Maillart, Robert(mīyär`), 1872–1940, Swiss engineer, renowned for his inventive and beautiful reinforced-concrete bridges. Maillart's basic structural principles—integration of the supporting arch, the stiffening wall, and the traffic platform into one cohesive unit—were applied as early as 1901 in a bridge at Zuoz, Switzerland. These ideas were further refined in Maillart's later works. The Schwandbach Bridge (1933) is constructed on a curving plan to facilitate traffic movement over a mountain gorge. Maillart was also an innovator in the development of reinforced-concrete beamless floor slab (mushroom-column) construction, which has been used in warehouses, factories, and other multistoried buildings.
Born Feb. 6, 1872, in Bern; died Apr. 5, 1940, in Zürich. Swiss engineer.
Maillart graduated from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1894. One of the first to discover the architectural possibilities of reinforced concrete, he designed flat, girderless floor structures using mushroom-shaped supports (Federal Grain Warehouse in Altdorf, 1912). He also built a number of bridges with flat beams resting on graceful, gently sloping arches made of thin slabs bifurcated near the support (for example, the Salginatobel Bridge, 1930, with a 90-m arch). From 1912 to 1919, Maillart worked in Russia.