TOPIC 03: Iron Architecture (or lack thereof)
The Coalbrookdale Bridge (1779) is widely recognized as the first structure of any kind to put metallic construction on full public view. Yet it did not immediately usher in an era of architects’ adopting iron in vast quantity and as an exposed material in construction and design. Even 100 years later, when Chicago was building its first skyscrapers (and when steel was soon to supplant iron as favored metal), iron was adopted into the framing of tall buildings but not exposed to view. Nor was it on display in other kinds of buildings outside of train sheds and bridges.
What do you think is the most compelling explanation for this lag in the adoption of metallic structure at great scale?
Your response comments on at least two colleagues’ posts due by the Thursday following spring break.