Cantilevered structural elements are found throughout the architectural world. Their beauty is in allowing for overhanging structures without external bracing.
They have also allowed for some stunning design elements, particularly overhangs in many projects.
Whilst they look dramatic, they also can have practical purposes in allowing a reduced footprint, increasing external space at ground level and being able to maximise views.
Frank Lloyd Wright used cantilever design on his famed Fallingwater house (below) for the Kaufmann family in Pennsylvania. This helped overcome space restrictions on the plot and the home was partially built over a waterfall. In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named the house the “best all-time work of American architecture”.
Balancing Barn (Architect MVRDV – Rotterdam)
Located in Suffolk, England, the barn is a holiday home 30 metres long with a 15 metre cantilever over a slope. The structure balances on a central concrete core, with the ground section being made of heavier material than the cantilevered section.
East 11th Mixed-Use Austin, Texas
The form of this three story mixed-use project provides an eye-catching design that reflects the geological exfoliation of the central Texas landscape. A series of terraces and canopies allows interaction with outdoor spaces. The second floor cantilever provides shade for the entrance to the building which is necessary in Texas’ heat.
The Avenue (Sheppard Robson Architects)
The building was designed around its urban setting in Manchester UK, and is a mixed commercial, retail and shopping mall. Armani is one of the main tenants with a nightclub in the basement and offices and a roof terrace above. A dramatic cantilever on to Deansgate provides a striking look.
River House (Barton Phelps and Associates)
This Missouri retreat and ecological study centre is set on a bluff overlooking the Osage River. The cantilevered timber forms reflect a periscope, peering out on to the surrounding landscape. Sitting rooms and screened porches cantilever over the forest floor to soften the shift from the built environment to unbuilt.