Girder lattice beam and facade

Craig Ellwood Construction Detail

Fig. 63: The windows are located between the posts and the diagonals.

MVRDV: senior citizens' apartments, Amsterdam (NL), 1997

Fig. 63: The windows are located between the posts and the diagonals.

MVRDV: senior citizens' apartments, Amsterdam (NL), 1997

Once the span exceeds a certain distance, off-the-shelf rolled steel sections are no longer adequate. To save material and weight we truss the beam with ties underneath, use a castellated or cellular section, or provide a I attice beam or girder. Up until the mid-20th century the construction of loadbearing structures assembled from the most delicate sections was a daily occurrence - if not the only option for long spans. The welding together of individual members (top and bottom chords, struts and ties) is, however, very labour-intensive, which leads to plate girders with solid webs and flanges still being used despite the considerably higher material consumption.

Although the resolution of the l oadbearing structure into a framework of linear members involves higher labour costs, the advantages are savings in weight, easier routing of services and transparency. This latter feature was exploited by Herzog & de Meuron in their locomotive depot "Auf dem Wolf" (1995), where the girders form lan-

Fig. 62: The lantern lights (clad with patterned glass) span from wall to wall.

Herzog & de Meuron: locomotive depot "Auf dem Wolf", Basel (CH), 1995

Fig. 62: The lantern lights (clad with patterned glass) span from wall to wall.

Herzog & de Meuron: locomotive depot "Auf dem Wolf", Basel (CH), 1995

tern lights. The building comprises a concrete box frame with a steel roof construction. Supported on the concrete walls every 13 m are pairs of girders that form square tubes spanning distances of up to 40 m. Clad in patterned glass, these 3 m high tubes, from which the beams for the intermediate flat roofs are suspended, simultaneously act as lantern lights.

Whereas in the Herzog & de Meuron design the girders are used only on the roof, at Craig Ellwood's holiday chalet in San Luis Obispo (1967/68) they are the primary loadbearing structure and, as such, the longitudinal facades of the house. Like a bridge, they form a long tube that spans an 18 m wide canyon. Each of the girders comprises pairs of channel sections (as top and bottom chords) with square hollow sections as the ties and struts in between. Floor and roof are supported on steel beams spanning the two girders at the same spacing as the vertical members of the girder.

In the above examples the structural steelwork characterises the architectural appearance of the building - the Ellwood design more so than the Herzog & de Meuron, where the steelwork is situated behind a semi-trans-

Fig. 64: A house in the form of a bridge

Craig Ellwood: holiday chalet, San Luis Obispo (Cal/USA), 1967/68

Fig. 64: A house in the form of a bridge

Craig Ellwood: holiday chalet, San Luis Obispo (Cal/USA), 1967/68

parent veil. But the structural steelwork to the senior citizens' home in Amsterdam by MVRDV (1997) is totally concealed, where the enormous length of the two-storey cantilevers is the only clue to the fact that a weight-saving design in structural steelwork lies behind the facades. This supposition is probably helped by the openings, whose positioning and maximum size is determined by the posts and diagonals.

Fig. 65: Aerial view of site, the longest locomotive shed is not yet finished.

Herzog & de Meuron: locomotive depot "Auf dem Wolf", Basel (CH), 1993

Fig. 65: Aerial view of site, the longest locomotive shed is not yet finished.

Herzog & de Meuron: locomotive depot "Auf dem Wolf", Basel (CH), 1993

Fig. 66: Steel frame concealed behind timber cladding

MVRDV: senior citizens' apartments, Amsterdam (NL), 1997

Fig. 66: Steel frame concealed behind timber cladding

MVRDV: senior citizens' apartments, Amsterdam (NL), 1997

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment