FACULTY OF CIVIL ENGINEERING. Arch. Dana OPINCARIU. Ph.D. THESIS - ABSTRACT - IMPLICATION OF STRUCTURES IN CONCEIVING THE ARCHITECTURAL SPACE

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1 FACULTY OF CIVIL ENGINEERING Arch. Dana OPINCARIU Ph.D. THESIS - ABSTRACT - IMPLICATION OF STRUCTURES IN CONCEIVING THE ARCHITECTURAL SPACE Ph.D. Supervisor Professor MARIANA BRUMARU, Ph.D., Eng. Scientific evaluating committee: CHAIRMAN: MEMBERS: - Assoc. Professor Anca Popa, Ph.D., Eng. Vice-dean, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Cluj- Napoca; - Professor Mariana Brumaru,Ph.D., Eng. - PhD Supervisor, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca; - Professor Victor Gioncu, Ph.D., Eng,Dr.Hon.Causa- Reviewer, Politehnica University of Timisoara; - Professor Valeriu Stoian, Ph.D., Eng. - Reviewer, Politehnica University of Timisoara; - Professor Cosmin Chiorean, Ph.D., Eng. - Reviewer,Faculty of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. -Assoc. Professor Radu Radoslav Ph.D., Arch. Reviewer, Politehnica University of Timisoara;

2 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 1 DESIGNING BUILDINGS IN THE DIGITAL AGE 1 CHAPTER 2 STRUCTURE AND THE NEW ARCHITECTURAL SHAPES 3 CHAPTER 3 STRUCTURE AND THE SPECIFIC OF BUILT SPACE 5 CHAPTER 4 THE ROLE OF STRUCTURES IN THE CONCEPTION OF FAÇADES 8 CHAPTER 5 THE STRUCTURE FORM RELATION IN THE DESIGN PROCESS 10 CHAPTER 6 OPTIMIZING PROGRAMME FOR THE DESIGN PROCESS OF BUILDINGS BY MANAGING THE STRUCTURE-FORM RELATION 13 CHAPTER 7 FINAL CONCLUSIONS 16 BIBLIOGRAPHY 19 1

3 INTRODUCTION This thesis proposes an analysis of the structure-form relationship in the design process of buildings that is specific to the current context in the construction domain. It also identifies the structural systems that are subordinate to architectural form and structural systems that generate the architectural form, underlining the fundamental role of structure in the conception of contemporary architectural space. The approach of the problem of structure implication in the conception of architectural space through analysis, conclusions and proposals, is organised in 7 chapters as follows: CHAPTER 1: DESIGNING BUILDINGS IN THE DIGITAL AGE It presents the particularities of building design in the present, by looking at the changes brought by digital design, through the emergence of the new architectural form of the Advanced Architecture (AA) thanks to the performances of the structural engineering field through structural design, new construction materials and technologies. These changes have also determined the necessity for an efficient architect - engineer collaboration, the specialists of the two connected fields implicated in building design. The chapter underlines the characteristics of digital design, the Form Finding concept in structural engineering, through software examples and innovative methods in the design process. Also displayed are innovative technologies in digital design used for some finalized projects (Fig and Fig. 1.17). Fig Digital mapping technology NURBS Shapes / Nonuniform Bezier Splines / KF Keyframing, animation based on intermediate states with particular properties / MB şi PS, Metaballs and Particle Systems 2

4 Fig Erick van Egeraat, Nationale Nederlanden şi ING Bank, Budapesta / Lynn Form, Michael McInturf, Garofaldo Architects, NY Presbiterian Church, NY, 1999 / Makotosei Watanabe, Idabashi Subway Station, Tokyo, 2000 The analysis regarding building design in the digital age underlined the following conclusions: Advanced architecture (AA) is the concept that marks a new stage in the contemporary architectural phenomenon, an architecture of the future, of information interchange that develops evolutional and dynamic processes. Using computers to generate architectural forms for buildings marks a new digital age characterised by a complex architecture, due to structural qualities. The different way of using digital technologies determines changes in the design process of buildings and the performance of the programmes that are used allows for the generation of new structural shapes. CHAPTER 2: STRUCTURE AND THE NEW ARCHITECTURAL FORMS This chapter analyses the structure form relationship in the conception of buildings, by comparing the concept of structure and the concept of shape from the fields of engineering and architecture. New tendencies in the language of architectural forms are presented, that have enriched the present landscape of the built environment. In order to correctly understand the structure form relationship, the meaning of the terms must be determined: structural system, constructive system, structural form, constructive form and architectural form (Fig. 2.2). Also analysed is the relationship established between these terms that define the make-up of a building. The problem regarding the expression of the static function that belongs to the engineering field has become a priority in the architecture and engineering literature; the study of this problem can be approached through different routes. One of these routes that deserve special attention is the one like the scheme: architecture structure art aesthetics. 3

5 STRUCTURAL SYSTEM CONSTRUCTIVE SYSTEM STRUCTURAL FORM CONSTRUCTIVE FORM ARCHITECTURAL SHAPE Fig.2.2. The structural system architectural form relationship The expressive or symbolic function can t be only attributed to architecture, since the architectural concept partly depends on the structural concept. The border scheme between the distinct fields of architecture and engineering is replaced by that of two different layers that overlap and potentate each other. They manage to give consistency and stability to the complex system of the building, the structural system becomes a visual aesthetic shape in the context of the architectural composition. The new trends in the language of architectural forms prove the importance of the structure form relationship in the conception of current architectural space, the limits of the two connected fields, engineering and architecture, becoming inexistent due to the creation of forms with advanced geometries and the distancing from formal archetypes. So, the resulted architectural product of the architect engineer team is characterised by innovative ideas, creativity and performance (Fig. 2.7). The new trends in the language of architectural forms can be identified by: Making superstructures. Creating shapes with advanced surfaces and advanced geometries. The new buildings physics requirements aiming at energy independence, energetic passivity, adequate solutions for sustainable development in the contemporary global energy context. Discarding formal archetypes in the case of advanced geometries. The conclusions of the above analysis on the relation of the structure with the new architectural forms may be formulated as follows: The new trends in the architectural language of building shapes are identified by realizing superstructures, creating advanced geometries, discarding formal archetypes and adapting to adequate solutions for sustainable development. Advanced architecture (AA) is the concept that marks a new stage of the contemporary architectural phenomenon, an architecture of the future, or informational interchange that develops evolutional and dynamic processes. 4

6 Current building architecture concentrates its aesthetic qualities on the structure, making the relation between the two professions, architecture and engineering, even more important to the creative process. The design process of buildings, regardless of the degree of complexity, is structured in many stages and each stage is set in the previous one, the connector of this process being the graphic language through drawing. Fig Cecil Balmond, structure with an advanced geometry / Shigeru Ban and Cecil Balmond, studies for the Pompidou Centre Metz, Franţa, / Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London, CHAPTER 3: STRUCTURE AND THE SPECIFIC OF BUILT SPACE This chapter presents the way in which different types of structures are implicated in the conception of forms and, from this point of view, it identifies two important categories: i) structures subordinated to the architectural concept and ii) structures that generate the architectural concept. Also analysed are the static and dynamic characteristics of structures that belong to the above categories, and the way in which they influence the conception of forms. Structural systems that are subordinated to the architectural concept, support architectural forms the spatial relationships determined by the size, the proportions, the spatial configuration as a compositional and functional organisation manner of the construction. These are frequently used on a large scale and do not assume exceptional approaches. They are used for buildings with common spans and heights, with simple plane typologies, in frequent architectural programmes. These systems play out their performances of strength and stability without having a significant contribution to the expressivity of the architectural forms. The structural 5

7 systems in this category are: a) structures with loadbearing masonry walls, b) frame structures, c) diaphragm structures and d) mixed structures frames and diaphragms (Fig. 3.7). Fig Structures with reinforced concrete diaphragms The structural systems that generate the architectural concept are capable through their own unique form and structural performance to create the architectural forms and to offer a maximum of expressivity. Modern structural thinking is concentrated on the link between function and form and also between form and the building technique. The quality that structures have, to generate architectural form is especially analysed in two distinct building categories, regarding their spatial character: i) buildings with large spans and ii) tall buildings. These categories are the most relevant in the field of contemporary buildings, regarding the role of the structures in creating exceptional architectural forms, demonstrating the performances of the specialist engineers in the field of structures and the determining role of structures in creating advanced architecture (AA) (Fig. 3.8). Fig Structures that generate architectural concept Among the systems generally used to design buildings with large spans, especially analysed are: structural systems with thin roofs (Fig. 3.16), structural systems with cables, tensegrity structural systems also being mentioned innovative structural systems for buildings with large spans. 6

8 Fig Post-tensioned shells with spans of m/ Post-tensioned shells with spans of m/ Post-tensioned shells with spans larger than 60 m [73] The second category of architectural forms generating structures is structural systems for tall buildings. The chapter analyses the characteristics of these buildings, composition of structural systems adequate for this type of buildings and innovative structural solutions for tall buildings (Fig. 3.31). Fig.3.31 Hearst Tower, Hearst Corporation Headquarter New York, Foster + Partners, 2006 These structures are in the focus of researchers who specialise in structural behaviour, determining in the last decades notable progress regarding the applicability of structural systems in making buildings with an impressive architecture. The conclusions of this chapter regarding the implication of structures in the generation of architectural space are: Designing buildings is a complex, dynamic phenomenon that needs to be constantly adapted to the specificity of reality. Structural systems in constructions, next to their main role to ensure stability and strength against the loads acting on them, should also: 7

9 - participate through characteristics and structural form in generating architectural forms, plane and volumetric shapes; - contribute to the definition of the scale and proportion of the built space through the sizing of the implicated structural elements; - allow for a certain functional organisation of the architectural space, determining the way in which we relate to the interior and exterior built space (visibility, access); - determine the cultural or local traditional specificity of the architecture, through the building materials and the building technique. Depending on the way in which they participate in the conception of architectural forms, the structural systems can be divided in two categories: - structural systems subordinated to the architectural concept, - structural systems that generate the architectural concept The structural systems that generate the architectural concept which play a leading role in the making of architectural shapes and have an important contribution in the evolution of building through innovation, are: - Structural systems for buildings with large spans (structures with thin roofs, structures with cables, tensegrity structures, hybrid structures); - Structural systems for tall buildings (rigid frame systems, systems with cores and columns, systems with core and anchor cables, tubular systems, megastructures). These structures are in the focus of researchers who specialise in structural behaviour, determining in the last decades notable progress regarding the applicability of structural systems in designing buildings with an impressive architecture. CHAPTER 4: THE ROLE OF STRUCTURES IN THE CONCEPTION OF FAÇADES The chapter presents the role of structures in designing the façades, the design principles, also classifying the façades according to their composition. There is also a classification of structural elements involved in the façade composition, according to functional criteria that matter in the façade design. The structural role of façades is also defined (Fig. 4.1). Fig Structural elements used for enclosure [50] 8

10 The construction of façade elements, their structure and the manner in which they participate in the building structure, determines a classification among the façade elements with primary structural (loadbearing) elements and systems with secondary structural bearing elements. Thus, different types of structures that are implicated in the façade can be identified. Façades are classified according to the surface geometry and to the internal composition. In contemporary architecture, the façades of buildings are the apparent side of the constructive system and this is a subject in the focus of specialists in construction not just because of the architectural style, of the aesthetic aspect, but also because of the role of this part of the building, of enclosure and providing comfort to the inner space through natural lighting, acoustics, temperature, humidity, ventilation and energy efficiency. Also in this chapter for façades, the aesthetic role of façades is defined and the new concept of ornament in the architecture of buildings (Fig. 4.6). Fig Il Gesu / Mies van Der Rohe Chicago University / Future Systems - Nicholas Kane - Selfridges, Birmingham (2003) The concept of ornament in current architecture has many manifestations that intend to anchor in the cultural phenomenon. The new concept proposes the idea of expressivity through consistency, replacing the old meaning of decorum. The current concept of ornament is different from the one in the past; its meaning refers to repetitive, modular, compositional elements that create a bold texture in façades, through the geometric qualities of the elements belonging to the structure. The technological performances and the new digital design techniques for buildings have determined a close relationship between structural engineering and architectural aesthetics. The classification of the manifestations of the ornament in current architecture can be made according to the relation it has with the constructive system, according to the types of building materials used and to the effects it creates visually. The analysis of the three situations underlines the importance of the connection between the constructive system, the texture of the material and the visual effect. Also, the role of the structure in the quality of daylight in the built space is analysed and the way in which the evolution of building materials offers the possibility to make innovative structural surfaces (Fig ). 9

11 Fig Printed glass for façades / Ricola Mulhouse Factory Herzog-De Meuron, 1993, France. The conclusions of this chapter are as follows: An important role in the conception of architectural shapes of buildings is the façade, as the main part of the enclosing by: - Its role in the structural system (bearing or non-bearing); - The make-up and the characteristics of the composing elements (surface geometry, the positioning of the enclosing elements in relation to the elements of the structural system in the façade level, the number of layers of sheets etc.) and the contribution it has to the quality of the interior space; - Its role in the aesthetics of the architectural space; - Its role in the quality of daylight in the built space, through the characteristics of the window openings (shape, size, position etc.); - The building materials used (closing and structural elements) and their properties. Establishing the relation between the structural system and the architectural shape has to be the main aspect of the design process in order to achieve the quality of the built space. CHAPTER 5: THE STRUCTURE SHAPE RELATION IN THE DESIGN PROCESS This chapter identifies and classifies the spatial typologies characteristic to different architectural programs, according to the stages specific to the design process of the architectural shapes, following objective principles, such as spatialfunctional and compositional-geometric organisation. Afterwards these typologies 10

12 are associated with adequate structural solutions offered by the structural engineering field. The chapter shapes the basis for a platform, useful in the conception of buildings, with the purpose of optimising the structure shape relation in the design process. In the analysis of the relation between spatial typologies and building utility, the fundamental component of function is that of space organisation, the one that gives the functional unit its specific character. The analysis of the space-function organisation of buildings studies the relation for destination of the space, analysing the characteristic functional scheme and different architectural characteristics of buildings in various fields of utility, as well as the relationship between structure and the functional spatial organisation of buildings (Fig. 5.6 a). b. c. Fig a. Functional scheme for a cultural architectural program - museum/ b. Axonometry of the museum/ c. Plane typologies specific to museums [79] [106] Fig Cultural domain / Oosterhuis nl., Noord Holland pavillion, Haarlemmermeer, 2002 / Daniel Libeskind, Imperial War Museum of the North, Manchester, UK, 2002 / Gehry Partners, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California, USA,

13 The great variety of buildings with destinations that belong to various fields of activity, in their space-function organisation, certain shapes are generated in plane that fit into different typologies. These are determined by multiple factors, among which is the specificity of the project theme (Fig. 5.7). It is also analysed the way in which the structure generates spatial shapes and different spatial typologies are classified. In this chapter is analysed the way in which structural forms with certain characteristics due to the specificity of the structural system, generate architectural surfaces. Innovative, algorithmic and parametric spatial typologies are identified, which enrich the language of architectural shapes today and which are possible due to new methods of calculation and structural analysis, as well as new building technologies (Fig. 5.37). Fig Straight structural shape with a reticulated surface / Hearst Headquarters Foster + Partners, New York, 2006 [76] After the issues treated in this chapter regarding the structure-form relationship in the conception of architectural space, the following conclusions can be drawn: The space-function organisation of buildings is comprised of different domains of use, determining through the characteristics of functional schemes specific to each architectural program, types of plans and spatial typologies. The way in which the building develops in plane, the surface size, the number of functional cores, the shape of the buildings outline determines different spatial typologies. The different space typologies are supported or generated by certain structural systems that through their static and dynamic characteristics, through the building material used and through their specific structural form match the architectural requirements of the building (function, space, volume, aesthetics etc.). 12

14 CHAPTER 6: OPTIMIZING PROGRAMME FOR THE DESIGN PROCESS OF BUILDINGS BY MANAGING THE STRUCTURE-FORM RELATIONSHIP In this chapter are described the characteristics of the successive stages of the design process, underlining the importance of the architect engineer relationship, offering solutions for perfecting the collaboration between the two connected fields, architecture and engineering, regarding the structure-form relationship in the conception of buildings. The stages of the design process and the structure-form relationship are analysed, being are proposed solutions for an efficient cooperation between the architect and the engineer in the design process. Designing, coordinating and following the activities across the entire project is attributed to both connected fields; specialized architects and structural engineers have a determining role reaching the quality needed and accomplishing all the requisitions regarding the building process. That is why the architect-engineer relationship is so important, and the way in which the cooperation between them develops is a fundamental factor in achieving quality buildings. In order to optimize the building process that begins with the design stage, the efficiency of the engineer-architect relationship during the design process is very important by finding efficient ways of communication, assisted by the performance of digital software that eliminates the need for face-to-face meetings and makes possible a permanent relationship between the architect s drawings with those of the structural engineer. The thesis underlines the benefits of an efficient collaboration between architect and engineer during the design process (Fig. 6.5). Architecture Visualisation Structure Comfort parameters Specifications BIM Technology Topography Project theme Fig Centralized scheme for data in the BIM system [97] In order to achieve performances in the construction field through the quality of the structures, developing research activities and adapting the production to the new design methods are very important. With the emergence of advanced architecture, due to a rapid technological evolution in the construction field in the last few years, to performances in building design determined by using digital systems for the conception and for generating buildings, the field of research has become an important core (Fig. 6.3). 13

15 The research activities development scheme in the field of building construction, architecture and civil engineering, are expanding on three directions, namely: o Research on the structure-form relationship through structural design; o Research on ways of communication specific to the design process; o Research on ways of communication specific to the learning process. The thesis develops aspects regarding the research on the structure-form relationship through structural design. The particularity of this type of research falls into the science communication category, with the general purpose of accumulating knowledge, analysing and synthesizing the information resulted from the experiments. Research for this subject of generating structural shapes, requires a research strategy, an organised frame of work and evolved technical support, according to the new requirements in the field. Fig Structural analysis / Analysis of comfort parameters The thesis proposes to set up a communication platform between the architect and the engineer, containing information provided by an electronic database, with the possibility of permanent reloading, organised following the successive stages of the design process. 14

16 This platform contains knowledge and information in the complementary field of each specialist, engineer and architect, also assuming the collaboration of the two parties even form the conceptual stage of the design process. The thesis presents the facilitations of the platform in the design process, the organisation structure of the proposed programme and information about the way in which The optimizing programme for the design process of buildings by managing the structure-form relationship can be used (Fig. 6.24). Based on the conclusions reached in the study, the thesis finally proposes an Optimizing programme for the design process of buildings by managing the structure-form relationship - OPTIBUILD, a digital programme, accessible via the internet, that can be used by engineers and architects as a team. This software represents the application of the study regarding The implication of structures in the conception of architectural space (Fig. 6.17). Architect User A. Architectural form Data Structure / form Solutions B. Structural system Engineer User Fig Block diagram of the OPTIBUILD programme 15

17 Fig Development window CHAPTER 7: FINAL CONCLUSIONS Conclusions regarding the need to optimize the process of building design: The optimisation of the design process needs to have certain work stages established along the way of its development, as well as an efficient communication between the architect and the structural engineer, interconnected by computer systems that allow them to simultaneously visualise the project and effectively correlate the drawings. The benefits of efficient architect-engineer cooperation during the design process are: designing quality architectural spaces, optimisation of the structural performances of the architectural solution, cutting back on working hours and meeting deadlines, diminishing the design costs by adopting economical solutions in building. An important innovation in the evolution of the design process in the BIM technology (Building Information Model) that develops a working system in a network that allows all specialists involved in the process to simultaneously use the same three-dimensional model. The software equipment for the generation of forms allows prototypes, which can be either a final verification prior to the building of the architectural object, or a design stage in a serial process of modifications and optimisation. The digital design process presumes complex relational stages where the relation between parts and their interdependency is defining, the components of the building being connected to each other through the electronic model. The technologies for making digital projects are characterised by flexibility, speed, intelligence, interactivity and precision. 16

18 Optimising the design process through CAD design methods leads to user friendly applications that regard both, the accessibility in learning and efficiently capturing the mental creation process and the drawing gestures specific to the classic design procedures from before the emergence of computerized systems. The major research directions that have to be aimed at the construction field are: research on the structure-form relationship through structural design, research on the ways of communication specific to the design process and research on the ways of communication in professional education. The necessary objectives for the advancement of higher education in the connected fields of architecture and engineering are: integrating the problems regarding the structure-form relationship in professional education and creating innovative teaching methods adapted to the new concept of interdisciplinary design in the fields of architecture and civil constructions. In order to achieve these objectives the introduction in the curriculum of a specialised course for architects and engineers is needed, addressing The implication of structures in the conception of architectural space. The optimisation of the design process through interdisciplinary design requires the following conditions to be fulfilled: - the collaboration between architect and engineer even from the conceptual stage of the project, - learning and information regarding the adjacent field of each party, architecture and engineering, - formulating multiple variants for study and analysing the structure-form relationship by the architect-engineer team, - continuous, permanent network communication between all parts involved, during the entire design process. Considering the conclusions that converge with the idea of the importance of the structure-form relationship in the conception of built space, of efficient communication within the architect-engineer team during the project development and the building process, the thesis proposes an Optimizing programme for the design process of buildings by managing the structure-form relationship -OPTIBUILD that is an informative platform, systematization and guidance in choosing of the structural system by the specialist team made of the structural engineer and architect. The system can be adjusted to the spatial functional and volumetric principles of the proposed architecture, by fitting in the coordinates offered by the program, thus orienting the building design towards the optimum solution. 17

19 PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION The major personal contributions to the doctoral thesis are the following: The analysis of the structure-form relationship in the context of advanced architecture, of technology and technical evolution, underlining the growing importance of structural shapes and of the characteristics of the structural systems in the quality of the architectural space. Analysing and proving the influence that digital design has on structural forms and on the performances of structures in the conception of contemporary architectural space, as well as the way in which the structure plays the most important role in the new trends of the language of architectural forms. The analysis and classification of structural systems according to the role they play in generating architectural forms through their static and dynamic characteristics and their structural form. Ranging following established criteria of the stages in the design process of the architectural space, in plan typologies and spatial typologies. Formulation of selection criteria for the adequate structural system for each architectural spatial typology. Proposing an Optimizing programme for the design process of buildings by managing the structure-form relationship -OPTIBUILD, a computerised programme accessible to specialists of the design team, architect and engineer, offering an efficient informative platform of guidance and permanent communication. The explicit management of the structure-form relationship in the process of creating buildings, so that the objective principles that lay at the base of architectural thinking to be known by the structural engineer, having objective markers in choosing and indicating the optimum structural system for the project, that would generate a quality architecture of the building. The study of the structure-form relationship in the conception of built space has been developed along many years, through an experimental teaching programme in various disciplines at the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Cluj, together with a group of architects Assoc. Professor Cornelia Bărbulescu PhD, Lecturer Şerban Ţigănaş and engineers - Prof. Dr. Honoris Causa Mircea Mihailescu, Professor Mariana Brumaru PhD, Assoc. Professor Felicia Olariu PhD. The results obtained from these practical and theoretical experimental works have been published in the book Form and Structure, edited by UTPress in The research lead to three important ideas regarding the role of structure in the conception of architectural forms and also the need for close cooperation within the teaching programme of the architecture higher education with that of civil engineering, in order for the future specialists to be used to the architect-engineer teamwork and to achieve performances in building design. Also, the research was the staring point of the study on which the thesis relies, with the subject: The implication of structures in the conception of architectural space. 18

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