Structural Design III

The course Structural Design III complements the courses Structural Design I and II, which show the fundamentals of how structures function. The course explores the relationship between architecture and structure by analyzing buildings built using the main structural materials.

Learning Goals

At the conclusion of Structural Design III, students will be able to:

  1. understand the structural behaviour of a building.
  2. design efficient and expressive structural systems.
  3. extend the application of graphic statics from 2D to 3D.
  4. assess the structural and architectural potentials of the most important building materials.
  5. establish a relationship between material aspects, form and forces.
  6. understand how construction details work from a structural perspective.
  7. carry out basic dimensioning of structural elements.



After a brief review of the key aspects taught in Structural Design I and II, the course Structural Design III will examine the interplay of architectural concepts and structural systems by analyzing buildings of exemplary quality. Structures built out of steel, reinforced concrete, timber and masonry are studied. During the exercise sessions, three-dimensional structures will be analyzed using graphic statics taking the relationship between form, forces and material aspects into account, as presented in the lectures.


General Information


The registration on is mandatory.


The course will be held every Friday (12.45 - 15.30), both in presence (HIL E3) and online:

Live Streaming (From HIL, E3)

In parallel to the live-streaming, please also join the following zoom meeting, which will be open only to communicate (via chat) with you in case you have any question: 

Learning Material

All the lectures and exercises of the course Structural Design III will be available on this website.

Additionally, at the link on the top right of this page, you can find the script of the courses “Structural Design I/II” which is about the basics of graphic statics. The printed version of this script is available at the chair of Structural Design of Prof. Schwartz, at the price of sFr. 75.-.

Further literature references:

  • "Faustformel Tragwerksentwurf" (Philippe Block, Christoph Gengangel, Stefan Peters, DVA Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 2013, ISBN: 978-3-421-03904-0)
  • "The art of structures, Introduction to the functioning of structures in architecture" (Aurelio Muttoni, EPFL Press, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-0415610292, ISBN-10: 041561029X)
  • "Form and Forces: Designing Efficient, Expressive Structures" (Edward Allen, Waclaw Zalewski, October 2009, ISBN: 978-0-470-17465-4)

Exercise Sessions

Every second Friday afternoon is reserved for exercise sessions. These sessions represent important components to deepen the understanding of the lecture content and for the practical preparation towards the written exam. An active participation during the exercise sessions is a prerequisite to understand the exam materials.


Prof. Dr. Joseph Schwartz (Lectures)
HIB E12, Mail:

Prof. Dr. Philippe Block (Lectures)
HIB E45, Mail:

Dr. Lluis Enrique (Exercise sessions)
HIB E0, Mail:


Federico Bertagna (Lectures)
HIB E0, Mail:

Dario Quaglia (Lectures)
HIB, Mail:

Roshanak Haddadi (Exercise sessions)
HIB E11, Mail:


If you have specific questions about the lectures or the exercises you can get in contact with the teaching team via email.