The general perception of the built environment usually focuses on the architecture, not on the structural design. The things that make buildings work, the structural ideas behind spectacular projects remain hidden to the human eye. Therefore, Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure pose the question, “Are structural engineers’ ideas no longer in demand?”
As Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure see it, “Structure is Architecture” means considering the support structure an essential element of the architectural design. In other words, without the input provided by structural engineers the architectural design would be a different one at an early project stage. Consequently, public awareness of construction engineering needs to be raised. The contributions made by civil engineers and structural engineers should receive the same recognition in the media as those made by architects.
In their lecture, Tivadar Puskas and Kevin M. Rahner – both partners with Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure – demonstrated this on the basis of several projects that have been completed or are in the planning stages.
At the same time, they advocate expanding joint lecture and project programmes for future civil engineers and architects at universities to help optimise future collaboration (lecture in German).
Tivadar Puskas und Kevin M. Rahner
Tivadar Puskas has been a partner with Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure since 1996. He is a member of the building appeals committee of the canton of Basel-City as an expert in structural engineering calculation and a guest reviewer at the Department of Architecture at the ETH Zurich, at the Accademia Mendrisio and at the Barcelona Architecture Center.
Dr Kevin M. Rahner has been a partner with Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure since 2006. He is also a guest lecturer at the Department of Architecture of the FHNW Basel and a member of the expert group for bridges and structural engineering (FBU). In his role as chief engineer, he is responsible for the structural design of the Elementum building complex to be built by Herzog & de Meuron in the district of Munich’s Central Station on an area of 60,000 m² by 2025.
Foto © fotowerk, Michael Fritschi
Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure is a civil engineering firm that plans and implements innovative and future-oriented support structures. The firm’s aim is to restore the original standing of structural design by pursuing an interdisciplinary, solution-oriented approach. The team members’ technical and structural expertise enables them to gauge space, form and structure in dialogue with architects, technical planners and clients and make full use of the scope provided by structural design.
Employing around 100 people at three locations, the firm works on national and international projects, from private homes, public buildings and high-rise buildings to public art. Its service portfolio covers the entire planning process of support structures in buildings and bridges, from the competition design phase to the implementation phase. Further activities include jury engagement, concept studies, feasibility studies and expert opinions in the field. The firm also shares its experience and know-how in guest lectures and projects in education and research.