Bones Are Beautiful

We know we’re onto something when the engineering becomes a thing of beauty.

 

We work to understand a project deeply, searching for patterns from which we can extrapolate solutions. There is a science and an art to this discovery process. We know we’re onto something when the structural engineering becomes a thing of beauty. Bones are beautiful, especially when left exposed. Architecture has evolved to a state where infrastructure is culture, where crossbeams, masonry, and concrete are as appreciated — if not more than —the stucco, plaster, and other surface coverings of the past. By exposing the bones, modern buildings bring the role of engineering to the forefront.

Architecture has evolved to a state where infrastructure is culture, where steel, masonry, and concrete are as appreciated — if not more than —the stucco, plaster, and other surface coverings of the past.

Mollye Holbrook — Senior Engineer

Of course, bones are just as often invisible. By the time a structure is complete, its bones may be buried deep beneath layers of internal and external cladding. And yet the bones are in there, providing the most efficient means to numerous desired ends: stability, resiliency, volume, design, performance, grace. Exposed detailing and structure makes a project memorable and unique.

Pomponio Barn wood structure detail connections

We work with design teams to create visually appealing solutions that allow the architecture and structure to be one.

Intuit construction atrium skylight
Intuit construction atrium skylight view2

Everyone at Holmes Structures is a student of bones. Our work in seismic evaluation and rehabilitation has given us a rich and detailed understanding of numerous legacy approaches to building. Construction has come a long way since single-story wood shelters, but the past is never fully irrelevant. Not only can we help our architects, contractors, and other partners meet the challenges often handed to them from antiquity: those predecessor technologies provide the foundation/lay the groundwork for our own innovations.

Fulton Street Bones

Bones are just as often invisible. By the time a structure is complete, its bones may be buried discreetly beneath layers of internal and external cladding.

Denny Kwan — Residential Studio

As we look to the future, those innovations serve as our contribution to the continuum of building. We seek solutions that balance cost and safety, time and materials, and the roles of owner and tenant. We eagerly accept the opportunities provided by new ways of making, and explore how new problems engender new solutions. Like all structural engineering, our approach begins as a question of physics, but we never lose sight of the fact that we’re dealing with places people live and work. The right choice has to be livable, sustainable and energizing. It has to be artful. And when we have it right, we feel it in our bones.

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