2 November 2010

Railway Parade going strong (literally)!

Today we had our friendly alliance, structure engineer, coming in for a visit to go through some queries we had regarding structural stability of the project.

It is still early stage of the project, too soon to talk in too much depth... But we spent a whooping 2 hours going through the lateral force, awning connection, roof cantilever, column-beam connections, flooring options, outdoor decking structure..... And everyone had so much fun soaking in imagining the building!

Can you spot what has changed since it was last blogged?

1. ROOF - we fold the roof down slightly to help stiffening the top of the delicate portal frames, and ensure the portal frame spacing;

2. AWNING - the awning connects back to the portal frames at the end of the roof fold, which a) helps with the shopfront glazing division, b) stiffens the street facade, c) spans backwards into the main structure along the bottom edge of the roof fold without being visible;

3. CROSS BRACING - using tension force, the end bays of the portal frame form stiff triangulation and transfer the lateral force from shopfront down into ground directly without having to connect back to the service pod (aka the "box").

With all these working together, we can finally detach the "skin" and the "box" (refer to our last blog entry HERE regarding the dilema we had with the skin and the box...)

Phew.. What a relief!  The building looks "right" now.

The team worked on all the design options with numerous studies on physical and virtual models, and with the understanding of structure as architects we believed we had something close to working; but without confirming by structure engineer, "close to working" is simply not good enough.

It is a tough process, but the important thing is that in the process, we come to understand the essence of the design intention - something that can either make or destroy this piece of architecture.  Here, "detaching" is not the design intention; "purity of expression" is.

Another view of the study model from the highest point on the street.... What can you notice here? Something looks a little different from last entry...

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