Thursday, 19 September 2013

>>>Phase 2 [P2]: Constructing a case study archive

Richard Buckminster Fuller, Milan X Triennale paperboards domes before assembly (1954) [1]

“(…) This is not about solutions, but directions;(…)”
Siegfried Ebeling [2]

The [P2] focuses on the investigation and analysis of existing typologies of covering. With particular attention to the relationship loadbearing structure-cladding we will be studying the structural, material and spatial properties of the membrane understood as mediator between the human body and the environment.
Performing the studies in groups, each group will be given the task of exploring and analysing a work of architecture from the list:

1. Cedric Price, 1958, London Zoo Aviary 
2. Felix Candela, 1968, Sports Palace, Colonia Granjas Mexico 
3. Karen & Ebbe Clemmensen, 1966-72, Kildeskovhallen 
4. Frei Otto, 1967-68, Institut für Leichte Flächentragwerke 
5. Bruno Taut, 1914, Glass Pavilion at the Cologne Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition 
6. Richard Buckminster Fuller, 1967, American Pavilion at the Montreal Expo 
7. Frei Otto, 1975, Roof over the Open Air Theater, Bad Hersfeld
8. Felix Candela, 1954-55, High Life Textile Factory, Mexico (HP Umbrellas) 
9. José Antonio Corrales and Ramón Vázquez Molezún, 1958, Spanish Pavilion at the Brussels Expo 
With the objective further qualifying insights into the aesthetic effects achieved by specific design decisions by comparison, each group is required to seek out a work of architecture with structural properties similar to their given work. In other words, through inquiries performed by the production of a series of analytical models focusing on dissecting [structural forces] [structural elements] [cladding] and their specific inter-relationship, each group is expected to explore and analyze two works of architecture, one given and one chosen.

On the basis of reflection, critical discussion and analysis of a series of analytical models, furthermore each group is required to produce one ‘final’ model of each work of architecture, which condensates their findings concerning the particular attention of this assignment.

“(…) [The] way to understand the dynamic nature of structure is to pay attention to the fact that we actually newer “see” a structure, in the ordinary sense. We only perceive its results, an assemblage of parts and materials. Structure is what makes this assemblage possible. Structure is a potency.(…)”
Antoine Picon [3]

Conceived as a laboratory, in which the collective inquiry and production transcends the scope of individual interests and insights, the objective of [P2] is constructing a collective archive of case studies, which will establish a foundation for further experimentation. With a focus on utilizing the production of physical models as a tool of exploration and insight, cand. ing. Morten Kirban Rix, Rambøll Danmark a/s will be performing a one-day workshop in the first week of the assignment. Furthermore, cand. scient. bibl. Anne Hagelskær will give an introduction to academic reference systems and data search in the library. Framed by our particular attention the objective is to explore and to experiment with a selected variety of structural systems, providing a collective platform of structural insights.

This task is to be undertaken in teams of four students with a condition: each team should at least involve one exchange student, one 2nd year student and one 3rd year student. A representative of each team is to be designated in order to coordinate the common layout of the archive.

The presented material should be critically selected in order to document findings. All source material – quotes, references, images etc.– must announce source according to the provided reference system.

The ‘final’ models should each be constructed on a base produced of 10 mm MDF 50cm x 50cm x 10 cm.
The height of each model – excl. the base - should not exceed 50 cm.

The produced material should be processed, comprehensively and coherently organized and presented in the folded-zigzag book (one side printed – except of the front page) composed of 9 sheets:
>format: folded book 29.7cm x 29.7cm, i.e. an A3 format is reduced to 29.7 x 32,7. This allows a 3.0 cm zone for gluing – please note that the last page should not have a gluing zone meaning the format of the last page is 29.7 x 29.7 cm.
>paper code: Technical drawing paper 185 gr.
>font: Times New Roman 9
>margins: folded book pages 3,5cm

The layout and the character of the book will depend on the nature of the produced and/or collected material, however it should contain as follows:

[p.1] title of the work, its author(s) and year, names of the students
[p.2 + p.3] historical data + 1 representative photograph of the work
[p.4 + p.5] structural analysis – diagrams, drawings and analytical models
[p.6 + p.7] relation <covering><structure> focusing on the membrane as a mediator <body><environment>
[p.8 + p.9] ‘final’ models and a list of the qualities explored and un-covered

The book is to be delivered both on paper and as a PDF document uploaded to the shared folder >>>> Shared (R) >Bachelor >Unit 2+3d_AL >F2013 >Phase II

Model construction as tool of inquiry in exploration and analysis. 
Performed in teams of 4-5 students.

Models, and a process ʻlog’

Sept. 20th – Oct. 3rd


Learning to utilize analogue model construction as tool of inquiry in exploration and analysis of structural properties in selected works of architecture. Learning to practice focused data collection and processing, furthermore the practice of 2- and 3-dimensional communication of findings, including utilization of academic reference systems.

Tue. Sept. 24th                       
10am: Data collection and referencing Anne Hagelskjær, in the Library
Wed. Sept. 25th 
9am: Workshop, structural analysis Morten Kirban Rix, in the studio
Thu. Sept. 26th                       
9am: Lecture, 3rd year, Architectural History 
3:15pm: Lecture, 2nd year, Architectural History
Tue. Oct. 1st               
3:15pm: Lecture, 2nd year, Architectural History
Wed. Oct. 2nd
11am: Lecture, 2nd+3rd year, Tectonics & Materiality
Thu. Oct. 3rd               
9am: Hand-in/ The Studsgade Auditorium with a participation of Morten Kirban Rix

FRISS MATHIASEN, Hans; REITZEL, Erik (1999) Grundtræk af bærende konstruktioner i arkitekturen, Copenhagen: Kunstakademiets Arkitektskoles Forlag

GAMMEL, Peder (2005) Statik og konstruktiv forståelse, Aarhus: Arkitektskolens Forlag

KIRBAN RIX, Morten (2012) Load carrying structures - An introduction to the materials – a Handbook for the workshop

SANDAKER, Bjorn N.; EGGEN Arne P.; CRUVELLIER, Mark R. (2011) The Structural Basis of Architecture, 2nd edition, New York: Routledge

[1] Richard Buckminster Fuller, Milan X Triennale paperboards domes before assembly (1954) in: GORMAN, Michael John (2005) Buckminster Fuller. Designing for Mobility, Milan: Skira, p.129

[2] EBELING, Siegfried (2010 [1926]) Space as a Membrane, London: Architectural Association Publications, p.6, (original edition: Der Raum als Membran, Dessau, 1926)

[3] PICON, Antoine (2003) “Architecture, Science, Technology, and the virtual realm” in: PICON, Antoine; PONTE, Alessandra (ed.)(2003)Architecture and the Science. Exchanging Metaphors, Princeton Architectural Press, p.299