB)

World Tour of structures Condensed Version (pdf, opens in new tab, 4KB)



Picture Credits

Eiffel Tower – Flickr user Tilemahos_E

Pont de Normandie – Francois Roche

Forth Rail bridge – Flickr user Rev Stan

Burj Al Arab – Nitin Badhwar

Ile de Re – Eole Wind

Aquatics Centre –

Burj Al Arab – Nitin Badhwar

Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge – Steve Parker

HSBC building – Steve Cadman

John Hancock Centre – Bosc d’Anjou

Infinity Bridge – Expedition Engineering

Maidenhead Railway Bridge – Keith W Day

Space Needle – Doug Kerr

Royal Albert Bridge – Graham Richardson

Stonehenge – Fred Rockwood

Sydney Harbour Bridge – Tim J Keegan

Emirates Air Line – Expedition Engineering

Torre de Collserola – Emily Allen

Burrard Bridge –
Kenny Louie

Velodrome – Expedition Engineering