Balustrade detailing

British Building Regulations are set forth in Chapter 10, not to mention the British Building Inspectors' 100 mm spherical ball. Patterns based upon 100 mm intervals may pall and it is worth considering varied spacing to improve the scale or to vary the girth of the baluster (Figure 6.8a). In practical terms it is an easy matter to construct a vertical rod balustrade in timber provided adequate purchase exists in Figure 6.5b Curved framing Detail of circular stair with central support (from...

Case Study 121 The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao 1997

Siteplan Guggenheim

The Guggenheim Museum is perhaps the most outstanding building of the twentieth century and appropriate that it should be completed at the century's very end. The invention of the computer helped to provide the very complicated drawings for its construction. It is very fitting that it should have been built in Spain where Gaudi produced many intriguing free-shaped buildings and would no doubt have been fascinated by the virtuosity of the computer. The interior stairs of the Guggenheim are...

Case Study 122 The Reichstag Berlin 1998

The refurbishment of the derelict German parliament building has enabled Foster and Partners to rebuild the domes as a giant viewing bubble. The visitor is taken directly by lift to the main roof terrace where the dome is entered the ascent to the top is via a ramp cantilevered from the steel ribs of the structure. As one rises, the panoramic views over the city, and in par ticular the Chancellery and Brandenburg Gate, grow more and more spectacular. From the platform at the top one looks down...

Case Study 126 Dresdner Bank Pariser Platz Berlin

Architects GMP Von Gerkan, Marg and Partner This building is very similar in plan to the State of Illinois Center, a large circular atrium, lit from above. The offices are entered off a circular gallery on each floor. These are accessed by a helical stair with lift on either side. The stair consists of dark grey steel strings to which metal brackets are welded the brackets support circular glass pads on which the translucent glass treads rest. The galleries are of similar construction and are...

Cylindrical and spiral stairs

Plan Hsbc Building Foster Plaza

Some of the most graceful forms of stair are the cylindrical and spiral. The primitive spiral is found in medieval castle towers where the stone steps rest one on top of another with the edges built into the surrounding walls. Cylindrical stairs have been made as free-standing towers placed outside the building envelope. Some of the more ambitious designs permit horse and rider to ride up to the upper floors. This is the explanation for the complex masonry construction at Blois (Figure 2.20)...

Design of lifts

In this review of related designs that exhibit new trends in the roles of elevators, escalators and travelators, the material is subdivided into design themes and studies in the following groups. 11.6.1 The metal cage, glass cabins and wall climbers. Figure 11.3d Escalator design Main entry to 311 South Waker Drive, Chicago, with escalators and conservatory hall, 1990, Architects Kohn Pederson Fox with Harwood K. Smith 11.6.2 The glass lift enclosure. 11.6.3 The multiple core of lift and or...

Escalators

Interesting Lift And Staircase Cores

Today, escalators are used wherever a large number of people have to be moved at one time - shopping precincts, underground stations etc. In theatres they are particularly useful because before the performance they can be directed up to the auditorium and at the end they can take the audience down to street level. Figure 11.2a Core planning Lift lobbies Figure 11.2b Lift core planning, flexibility in planning office space Figure 11.2b Lift core planning, flexibility in planning office space...

Escalators lifts and stairs in major spaces for retail and related buildings

Hyatt Regency Detroit

The nineteenth-century department store and the great exhibition halls of that period are the twin sources for a whole range of building types. The main stair provided the great exhibition space around which the display area was designed. Perhaps the greatest of these was Les Galeries Lafayette, Paris, in the 1900s (Figure 2.28), but fashion and commercialism took away the stairs leaving only the galleries with their Art Nouveau balustrading Figure 3 9a The Economist Building Original Core,...

Garden architecture

Some aspects of designing external stairs come within the realm of garden architecture. It is not possible to condense that vast topic, the reader is therefore left to search out their favoured source, Oriental or Islamic, English, French, Italian or Spanish or perhaps that blend of vernacular that pertains to European landscape design today.1 There are common forms of external steps. A primary role concerns steps that relate to buildings, a secondary aspect are those which serve the functional...

Historical review

Otis Platform Lift

A fascinating book published by the Otis Elevator Company, Going Up, in 1983 traces the history in detail with wonderful drawings of early hoists and lifts.1 That history is described with illustrations in Stairs, Steps and Ramps. Sufficient to record here that the Romans used hoists at the Colosseum for lifting the animals and gladiators into the amphitheatre, and also to lift heavy building materials for their temples etc. These hoists were in the form of a pulley wheel and rope wound round a...

Info

Travel Distance Fire Exit Offices

Spiral stairs to BS 5395 P42 'are a possibility for means of escape 3.25d and e fire resistance and guarding is needed for flat roof escape routes Escape over flat roofs - second escape only and then not for institutional buildings or for the public (and must be over a roof of the same building) 3.25 If stair goes on down it should be clear that the final exit is at this level 5.31 Basements in a single stair building this basement should have a separate stair. In a two-stair building one...

Multiturn flights

The purpose of multi-turn design may well have been defensive. The approach stairs in citadels like the Alhambra are strategically planned for right-handed swordsmen fighting in defence. The attackers unless left-handed were under a disadvantage at every landing. The saving in space is another reason for multi-turn flights. In the Renaissance such layouts arranged with upward approach enabled centrally placed stairs to be the main instrument in ordering plans with primary, secondary and minor...

Planning principles governing the number and location of exit stairways

The following review is restricted to 'required' stairs that is to say, stairs used exclusively for the evacuation of a floor to the open air at ground level, contained within a fire-rated enclosure. The location and number of legally required exit stairs from any floor is determined by the total occupancy of the floor, the distance of travel from any point on the floor to the nearest stair, and the basic principle that stairs should be remote one from another. The occupancy of the floor is...

Staircase options 421 Direct flights

The single direct flight provides the cheapest constructional solution. If laid Figures 4.1e Generic pl ns for houses Side entry house Figures 4.1e Generic pl ns for houses Side entry house out across the plan it will give the most compact answer (Figure 4.2a). This minimal aspect explains its use in cottage architecture where there are no halls or lobbies. In the simplest plans, the staircase would rise directly opposite the street door with the accommodation arranged to one or both sides. In...

Stairs and lift cores in flats

Lillington Gardens Plan

Dwellings stacked one above the other with staircases placed externally or internally reveal seminal layouts little altered by Figure 4.20 Vertic l or thermometer window fe tured in the re r elev tion of the Winslow House, Chic go, 1893, Architect Fr nk Lloyd Wright Figure 4.20 Vertic l or thermometer window fe tured in the re r elev tion of the Winslow House, Chic go, 1893, Architect Fr nk Lloyd Wright history. Multi-storey flats date back to Roman times. The remains at Ostia (Figure 4.21)...

Standard internal stairs

Internal Metal Round Stairs

Figure 7.2b Vernacular escape stairs in USA Figure 7.2c Typical tubular framing to support landings of dog-leg stairs, offices at Stockley Park, 1989, Architects Arup Associates Figure 7.2c Typical tubular framing to support landings of dog-leg stairs, offices at Stockley Park, 1989, Architects Arup Associates Fabrication methods devised for external stairs can be applied to internal stairs as with the Technical High School, Basle (Figure 7.2d). Open grid and chequer plate stairs are also used...

Steps in landscape

The most extensive ramped and stepped construction ever made is the roadway which surmounts the Great Wall of China (Figure 5.13a), the only human construction said to be visible from the Moon. The design embraces a defensive wall, backed by a 4.5 m paved surface, either ramped or set out as stepped ramps in the steeper sections. The materials employed are largely brickwork. The undulating lengths involve all forms of inclined surfaces, ramps, zig zag climbs, curved and wide spaced steps, a...

Steps in townscape

Landscape Steps Halprin

Town planning has always been important in creating a space where changes in levels play an important part - the Romans in their forums of ancient times, the Renaissance with piazzas such as the Capitol, Rome (Figure 2.17), or the Spanish Steps (Figure 5.5). The opposite can be said of the narrow steps found in Italian hill towns or Cornish fishing ports (Figures 5.16a and 5.16b) where surprise views are obtained at each change of direction. Today pedestrianization of our city centres has given...

Steps outside buildings

Returning to mundane matters, the National Building Regulations in Britain call for ground floors to be at least 150 mm above the natural exterior level, hence a step is needed at all entries (Figure 5.9a) or else a ramped pavement where disabled access is mandatory (Figure 5.9b). The 1998 National Building Regulations call for textured pavings at ramps to identify such features for the blind and partially sighted. Both elements can be combined in a single design (Figure 5.9c). The dimensions...

Tapered flights

False perspective is a familiar device in landscape design but remarkable examples occur in interiors. Bernini's scala regia at the Vatican (Figures 2.15a and 2.15B) has to be seen as stage scenery to dramatize the passage of the Pope to the Sistine Chapel. The traditional ceremony involves a brief pause as the blessing is given from the top landing to the crowd assembled below. The tapered flight at Venturi's National Gallery (Figure 2.16) extension is in reverse, it has no claim to drama. It...

The glass lift enclosure

The Asplund-designed glass enclosure for the lift at the Gothenburg Courthouse takes minimalist ideas to their furthest extreme with a transparent cabin ascending within the open space to the balconies on first and second floor. The siting is placed at the critical junction between the main entrance and the base to the formal stairs rising to the first floor courts. Reference back to Figure 2.7a reveals the way the balance is struck between the formality of the judges and the modernity of the...

The metal cage glass cabins and wall climbers

The key reference point is the atrium in the Bradbury Building, referring back to Figures 11.1c and 3.23, where the bronze caged lift car rises in the open to the office balconies. Frank Lloyd Wright made an attractive allusion to a 'bird cage' theme in the lifts designed for the Johnson Building, Racine (Figure 11.5a). Figure 11.4 Lifts and escalators assuming greater importance - interior of Lloyd's Building, London, 1986 (Richard Rogers Partnership) Figure 11.4 Lifts and escalators assuming...

The multiple core of stair lift andor elevator

Interesting Lift And Staircase Cores

This selection has been culled from two pairs of buildings, each having a particular approach to the movement of people. The individual worlds have a distinguished pedigree, each representing a culminating point in design development with lifts and or escalators by Foster and Partners4 and Richard Rogers Partnership.5 The Willis Faber and Dumas Building has a superb elemental plan with the twin escalators serving the central bay of the layout. The mandatory cores with lifts and stairs are...

Theatrical stairs

A visit to the theatre is a time for exhibitionism. The theatrical use of stairs is more commonly associated with the vestibules to theatres and where vantage points of balconies and landings are visualized to show off the audience as they arrive and depart. The most celebrated promenade is that devised by Charles Garnier with the Grand Staircase at the Paris Opera (Figures 2.26o-c). It is worthwhile studying the plan in detail. The area employed almost equals the auditorium and is so arranged...

Case Study 131 No 1 Poultry City of London 1998

Architects James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates Ltd This is a very interesting cross between a stair and ramp. The site is triangular with the prow facing a main road junction Figure 13.1b Site plan (Architecture Today, September 1998) which is surrounded by the important buildings of the Bank of England (Soane), Midland Bank (Lutyens), the Mansion House (Dance the Elder), and St Mary Woolnoth (Hawksmoor). The Figure 13-lc Floor plan (Architecture Today, September 1998) revolving...

Design selection and core planning

Selection of a system and operation depends upon design studies that take into account building use and occupancy. A single lift will generally only be suitable for a modest commercial building of five storeys and then provide poor service, there being no back-up if the lift is out of order. Lifts are commonly grouped in pairs, fours etc., and are better distributed either side of a lobby which does not double as a through passage. Lobbies should be twice the depth of the car (Figure 11.2a)....

Office core locations

The salient dimensions relate to the maximum escape run from the furthest corner of the working area to the safety of the enclosed stairs. Protected lobbies or passages can extend these lengths. The basic arrangement is given in Figures 3.4a-c with guidance on limiting factors in the UK and abroad. The core locations depend upon the floor configuration adopted. For high rise, slab block versus tower has to be considered. For medium rise, further comparisons need to be made with atrium and...

Core planning and standardized stairs

Lift and stair cores in commercial buildings can be grouped according to building use - hotels, offices, retail and special facilities (such as multi-purpose layouts that contain conference and exhibition space). Building Codes in Britain stipulate minimal tread-to-rise relationships that vary according to the 'use' category 1 these are dealt with in Chapter 10. A wise designer ought to take the most generous proportion in multi-use buildings so that a common denominator in stair risers is...

Case Study 125 State of Illinois Center Chicago 1985

State Illinois Center Chicago

The round atrium is fully glazed externally and penetrates the total height of the offices. A cluster of wall-climber lifts are the main focus within the inner space of the atrium and relate to circular galleries floor by floor. Accommodation and escape stairs run in a zig zag pattern down the balcony face and contribute an expression of activity and movement within the 16 storey volume. The lowermost floors relate to a food hall and to the subway system. It is one of the most remarkable public...

Domestic spiral and cylindrical stairs

Ramp Architecture Corbusier

The decorative and sculptural quality of spiral stairs is no doubt the reason that so many kits or standard spirals in concrete, steel or timber are now available. A contributing factor is the ease with which computer aids can speed designing such features to fulfil site requirements and to meet the onerous restrictions of the current Building Codes as given in Chapter 10. It is sufficient at this stage to confirm that 1 800 mm diameter is the minimum drum for spirals in private houses. This...

Tactile quality

The tactile quality of timber can be sensed from the lead-in pictures. It is a matter of form and texture which gives as much pleasure to the maker as to the user. The early twelfth-century primitive steps are solid in construction and contrast with the elegant form of the Miraculous Stairs Figure 6.1 d , apparently built without nails by a travelling carpenter who came and went without being paid, another sample of devoted work. The nuns at the little church called Our Lady of Light Chapel,...

Turret and cantilevered stairs

Concrete Cantiliver Spiral Staircase

Figure 9.1e Principles for stonework stairs Tapered threads with central column and enclosing wall Enclosing wall can be a square OR rectangular shell Cantilever treads, resting on their front edges on the steps below Figure 9.1f Principles for stonework stairs Cantilevered stone stairs within a drum One source for these dramatic structures of turret and cantilevered stairs is the influential writing of Andrea Palladio. The text from 1570 I Quattro Libri del Architettura The Four Books of...