052-0607-00L  Structural Design III

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersJ. Pauli
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


052-0607-00 GTragwerksentwurf III
Keine Lehrveranstaltung am 27.10 (Seminarwoche) sowie in den beiden letzten Semesterwochen (vor Schlussabgaben).
3 hrs
Fri12:45-15:30HIL E 3 »
J. Pauli

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course Structural Design III complements the courses Structural Design I and II by introducing building materials and construction techniques.
ObjectiveAfter a successful conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Understand the structural behaviour of a building and of its main components
2. Conceive and control design parameters as part of the design process
3. Design structural systems in compliance with diverse performance criteria including architectural, structural, constructive, and environmental aspects altogether.
4. Design structural systems consistent with the material used
5. Dimension structural elements using different building materials
6. Develop construction details in compliance to a specific static scheme
ContentThe course intends to stimulate a holistic approach to the design of structures that integrates the notions of static equilibrium learned in previous semesters, with systematic investigations related to mechanical properties of the main structural materials and related construction techniques.

The course explores the relationship between architecture and structure by introducing and discussing design parameters and their implications with respect to different performance criteria. In addition to those related to statics, performance criteria also include aspects related to use of material and energy resources, which is directly connected to questions of environmental footprint. The objective of the course is to show that structural design tasks must consider a number of aspects belonging to different disciplines simultaneously. This results in a level of complexity that very rarely can be reduced to a univocal “right” answer. Critical thinking and technical knowledge must support each other. The course aims at giving the tools for developing these skills.

After a brief review of the key aspects taught in Structural Design I and II, the course Structural Design III will examine different load-bearing elements, how they relate to each other, and their possible relationships with the architectural space. Starting from 2D spanning structures, a series of 5 lectures will illustrate the functioning of the main load-bearing elements of a building by means of graphic statics as well as analytical methods. Implications at the level of structural performance, spatial performance, material use, and environmental footprint will be thoroughly discussed throughout the entire course by analysing buildings of exemplary quality. The content of the lectures will be strengthened through 5 exercise sessions during which students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained during the lectures and refine their design skills through dedicated design exercises under the supervision of a tutoring team.
Literature"The art of structures, Introduction to the functioning of structures in architecture"
(Aurelio Muttoni, EPFL Press, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-0415610292, ISBN-10: 041561029X)

"Faustformel Tragwerksentwurf"
(Philippe Block, Christoph Gengangel, Stefan Peters,
DVA Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 2013, ISBN: 978-3-421-03904-0)

"Form and Forces: Designing Efficient, Expressive Structures"
(Edward Allen, Waclaw Zalewski, October 2009, ISBN: 978-0-470-17465-4)
Prerequisites / NoticeTo take part in this course, it is recommended to first complete the courses Structural Design I and II or to have knowledge of graphic statics.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesNegotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingfostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a two-semester course together with 052-0608-00L Structural Design IV (next semester)
For programme regulations
(Examination block)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Architecture 2016 (Examination Block 1)
ECTS credits4 credits
Performance assessment as a semester course (other programmes)
ECTS credits2 credits
ExaminersJ. Pauli
Typesession examination
Language of examinationGerman
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Written aidsTaschenrechner (nicht programmierbar, kein Internet-Zugang).
Distance examinationIt is not possible to take a distance examination.
If the course unit is part of an examination block, the credits are allocated for the successful completion of the whole block.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

Moodle courseMoodle-Kurs / Moodle course
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Architecture BachelorExamination Block 1OInformation