In its most simple form, a cantilever is a structural element that is secured on only one end. Seemingly a feat of engineering, the concept is quite simple. The cantilever is supported by a strong beam or plate that bears the load of floor it sits perpendicular too. Obviously the cantilever can support endless weight, but the length of the overhang is just a function of the strength of the beam holding it on one end. This can make for some dramatic pieces.
So whats the advantage of a cantilever? You can get very creative. Every been walking along a creek and wish you could build your house over the steaming water? Cantilever your bedroom over the stream with a glass floor. No fear of heights? Cantilever your dining room over the edge of the Sierra Mountains.
One of the most famous buildings and architects in the world, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water uses this technique extensively in its many decks jutting off from the main structure. Wright had committed himself to keeping with the organic nature of Falling Waters surrounding, which mean being true to the nature of weight and load.
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