Working at the threshold of the Modern Age, Vladimir G.Šuchov (Shukhov) is regarded as one of the world's mostoutstanding and versatile engineers. Some of his fascinating andtechnically sophisticated structures, always so delicatelyproportioned they cannot fail to catch the eye, have no equivalentamong the structures of today.
From the time Shukhov built the first hyperbolic lattice towerat the end of the 19th century, he has been seen as the founder anddeveloper of this then new form of construction. This structure,with a seemingly complex geometry definable with only a few basicparameters, has no predecessors in the history of construction. Itexcels through its high stability and economy of material –but above all through the visual impact of its web-like arrangementof members. Setting Shukhov’s work in the context of thehistory of construction shows that he and his new structural formsanticipated many of today's engineering and lightweight structures.The principles of Shukhov’s load-bearing systems are used inarchitecture today, for example in the structural engineering ofhigh-rise buildings.
Hyperbolic structures analyses the interactions ofform with the structural behaviour of hyperbolic lattice towers,and the effects of the various influencing factors were determinedwith the help of parametric studies and load capacity analyses.This evaluation of Shukhov’s historical calculations and thereconstruction of the design and development process of his watertowers shows why the Russian engineer is considered not only apathfinder for lightweight structures but also a pioneer ofparametrised design processes.
Keywords: Structural & Building Engineering