Last edited 30 Oct 2020

Skeleton frame

A skeleton frame is a framed structure often used for the construction of multi-storey buildings. It incorporates a network, or system, of columns and connecting beams which support the building’s interior floors and exterior walls and carries all loads to the foundations.

Skeleton frames can be constructed from timber, concrete or structural steel components, with the building envelope formed by glazing, brick, cladding and so on hung on the outside.

The skeleton frame was introduced in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, and allowed for the rapid erection of buildings, such as the early skyscrapers. It enabled interior floor layouts to be free of immovable walls, making them more flexible spaces, and meant that different materials could be used for the facades. This had the effect of reducing the importance of masonry from something that was a structural element to having a more decorative role.

Framework of Flatiron Building.jpg
Framework of Flatiron Building. Circa 1901.

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