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How to Read Bridges: A Crash Course In Engineering and Architecture

How to Read Bridges: A Crash Course In Engineering and Architecture

How to Read Bridges: A Crash Course In Engineering and Architecture
By Edward Denison, Ian Stewart

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Book Description

This accessible book is a visual guide to understanding and identifying architectural styles and engineering techniques of all types of bridges, from ancient Roman arch bridges and nineteenth-century truss bridges prevalent in the United States, to the latest high-design cantilever and suspension bridges of the moment. It explores the elegant and varied ways in which engineers and architects have designed ever longer yet less heavy bridges, devising new methods of construction along the way. 

Illustrated throughout with detailed line drawings and cross sections, including dramatic images of the world’s iconic bridges, this charming guide still fits in a pocket or purse—perfect for anyone who likes to explore the dynamic bridges and built environment on foot.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #185155 in Books
  • Brand: Edward Denison
  • Published on: 2012-02-21
  • Released on: 2012-02-21
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 6.48" h x .67" w x 5.39" l, .86 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 256 pages


  • How to Read Bridges A Crash Course in Engineering and Architecture

Editorial Reviews

About the Author
Edward Denison is a writer and photographer whose work includes authoritative books on design and architecture. Ian Stewart is an engineer at Davies Maguire + Whitby, a structural engineering design practice. He holds a BEng in civil engineering and a PhD in structural dynamics.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
By D. J. deJong
A good book for the laymen to learn the basics of bridges. Profusely illustrated with examples from all over the world as well as the entire history of bridge building. Nice size to take with you, and info is current. If you are a bridge buff this book is for you.

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
5Fun Introduction to the Beauty of Bridges
By Thy Tran
I'm not an engineer or architect, but I live in San Francisco and my extended family live in New York City, both cities where bridges are a part of daily life as well as civic identity and pride. I loved this book! It's definitely set up for browsing, and it's obviously aimed at a lay reader.

The first part of the book discusses the basic categories of bridges, explaining how they span and support. The second part offers succinct case studies of specific bridges around the world, arranged by type of bridge (suspension, trestle, etc.). It uses photographs to convey grandeur and smaller diagrams to explain engineering concepts.

As someone who struggled in physics class, I appreciated the simple breakdown of engineering terms and the basic discussions of force and form. Yeah it's a little repetitive, but if anything, this helps reinforce how very basic structural concepts have been reinterpreted through the ages, around the world. I think it'd be great to give as a gift to someone who travels a lot, as it's an interesting way to understand the geography and aesthetic of a specific city.

The previous reviewer who gave this book only one star is unreasonably harsh and is using entirely unhelpful criteria. More importantly, he's conveying an inaccurate impression of the book. I bought this book along with "How to Read Buildings" and thought this one much, much more global in feel, with abundant examples from ancient and modern Asia along with Latin American countries. The building book was virtually all European in its history and examples.

In short, a small and friendly book that's a great introduction to how important bridges are, how challenging they're to design and build, and how beautiful these workhorses can be.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5A well-done overview of bridge design
By VoraciousReader
There are lots of color and B&W illustrations, and for the most part the explanations and descriptions and summaries are clear. There are descriptions of bridges from around the world, along with some illustrations of how the bridges were built. The color pictures are nicely done. The different bridge types are explained and then plenty of examples of each bridge type are presented. Only a couple of drawbacks, mainly quibbles: I probably wouldn't have organized the book quite the way the author did, but that's OK. The author probably could have devoted more space to some of the basics of structural engineering: stress/strain, compression/tension, how beams bend, etc. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you are interested in bridge design, this is a good book to add to your library.

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