Early Structural Steel in London Buildings

A discreet revolution

Jonathan Clarke

Early Structural Steel in London Buildings

Jonathan Clarke

Distributed for Historic England Publishing

408 pages | illustrated in color throughout | 8.625 x 10.88
Cloth $150.00 ISBN: 9781848021037 Published February 2014 For sale in North America only
At its heart, this book is an examination of how a new structural material – mass-produced steel – came to be first applied to the buildings of one of the world’s great cities. The focus is evolution and change in London’s buildings and architecture in the late Victorian and early Edwardian period; its emphasis is unashamedly constructional. A great deal has been written about the shape, style and ornament of metropolitan buildings of the period, but comparatively little on their structural anatomy and physiology. The first part examines the technological developments and economic forces that brought structural steel into being. Central to this was the invention of the Bessemer and Siemens-Martin processes which revolutionised steelmaking and enabled the mass production of a metal which outmatched both cast and wrought iron. Steel became the pillar of a new phase of industrialisation and urbanisation throughout the world, and London, where Henry Bessemer had conducted his initial steelmaking experiments, was one of the first cities to make use of it.
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