Tp

Fig. 9: Slender columns - hollow floors

Schemes showing loadbearing structure (top) and interior fitting-out (bottom); the wet rooms are positioned independently of the loadbearing structure. Multistorey circulation is via perimeter shafts which can also function as vertical loadbearing elements, (see also figs 24-27).

Fig. 6: Column-free plan layout with loadbearing facade and cores (lifts, wet rooms or stairs)

Bearth & Deplazes: OKK offices, Landquart (CH), 2001/02

i nfrastructure and a building whose flexibility is substantially reduced because of the larger cores.

For example, in Tange's building (see fig. 5) - like the OKK offices in Landquart (CH) by Bearth & Deplazes - there is no hierarchy among the cores. They form compartments in which the i nfrastructure uses, e.g. toilets, face inwards. The opposite approach employs a continuous vertical shaft that is only just large enough to accommodate the necessary pipes, cables, and ducts. The shaft forms the starting point - or the backbone - for the development of the plan layout, which might be different on every floor. It is interesting to note that when asking the question "Centralised vertical services plus intensive horizontal distribution, or decentralised vertical services with less horizontal distribution?" vertical access by means of stairs and lifts is not affected because the location and number of these vertical circulation routes are defined by the maximum permissible distance to a means of escape, i.e. by fire regulations.

Slender columns - hollow floors

The outcome of a more or less dense network of continuous vertical components - be they parts of the i nfra-structure or l oadbearing structure - is that uses that call for different interior structures from storey to storey are feasible only when such interior structures are based on a small format. In the opposite direction, pipe runs, ventilation ducts, and columns restrict the usability of the interior spaces.

Therefore, essentially unrestricted planning of individual storeys presupposes a centralised vertical i n-frastructure from where the local horizontal distribution takes place in cavity floors, suspended ceilings, or within the depth of the floor construction. The point at which at least two service lines cross, e.g. a cable duct and a ven tilation duct, determines the overall depth of such hollow spaces. Besides aspects such as easier accessibility for installation and maintenance, it is precisely the intention of avoiding the crossing of services that has led to the simultaneous use of cavity floor plus suspended ceiling.

Combined with a reinforced concrete floor slab, such constructions can reach a total depth of 70-80 cm; however, only 25-30 cm of this is required for loadbearing purposes. This is a waste of potential because the individual layers of the separate functional parts of the floor do not benefit from each other. It would be possible to double the structural depth while retaining the same overall depth by using a "hollow" loadbearing system in steel, concrete or timber, e.g. the MINI, MIDI and MAXI systems of Fritz Haller. This would in turn result in larger spans and, consequently, more flexible utilisation configurations. Whereas in the past the crossing of service lines alone determined the depth of the hollow space, the falls of waste-water pipes is just as important, if not more so. This is particularly relevant when there are different numbers of wet rooms at different locations on the individual floors. The larger hollow spaces of such structures have a positive effect on the horizontal distribution of services.

In Louis Kahn's Salk Institute the floors to the laboratories themselves became accessible for maintenance and upgrading of the numerous installations. The Vierendeel girders, wall plates without openings, and reinforced concrete floors form a rigid hollow box that spans the rooms below without the need for intermediate columns. Service floors are also not unknown in high-rise buildings (e.g. PSFS Building, 1932, Howe & Lescaze) in order to reduce the transport distances for treated media (air and water).

Louis Parnes' design for a department store has several storey-high, long-span floors housing not only services but also storerooms for the respective sales areas above.

Fig. 11: Storey-high floors to accommodate services

Louis I. Kahn: Salk Insitute, La Jolla (California, USA), 1959-65

Fig. 11: Storey-high floors to accommodate services

Louis I. Kahn: Salk Insitute, La Jolla (California, USA), 1959-65

Comfort and technology

Human shelter is essentially designed to provide protection from the weather and other persons or animals. In many regions of the world protection against cold weather is a key issue. The open fire is the most primitive form for meeting this requirement, its very nature uniting the generation and output of heat at the same place. The stove and the oven make use of this principle, either singly as the only source of heat in the centre of the house, or distributed among several rooms. The unlimited autonomy that the functional unit of heat generation plus output suggests is spoiled by the associated, vertical flues (the situation is different with sources of heat that do not produce exhaust gases, e.g. electric fires). The flue conveys the smoke and exhaust gases and in multistorey buildings brings warmth to adjoining rooms as well. Another line of development began with the Roman hypocaust hot-air heating system in which the fire providing the heat is located outside the room to be heated because an open fireplace was regarded as dangerous. The hot air is fed via a sort of cavity f loor to flues built into or in front of the inner faces of the walls. This ensured that f loor and walls were heated equally. It anticipates central heating and underfloor heating in one system and the principle of supplying heat to the places where the heat is lost most readily. In addition, as a form of pure radiant heating, the heat provided by the hypocaust system is more efficient than modern radiators or convectors and also does not suffer from dust-disturbing convection currents. (For a contemporary reinterpretation of the hypocaust system see the description of the Gallery for Contemporary Art in Marktoberdorf by Bearth + Deplazes, 2000.)

Rayner Banham saw the technical possibilities of heating rooms or individual components directly as the basic principle for implementing the new interior layout concepts of Modernism.3 The critical aspect of reduced comfort due to large windows could now be compensated for by the heating. Banham cites the north-facing windows of the draughting rooms at Mackintosh's School of Art in Glasgow (1896-99) as an example. For Frank Lloyd Wright the hot-water heating system with a central heat source and decentralised distribution presented the chance to realise more complex volumes: "This enabled the form of the various parts of the building to be devel-

Fig. 12: Storey-high floors as storerooms for the respective sales areas above

Louis Parnes: department store project, c. 1947

Fig. 13: Roman hypokaust heating system a) fireplace outside the building, b) cavity floor, c) flues (tubui

Fig. 12: Storey-high floors as storerooms for the respective sales areas above

Louis Parnes: department store project, c. 1947

Fig. 13: Roman hypokaust heating system a) fireplace outside the building, b) cavity floor, c) flues (tubui oped more fully, they would gain light and air from several sides."4 Building services - whether in terms of heating in winter or cooling in summer - could now be called upon to compensate for the poor insulating properties of the building materials, i.e. the glass. This situation continued until the oil crisis of the 1970s and growing environmental awareness in the 1980s led to investigations into how the use of technical systems could be reduced through materials technology. Although insulating glass coated with heat-absorbing film and noble gas in the cavity had been

Fig. 14: Undesirable building services: the reality with radiators!

Hans and Wassili Luckhardt: house on Rupenhorn Berlin (D), 1928

Fig. 14: Undesirable building services: the reality with radiators!

Hans and Wassili Luckhardt: house on Rupenhorn Berlin (D), 1928

Introduction known since the 1950s, it has undergone a phenomenal development since then and glass is now no longer seen as a synonym for high energy losses.

The growing use of central heating in the first half of the 20th century meant that the necessary infrastructure, for heat distribution or heat output, was being added to or integrated into building components more and more. Whereas up until that time the established services in housing had been restricted to the sanitary facilities in individual ancillary rooms, building services now started to appear all over the house. The way in which architects handled this new challenge varied from the pragmatic approach of routing the services in full view, to the opposite approach in which all pipes and radiators were concealed behind some form of screen or cladding. Yet another approach was employed by those architects who saw the technical heating components as a configuration option - whether in the form of special featuring (colour, arrangement, etc.) or through combining with other functions ( balustrade).

For Bruno Taut the unpretentiously positioned, but coloured, radiators and pipes represented contrasting elements in a polychromaticism that encompassed the whole interior. The heating in the Kenwin Villa in Veney (1929) by

Hermann Henselmann was in the form of several parallel pipes imitating the course of the I ong horizontal window above and thus became a horizontal, profiled surface. But in a house in the Kundmanngasse in Vienna (1928) by Ludwig Wittgenstein hidden underfloor heating was specified for the non-private rooms on the ground f loor and air ducts fed from the cellar in front of the French windows. According to Christoph Burkle two photographs of the interior of the house on Ruppenhorn in Berlin (1928) by the Luckhardt brothers testify to the fact that architects sometimes regard radiators as a nuisance; in the photograph used for publication the radiators have been discreetly erased.

Over the years, to relieve the interior of technical components convectors, mounted in the floor to guarantee un

Fig. 16: Heating pipes grouped to form a surface

Alexander Ferenczy, Hermann Henselmann: Kenwin Villa, Vevey (CH), 1929

Fig. 16: Heating pipes grouped to form a surface

Alexander Ferenczy, Hermann Henselmann: Kenwin Villa, Vevey (CH), 1929

restricted transparency, started to replace radiators more and more. This unrestricted transparency also applies to ceiling and f loor heating systems in which the invisible pipes no longer have to be clad but are instead encased in concrete and cement screed respectively. It is interesting that underfloor heating seems to suggest an evenly distributed heating surface indifferent to types of use, but in practice the spacing of the pipes plus their positioning in individual zones is just as dependent on the actual interior layout as a heating system employing discrete radiators. For instance, the number of heating pipes in the f loor is increased, i.e. their spacing is reduced, local to storey-high windows, and deep rooms are divided into zones with their own temperature controls depending on the different amounts of incident solar radiation.

The facade as an infrastructure medium

Up until the beginning of the 1960s building services held really little significance for the design of the facade and, at best, could be made out behind a more or less transparent glass curtain wall because until then the services were all on the inside. However, from that point on they started to assume a more active role in the configuration of the facade. In the buildings of the Brutalism movement solid, usually concrete, shafts surround groups of pipes, cables, and ducts, and combined with stairs and other

Top: every third "column" is non-loadbearing Centre: section through spandrel panel Bottom: section through window

Paul Rudolph, with Anderson, Beckwith & Haible Blue Cross Building, Boston (Mass., USA), 1958

Top: every third "column" is non-loadbearing Centre: section through spandrel panel Bottom: section through window

Paul Rudolph, with Anderson, Beckwith & Haible Blue Cross Building, Boston (Mass., USA), 1958

"use-related" bulges add relief to the building envelope. In a reverse approach, exponents of high-tech architecture - and prior to this the Metabolists - created their aesthetic out of the fact that services remained on view or essential functional units were granted autonomy. However, components on the outside must inevitably penetrate the climate boundary, and in the light of the higher standards of thermal insulation now required, external services hardly find favour any more.

Between these two extremes - building services as a styling element on the one hand and invisible necessity on the other (whose common denominator is the unmistakable separation from the l oadbearing structure) - there exist concepts in which there is an amalgamation between loadbearing structure, building services and interior fitting-out elements in a multifunctional arrangement. A good example is the Blue Cross Building in Boston (1958) by Paul Rudolph in association with Anderson, Beckwith & Haible. This 13-storey office block in the centre of Boston is based on a loadbearing f acade whose facing leaf of vertical columns at a spacing of 1.53 m appears to reflect the loadbearing structure. However, the "columns" that are "missing" at ground floor level, are non-loadbear-ing. Every third column is therefore hollow and the entire cross-section is used as an exhaust-air duct. Even the neighbouring loadbearing columns are not quite what they seem because half of the depth of each column is reserved for a fresh-air duct. And as the spandrel panels function as mixing chambers the ventilation system therefore spreads like a net over the entire f acade - a principal that is not dissimilar to that of the exposed services of high-tech architecture. However, the difference is that the lines of the services coincide with the loadbearing structure and the interior structure. The air duct in the

Fig. 23: Amalgamation of loadbearing structure and vertical service ducts

Paul Rudolph, with Anderson, Beckwith & Haible: Blue Cross Building, Boston (Mass., USA), 1958

Fig. 23: Amalgamation of loadbearing structure and vertical service ducts

Paul Rudolph, with Anderson, Beckwith & Haible: Blue Cross Building, Boston (Mass., USA), 1958

form of a column can therefore accommodate junctions with internal partitions, likewise window frames. The visible facade relief is made up of precast concrete elements just a few centimetres thick which appear as cladding owing to the type of j ointing. Whereas this type of cladding represents an improvement to the surface of the (Swiss) lattice facade of the 1950s, applied directly to the substrate, on Rudolph's building it forms a hollow backdrop. How-

Fig. 22: Exposed infrastructure as the characterising motif

Renzo Piano & Richard Rogers: Centre Pompidou, Paris (F), 1971-78

Fig. 22: Exposed infrastructure as the characterising motif

Renzo Piano & Richard Rogers: Centre Pompidou, Paris (F), 1971-78

Top: facade without openings as loadbearing plate containing services Centre: ground and basement floors as an autonomous block

Bottom: section through floor, scale approx. 1:60

SOM: American Republic Insurance Company, Des Moines (Iowa, USA), 1965

Top: facade without openings as loadbearing plate containing services Centre: ground and basement floors as an autonomous block

Bottom: section through floor, scale approx. 1:60

SOM: American Republic Insurance Company, Des Moines (Iowa, USA), 1965

Fig. 27: Floor slab without intervening columns, with ventilation ducts and lighting units between the ribs

SOM: American Republic Insurance Company, Des Moines (Iowa, USA), 1965

Fig. 27: Floor slab without intervening columns, with ventilation ducts and lighting units between the ribs

SOM: American Republic Insurance Company, Des Moines (Iowa, USA), 1965

ever, we must ask whether concrete is the right material because the cranks in the spandrel panels are reminiscent of the stiffening folds of sheet metal panels.

On the Blue Cross Building loadbearing structure, building services and windows form a network that is identical on all sides of the building. However, the functions are separated on the building for the American Republic Insurance Company in Des Moines by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (1965): services housed in loadbearing concrete plates without openings on the longitudinal sides, storey-high glazing on the ends of the building. The topic of hollow loadbearing construction, which is characteristic of the facade, is repeated in the floor, where 1.36 m deep concrete T-beams span 30 m across the whole building without any intermediate supports. These beams form a box-like relief with the air ducts accommodated between the stalks of the Ts. Mounted on top of the circular air ducts are fluorescent lights that use the underside of the ribbed floor as a reflector. In addition to their function as an i nfrastructure medium, the wall plates (without openings) are designed as deep beams spanning between four columns at the base. In section the building looks like a bridge spanning a two-storey object slipped underneath - the fully glazed cafeteria and refectory block free from all loadbearing members. This addresses the change in structure that affects every larger building owing to the different interior needs of ground floor and upper floors.

Structural change

Even monofunctional buildings often provide for a different usage at ground f loor level, above all in city-centre locations. The reasons are obvious: the direct relationship with public spaces favours profit-making uses such as shops, restaurants, etc., and the location level with the surrounding ground means that the ground floor is even accessible to vehicles (cf. fire station, Zurich). In Germany the cast iron columns on the ground f loor that support the downstand beams of j oist floors in buildings from the late 19th century are especially classical. This is a type of structural change that is hardly noticeable. But the situation is totally different in a building with a transfer structure which tracks the change in the loadbearing members with expressive force. The high-rise block "Zur Palme" in Zurich by Haefeli Moser Steiger (1961-64) is a good example. The windmill-plan shape of this tower is carried on a concrete platform 12 m above the ground supported on wedge-shaped columns - space enough for an independent two-storey structure underneath.

Lina Bo Bardi took a different course at the Museum of Modern Art (1957-68) in Sao Paulo, where the storeys are not elevated above ground level, but instead suspended. At least the enclosing concrete frame, with its span of 50 m, conveys this picture. In fact there is another pair of beams within the glass building, so that only the bottommost floor is really suspended. In any case, the whole area beneath the building remains open, in the form of a covered plaza.

Buildings like the school in Volta by Miller & Maranta prove that a structural change is possible without displaying the structural conditions. The in situ r einforced concrete loadbearing structure devised in conjunction with the consulting engineers Conzett Bronzini Gartmann makes use of wall plates on the upper floors that are rigidly connected to the f loor slabs. This arrangement functions as a monolithic construction spanning the full 28 m across the sports hall, and cantilevers a further 12 m on the entrance elevation. The wall plates, which incidentally are not continuous from facade to facade but instead consist of two separate parts, line up on all the floors of the school. Jurg Conzett explained in an article that it is sufficient "when the wall plates [above one

Fig. 28: High- and low-rise buildings, each with Its own loadbearing structure

Haetell Moser Stelger: "Zur Palme" Tower, Zurich (CH), 1961-64

Fig. 28: High- and low-rise buildings, each with Its own loadbearing structure

Haetell Moser Stelger: "Zur Palme" Tower, Zurich (CH), 1961-64

another] make contact at any one point".5 Consequently, this principle permits different interior structures from storey to storey, which in the case of the school in Volta is only consummated when supplemented with non-loadbearing

At parking level (bottom) massive columns trace the windmill-plan shape of the upper floors (centre); general view of building (top).

Haefeli Moser Steiger: "Zur Palme" Tower, Zurich (CH), 1961-64

At parking level (bottom) massive columns trace the windmill-plan shape of the upper floors (centre); general view of building (top).

Haefeli Moser Steiger: "Zur Palme" Tower, Zurich (CH), 1961-64

References

1 Hans Bernoulli: "Vom Altwerden der Häuser"; In: Die organische Erneuerung unserer Städte, Basel, 1942; cit. in Fredi Kölliker (ed.): Zahn der Zeit - Baukonstruktion im Kontext des architektonischen Entwerfens, Basel, 1994.

2 Marcel Meili: "Dinglichkeit und Idee", Marcel Meili in conversation with Hubertus Adam,

J. Christoph Bürkle and Judit Solt; in: archithese 2003/1, p. 7.

3 Rayner Banham, "Die Architektur der wohltemperierten Umwelt", in: ARCH+, Feb 1988, p. 36.

4 Frank L. Wright, 1910; cit. in: Rayner Banham, p. 43.

5 Jürg Conzett, "Raum halten"; in: Werk., Bauen und Wohnen, 1997/9, pp. 34-39.

walls. It might be exciting to investigate at which phase (prior to beginning work on site, during construction, or after completion) which degree of flexibility can be achieved with this system.

Alternatives

At the start it was said that the complexity of contemporary buildings has to be accepted. But this is only partly true of course. More and more intelligent low-tech concepts are appearing, particularly in the realm of building services, concepts that are based on centuries-old knowledge and are "only" coming to the fore again or being reinterpreted. The stack effect (thermal currents), which is being exploited these days in order to achieve a natural change of air, e.g. in office buildings, was already common for cooling buildings in India in the 15th century, accomplished by means of internal courtyards and an open ground floor. People exploited the physical effects provided by the building elements and spaces that were unavoidable. So building services in traditional buildings is not an appendage rich in technology, but rather an integral part of the interior structure and l oadbearing structure. And last but not least, the "air shaft" provides the obvious additional function of allowing light to reach the adjoining rooms!

Fig. 32: Only the positioning of the windows provides evidence of the structural change.

Miller & Maranta: Volta School, Basel (CH), 1999

Fig. 32: Only the positioning of the windows provides evidence of the structural change.

Miller & Maranta: Volta School, Basel (CH), 1999

Flg. 33: Frame wlth suspended floors

Lina Bo Bardl: Museum of Modern Art, Säo Paulo (BR), 1957-68

Flg. 33: Frame wlth suspended floors

Lina Bo Bardl: Museum of Modern Art, Säo Paulo (BR), 1957-68

Fig. 34: Exploiting the stack effect: fresh air flows through the open ground floor and rises in the internal courtyard.

House, Jaisalmer (India), 15th century

Fig. 34: Exploiting the stack effect: fresh air flows through the open ground floor and rises in the internal courtyard.

House, Jaisalmer (India), 15th century

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