Versatility of Concrete and Aesthetics
Class 11 - Session 5

I'm going to wrap up our class on concrete with two slides. This is a slide from very early in my career. It was the approach to the Verrazano Bridge. The concrete piers are very handsome. You can see there's a continuous taper to them and they have this multifaceted face. This was a real challenge. I designed this formwork in wood. They were manufactured on the job site by very skilled carpenters.

The effect, I think, is a very pleasing and does not add materially to the cost of the formwork. I took advantage of the dimensions of sheets of plywood and instead of trying to hide the construction joints, they're a very attractive element of the design. These are achievable results if your focus and your attention is on getting the best-looking finished product. Please put your time and energy into aesthetics and remembering that these structures outlive us.

always make appearance your highest priority I'm always delighted to see a handsome concrete structure that's recently been completed. This was the bridge that replaced the bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed. They were under tremendous pressure to replace that bridge. It was a vital link in their transportation system.

You would think they would hurry up a design and get the project let and get it built as soon as possible. They did all of those things and they actually achieved remarkable time schedule in reopening the bridge, but they never ignored the aesthetics.

They made that their highest requirement and were able to achieve a very good-looking structure. It's a concrete structure, and it takes advantage of the fluid properties of the concrete. It will assume any shape you want. These are dramatic and good-looking shapes. People are still quite capable of giving us a good-looking bridge that we can admire for a long time and you have a responsibly to make that your number one priority.