Billington founded with this book structural art as a new, independent art form, which he considers equivalent to architecture. It is no coincidence that the title states the two classic domains of the structural engineer; in this case Billington is referring to two outstanding structures of the epoch, the Eiffel Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Billington describes in an easily readable style and in an entertaining manner the ideals, principles and methods of structural art during its historical development through examples of structures from outstanding engineers (e.g. Telford, Maillart, Freyssinet, Menn).
With the establishment of structural art as an art form and the explication of its inherent principles, Billington gives the reader well founded arguments for the aesthetic discussion of engineering structures. This also provides a basis for criticism of the new art form; for the criticism of construction that has long been demanded. This timeless book thus has the potential to give a new impulse to the debate about construction culture and particularly the aesthetic aspects of structural engineering in German-speaking countries.