Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


This seminar introduces methods for the structural analysis of historical monuments, including masonry, timber, iron, steel, and concrete structures. Short lectures will be followed by discussion sessions, together with weekly readings and a series of smaller assignments. Each student will write a final paper on a topic of their choosing. Final papers may be predominantly historical, with structural analysis to support the main arguments, or predominantly structural, with historical analysis to provide context. Paper topics may focus on any time period or any geographical location provided that there is a demonstrable need for structural analysis. Example paper subject areas include masonry structures such as French Romanesque churches, Mesoamerican vaulting systems, English Gothic cathedrals, Mamluk domes, or Guastavino vaulting, as well as historic timber roof systems, metal truss bridges, reinforced concrete structures, etc. The goal of the course is to provide architects, engineers, and historians with tools for understanding and preserving historic structures.

Students will be evaluated based on attendance, weekly assignments, research presentations, and the completion of a final paper. Readings to be assigned.