5 interesting truss structures in the World

Eiffel Tower

Location: Paris, France
Engineer: Gustave Eiffel

interesting truss structure - Eiffel Tower

Why it's interesting:

The Eiffel Tower is probably the most famous truss structure in the World. Constructed between 1887 and 1889, consists of a 324 m high pylon ending up on 4 oblique pylon close to the ground surface. The lateral stiffness of the tower, especially against wind forces is significantly enhanced by the presence of two levels in the form of lattice. The metal trusses were positioned at regular intervals and are a key factor for the lateral resistance of the tower, together with arching action close to the base. This combination rendered Eiffel Tower a revolutionary structure for both civil engineers and architects.

Ikitsuki Bridge

Location: Japan

interesting truss structure - Ikitsuki Bridge
Image credit: Wikipedia

Why it's interesting:

Why it's interesting: Connecting Ikitsuki to the island of Hirado, this is the longest continuous truss bridge in the World, with a main span of 400 m and two side spans of 200 m. The Ikitsuki bridge falls in the category of through truss bridges, where the steel truss members are positioned in a manner to respond to resistance requirements. Thus the truss structure height increases close to the middle piers and decreases close to mid-span. The low weight of this type of bridge compared to concrete or concrete-steel bridges is a remarkable advantage for adequate seismic behaviour, especially in earthquake-prone areas like Japan.

Asia Museum of Modern Art

Location: Taichung, Taiwan
Engineer: Tadao Ando

interesting truss structure - Asia Museum of Modern Art
Image credit: arcspace

Why it's interesting:

The museum consists of three triangles built on different levels. The use of V-shaped trusses behind the glass façade is essential for the success of this three-floor museum. The museum’s top floor serves as cover for the building entrance space and is only supported on apparent concrete shear walls with very long spans. The structure is a noticeable example of how a structure resembling a Vierendeel truss can effectively suspend long building spans, similarly to a bridge between piers. The glass façade opens up the view of the visitor, in contrast to most museums in the World.

Milstein Hall, Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, USA
Engineer: Robert Silman Associates

interesting truss structure - ilstein Hall, Cornell University
Image credit: domusweb

Why it's interesting:

The Milstein Hall is a 14,000 m2 complex that was constructed to accommodate facilities of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (Cornell University), including an auditorium, a new Fine Arts Library, and an exhibition, and on the same time to connect historical campus buildings. Its conception and design as cantilever was achieved through a truss structure that lets the structure exposed to the public, especially the architecture students, but at the same time allows large open spaces within the Hall and the least unobstructed view as possible, including a 12 feet high glass band façade. Moreover, the cantilevered building allows for enhanced communication between various parts of the campus.

Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building (UCSF)

Location: California, USA
Engineer: Rafael Viñoly Architects

interesting truss structure - Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building (UCSF)
Image credit: archdaily

Why it's interesting:

The UCSF building is one of the most remarkable examples of the elegance provided by space steel trusses for the descent of vertical loads in the foundations, including significant flexibility in terms of layout arrangement and tackling of site constraints. The building is constructed on a steep hillside in San Francisco and with a surface of 6364 m2 arranged at sinusoidal shape in plan. The trusses transfer the loads from the superstructure to concrete piers. In this way the excavation cost is optimized. Moreover, since the structure is located in one of the most active seismic regions in the World, a base isolation system was adopted.