FIFTH BIENNIAL MEETING CONSTRUCTION HISTORY SOCIETY OF AMERICA AUSTIN, TEXAS | MAY, 2016 EDITED BY BENJAMIN IBARRA-SEVILLA
PROGRAM AND ABSTRACTS OF THE FIFTH BIENNIAL MEETING OF THE CONSTRUCTION HISTORY SOCIETY OF AMERICA MAY 2016, AUSTIN, TEXAS EDITED BY BENJAMIN IBARRA-SEVILLA
PROGRAM AND ABSTRACTS OF THE FIFTH BIENNIAL MEETING OF THE CONSTRUCTION HISTORY SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Copyright 2016 © by the Construction History Society of America All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form without written consent from the Construction History Society of America. Program and Abstracts of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of the Construction History Society of America Edited by Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla and compiled by Melanie Feerst Photography by Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla © El Chubasco Photography www.elchubasco.smugmug.com II
Table of contents
iv - v
Chairman Emeritus Brian Bowen
Thank You to our Sponsors
viii - ix
Buildings and Rooms
11 - 13
15 - 22
23 - 25
27 - 29
31 - 33
Abstracts - by Session
35 - 94
1. Prefabrication in North America
38 - 42
2. Shell and Spatial Structures I
43 - 46
3. Code. Theory and Management
47 - 50
4. The 19th Century
51 - 56
5. Spanish Colonial
57 - 62
6. Mid-Century Modern Architecture
63 - 66
7. Pre-Colonial Latin America
67 - 69
8. Community Based Projects
70 - 74
75 - 78
10. Shell and Spatial Structures II
79 - 84
11. Skin & Guts
85 - 90
12. Construction Units
91 - 95
Index by Author
97 - 99
Dear members of the Construction History Society of America As a representative of the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin, I welcome all of you, we are delighted to have you here in our beautiful campus. I’d like to thank each of your for attending our meeting and bringing your expertise to our 5th Biennial Meeting. Thank you for coming. That many of you travel long distances serves to remind us all just how important our work is. This year we have an outstanding variety of presentations, reflecting the strength and diversity of Construction History as a field of study. Our overarching theme is “building technology transfer.” In light of the current world synergies and social climate I believe that there is no better moment to remember how diversity and inclusion have had a strong impact in how our built environment has been shaped. The cross-pollination between cultures and the exchange of ideas between individuals have been and will be the instigator for moving forward and make a better world, cities, buildings, etc. For the biennial meeting we have lined up an excellent group of speakers and presentations. We are honored to have Dr. Tom Peters and Dr. Roberto Meli delivering the keynote lectures. We also have the privilege to have an introduction to the city of Austin by Dr. Richard Cleary who has lived and has seen this city struggle during the past years with its incommensurable growth. I would suggest to prepare yourself to be challenged, excited, and inspired in the next couple of days. The keynote lectures and all the presentations that form our program will be certainly “one of its class.” Finally, I would like to thank Jeff Beard, our current chairman; Brian Bowen, our emeritus chairman; and Melanie Feerst, our Executive Director. They have been instrumental in the organization of this meeting. Also thank the CHSA management committee members for all their help. And specially my gratitude to Dean Fritz Steiner and all the Faculty and Staff of the School of Architecture for all the support provided to make this meeting a reality. Thanks to all of you for being here. Welcome! Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla Chair of the Organizing Committee 5th Biennial Meeting of the Construction History Society of America Assistant Professor of Architecture The University of Texas at Austin
Dear CHSA Members and Friends, Welcome to the great city of Austin, TX for the 5th Biennial Meeting of our organization. We are delighted to be with you as we continue to explore the emerging field of Construction History. Our area of interest is of vital import, as we endeavor to understand the accomplishments of our forebears in conceiving, building and sustaining physical, social and economic underpinnings of societies and cultures in North America. As you attend sessions covering wideranging topics in our nascent discipline, you will be reminded of the promise of our branch of knowledge to help in bridging theoretical and practical gaps in understanding not otherwise of vital interest to older and more established academic and professional specialties. A special thank you is due to Professor Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla of the School of Architecture, University of Texas, for his dedication and herculean effort in organizing and hosting this event. We are indebted to Benjamin and colleagues for many months of hard work in appraising and scheduling papers and sessions, arranging tours and committing resources to allow our CHSA to continue its series of wonderful Biennial conferences in great cities across the continent. An equally heartfelt thank you goes out to each of you for attending our meeting and bringing your expertise to the gathering. I know that you have made some sacrifices to come to Austin, and we sincerely appreciate your efforts to further our consortium and its chosen field of specialty. You are the organizationâ€™s greatest assets, and your belongingness allows us to perpetuate our unique and inclusive view of the built environment. Please stay engaged, become proactive and help shape the future of Construction History. My personal respect and thanks to each of you, Jeff Jeffrey L. Beard, PhD CHSA Chairman Associate Professor Construction Management Program College of Engineering Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 19104
5th Biennial Meeting Planning Committee
Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla Jeffrey Beard Brian Bowen
Thomas Leslie (Iowa State) Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla (University of Texas at Austin) Jeffrey Beard (Drexel University) Tyler S. Sprague (University of Washington) Claudia Rodrigues (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolรกs de Hidalgo) Alfonso Ramirez (National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Kent Diebolt (Vertical Access) Stella E. Nair (University of California, Los Angeles) Angela Lombardi (University of Texas at San Antonio) Richard Cleary (University of Texas at Austin) Greg Donofrio (University of Minnesota) Anat Geva (Texas A&M University) Brian Bowen (Georgia Tech University)
Chair: Jeffrey Beard Vice Chair: Peter Hilger Treasurer: Brian Bowen Secretary: Melanie Feerst ex officio Executive Director: Melanie Feerst Chairman Emeritus: Brian Bowen Webmaster: Jenn Cappeto Newsletter Editor: Susan Schur Newsletter Production Manager: Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla Members: Susan Schur, Tyler Sprague, Rachel Will, Stephen Buonopane, Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla, Marci Uihlein, Jenn Cappeto, Ben Hays
Brian Bowen is a Professor of Practice in the School of Building Construction at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Prior to this appointment in 2005 he was president of Hanscomb Inc., international construction consultants. He teaches a course on the Construction Industry – Its Past, Present & Future which led to his interest in Construction History. Tech supported the creation of the Construction History Society of America which came to life in 2008, Brian guided its development and growth until 2015 when he stepped down as Chairman of the Management Committee.
Chairman Emeritus – Brian Bowen
Very few organizations can point to such a single action as their origin, but Brian's vision in tracking down every American who presented at the Second International Congress in Cambridge was an inspired act, one that led to years of conversations, shared research, and collaboration. CHSA simply would not exist, and would not have become the organization it is, without his tireless organization, leadership, and gentle nudges to those of us who have been involved. His steady hand during the long, complicated planning for our Fifth Congress in Chicago helped us bring researchers from all over the world to America, and his friendship has kept many of us close to the organization throughout the last eight years.
Please join us at the Members’ Meeting on Thursday, May 26th at 5:30pm in GOL 3.120 as we recognize Brian for his commitment and unending efforts on behalf of the Construction History Society of America.
Thanks to our sponsors!
The Construction History Society of America thanks our generous sponsors in their support of our 5th Biennial Meeting!
School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin. One of the design-leading schools in the country. The School of Architecture is highly regarded because it combines intellectual curiosity and ambition with professional prowess.Â To maintain and broaden its significance, the school continues to refine its approach to teaching and research, that is, the simultaneous advancement of both theory and practice.
Vertical Access LLC is a specialized consulting firm offering a suite of inspection and nondestructive testing services performed using industrial rope access techniques. Recognized leaders in the United States, Vertical Access is contracted by engineering and architecture firms nationwide for hands-on investigations, installation of monitoring instrumentation and existing conditions documentation where gaining access is a challenge on buildings, monuments, towers, bridges and dams.Â
ARCHITEXAS is a design-oriented architecture firm whose mission is to serve our clients and our community by creating and conserving environments that are meaningful, lasting and well crafted.
Thanks to our sponsors!
THE BECK GROUP Since our founding in 1912, The Beck Group has led the industry by example. With a unified model, we are a collaborative team of architects, builders, planners, interior designers, technology and sustainability experts working towards a common goal. Our 700+ employees work among seven offices throughout the US and Mexico. We pride ourselves on providing specialized local knowledge and customer service, with the resources and reach of a national practice.
PAGE At Page, our vision is to become influential champions for design that makes lives better. Like our brand promise, that’s pretty simple — pretty clear — as any good vision should be. We aspire to make an impact that extends beyond the work itself. To influence how design merit is perceived and defined. And, ultimately, to help shift the global focus of design toward making a difference for the better in the way people live.
Established in 2007, the Construction History Society of America is a nonprofit membership organization and the U.S. branch of the Construction History Society, an international organization based in the U.K. The Construction History Society of America focuses attention on all aspects of the history of the built environment, with a concentration on the construction history of the United States. CHSA is a forum for scholars and professionals to meet and exchange ideas and research. Membership is open to a wide range of construction-related disciplines involved in the planning, development, design, construction, operation and preservation of buildings and engineering infrastructure. Members share an interest in examining, researching, and documenting how existing structures were planned, designed and built, with the purpose of using this knowledge to better understand and preserve what we have and to guide us in determining future directions.â€¨ Learn more at www.constructionhistorysociety.org If you have any questions or would like more information about joining as a member, please contact Melanie Feerst, Executive Director. firstname.lastname@example.org 847.894.3589 â€¨
BUILDINGS & ROOMS All presentations and activities will take place within the buildings of the School of Architecture at UT Austin. Enjoy the Spanish Renaissance style of the buildings and two of the oldest buildings in the entire campus.
Plans Goldsmith Hall
Plan Sutton Hall
SCHEDULE A number of excellent lectures, presentations and other activities will take place during these days. Please check the schedule for more details.
SCHEDULE AT GLANCE Thursday May 26: 5:30 - 6:45
CHSA MEMBERS MEETING (ALL ATTENDEES WELCOME)
6:45 - 8:00
Friday May 27: 9:00 - 9:15
OPENING REMARKS BY DEAN FREDERICK STEINER
9:15 - 10:00
OPENING KEYNOTE LECTURE BY PROF. RICHARD CLEARY: “AUSTIN, GROWING CITY LIMITS”
10:00 - 10:15
PRESENTATION SESSIONS (3 PARALLEL)
12:30 - 1:15
LUNCH (on your own)
1:15 - 3:30
PRESENTATION SESSIONS (3 PARALLEL)
3:30 - 4:00
4:00 - 5:00
PRESENTATION SESSIONS (3 PARALLEL)
5:00 - 6:00
KEYNOTE LECTURE BY TOM PETERS: "EIFFEL OF PARIS; JENNEY OF CHICAGO; AND THEIR FRENCH ENGINEERING EDUCATION"
6:15 - 7:30
CHSA MEMBERS HAPPY HOUR (ALL ATTENDEES AND VISITORS WELCOME) FREEDSMEN'S Lounge (2402 San Gabriel ST, Austin, TX)
Saturday May 28: 9:00 - 10:00
KEYNOTE LECTURE BY ROBERTO MELI: "KNOWLEDGE TRANSFERENCE IN THE BIRTH OF COLONIAL MEXICAN ARCHITECTURE IN THE 16TH CENTURY: THE MONASTIC TEMPLES AND THE AQUEDUCT OF PADRE TEMBELEQUE."
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 12:15
PRESENTATION SESSIONS (3 PARALLEL)
12:15 - 12:45
CLOSING REMARKS AND CONCLUSIONS
12:45 - 1:30
1:30 - 7:00
TOURS (check registration desk for meet up location)
DETAILED SCHEDULE Thursday, May 26: 5:30-6:45PM
ROOM GOL 3.120 CHSA MEMBERS MEETING (ALL ARE WELCOME!)
GOLDSMITH HALL COURTYARD RECEPTION AT COURTYARD SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Friday, May 27: 9:00-9:15AM
ROOM GOL 3.120 OPENING REMARKS BY DEAN FRITZ STEINER
9:15-10:00AM ROOM GOL 3.120 OPENING KEYNOTE LECTURE "AUSTIN: GROWING CITY LIMITS" BY DR. RICHARD CLEARY
10:00-10:15AM GOLDMSITH LOBBY COFFEE BREAK
10:15-12:30PM PAPER SESSIONS: 1 – Prefabrication in North America I ROOM SUT 2.112 1.
CHAIR: Steve Buonopane
“Federalized Prefabrication” Southeast Missouri Farms brings panelization to the public. By Michael O’Brien
Knowledge Transfer: Single Wall Construction and Modern Quest for a one-Component Structure and Enclosure. By Michael O'Brien and Ahmed K. Ali
Prefab Pipedreams? Selling the Factory-Made House in Postwar America. By Marisa Gomez
San Francisco’s Sunset District: A pre-WWII example of mass-produced light wood framed housing. By Corey Griffin
From Airplanes to Homes: Origin of Plywood Panel Construction in the U.S. By Michele Chiuini
2 – Shells & Spatial Structures I ROOM GOL 3.120 1.
CHAIR: Tyler Sprague
“The Key to the Problem is the Section:” Nervi’s Architectura Navale. By Thomas Leslie, Kyle Vansice, Benjamin Kruse
Reinforced concrete shells: maximum constructive expression of the process of technological consolidation of 1900 to 1970 in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. By Manuel Roman
Building Technology from Europe to America in Mid-20th. Century: Straight Edge Shells by Félix Candela in Mexico. By Juan Ignacio Del Cueto
3 – Code Theory & Management ROOM GOL 2.110 1.
CHAIR: Brian Bowen
A Post-Modern Tectonic: Charles Moore's Early Designs with Post and Beam Construction. By Richard Hayes
Arbitrating the Arbitrary: Architects, Contractors, and Their Contractual Relations in the Early 20th Century. By George Johnston
From Architecture came Structural Engineers: Structural Engineering Licensure in Illinois. By Marci Uihlein
12:30-1:15PM LUNCH BREAK
1:15-3:30PM PAPER SESSIONS: 4 – The 19th Century ROOM GOL 2.110 1.
CHAIR: Marci Uihlein
Detailing the System: Cross-Disciplinary Knowledge Transfer in Constructing the Crystal Palace. By Eric Bellin
Old Cocoa Plantation Houses built in the lower Guayas river basin during the second cocoa boom. (1880 - 1920). By Claudia Peralta González
A riveting story: development of the hot-riveting technique in iron and steel construction (1840-1940). By Quentin Collete, Ine Wouters
Technology Transfer from Railway Engineering to Skyscrapers of the Chicago School. By Michele Chiuini
Constructing the New York Tribune Building 1873-1875. By Lee Gray 18
5 – Spanish Colonial (16th – 18th Centuries) ROOM GOL 3.120 1.
CHAIR: Angela Lombardi
The Franciscan Colegio de San Andrés in Quito and the Inter-American Transference of Architectural Forms in the Early Colonial Period. By Susan Webster
The Eighteenth-Century San Antonio Missions: Metrology and Proportions in Spanish Colonial Land Survey and Building Construction. By Shelley Roff
Of Reeds and Clays: Transforming the Walls of Santa Cruz de Lancha, an Eighteenth-Century Jesuit Farm. By Lisa DeLeonardis
Spanish Moorish Ceilings in the New World. By E. Logan Wagner
Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry, 16th Century Ribbed Vaults in Mexico. By Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla
6 – Mid-Century Modern Architecture ROOM SUT 2.112
CHAIR: Juan I. del Cueto
Saarinen's War Memorial in Milwaukee: A Case Study. By Royce Earnest
Judith Chafee: Building Culture. By Christopher Domin
Shipshapes: Structural Plastics and the 1964 New York World’s Fair. By Andrew Cruse
3:30-4:00PM COFFEE BREAK
4:00-5:00PM PAPER SESSIONS: 7 – Pre-Colonial Latin America ROOM GOL 3.120
CHAIR: Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla
Engineering the Inka Road in the High Andean Mountains. By Cliff Schexnayder
Monolithic construction in Mesoamerica. By María Fernanda López
8 – Community Based Projects ROOM GOL 2.110
CHAIR: Kent Diebolt
Do-It-Ourselves: Ikea Hackers and Participatory Building Communities. By Samuel Dodd
sukkah:shalom Building culture through architectural artifice. By Peter Raab
9 – Bridges ROOM SUT 2.112 1.
CHAIR: Richard Cleary
Links to a Legacy: Rediscovering Lewis Wernwag’s 1823 Nashville Toll Bridge. By Christopher Marston
Wilhelm Hildenbrand’s Innovative Engineering Works at La Ojuela, Mexico. By William D. Panczner and Stephen G. Buonopane
5:00-6:00PM ROOM GOL 3.120 KEYNOTE LECTURE "EIFFEL OF PARIS; JENNEY OF CHICAGO; AND THEIR FRENCH ENGINEERING EDUCATION" BY DR. TOM F. PETERS
6:00-7:30PM FREEDSMEN'S LOUNGE (2402 SAN GABRIEL ST, AUSTIN, TX) CHSA MEMBERS HAPPY HOUR (ALL ARE WELCOME!) 7:30PM DINNER (SMALL GROUPS)
Saturday, May 28: 9:00-10:00AM ROOM GOL 3.120 KEYNOTE LECTURE "KNOWLEDGE TRANSFERENCE IN THE BIRTH OF COLONIAL MEXICAN ARCHITECTURE IN THE 16TH CENTURY: THE MONASTIC TEMPLES AND THE AQUEDUCT OF PADRE TEMBELEQUE." BY PROF. ROBERTO MELI
10:00AM-10:15AM COFFEE BREAK
10:15AM-12:15PM PAPER SESSIONS: 10 – Shells & Spatial Structures II ROOM GOL 3.120 1.
CHAIR: Tom Leslie
Saarinen’s Seating and Sculptural Shells: The Enduring Influences of Early Furniture Designs. By Rob Whitehead
Typology and construction of lamella systems 1925-1935: an international cross-fertilization. By Michele Chiuini
Restricted Creativity: Jack Christiansen’s Cylindrical Shells (1953-1958). By Tyler Sprague
The Industrial Revolution & Masorny Vaulting: the Decline of the Guastavino Company & the Rise of Eladio Dieste. By Jessica Garcia Fritz and Federico Garcia Lammers
11 – Skin and Guts: Envelope and Mechanical Systems ROOM GOL 2.110
CHAIR: Peter Hilger
Air Conditioning the United Nations Secretariat, New York City, 1947–1950. By Joseph Siry
Collaboration and Competition: Postwar Aluminum Producers and the Spread of Aluminum Cladding Technology. By Tait Johnson
Air Conditioning in Place. By Betsy Frederick-Rothwell
Double Window || Double Wall: Trajectories of Double Skin Construction in North America. By Mary Ben Bonham
12 – Construction Units: Terracotta; Glass & Earth ROOM SUT 2.112 1.
CHAIR: Jeff Beard
The Development of the Architectural Terra Cotta Industry in Chicago: The Letters of William H. Junge, 1876-1920. By Elyse McBride
The Decline of Terra Cotta Building Cladding in the United States during the Early Twentieth Century. By Clifton Fordham
Glass Block as a “Sustainable” Building Material for Building Retail Stores: “Benson & Rixon” Store in Chicago, 1937. By Mehdi Ashayeri Jahan Khanemloo
Culture and Tradition; Transfer of Knowledge in Earthen Architecture in New Mexico. By Francisco Uvina
12:15PM-12:45PM CLOSING REMARKS AND CONCLUSIONS ROOM GOL 3.120
12:45PM-1:30PM LUNCH BREAK
1:30PM-7:00PM TOURS: - WALKING TOUR OF AUSTIN - BRIDGES: TRANSPORTATION; AUSTIN AND IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS - SAN ANTONIO FRANCISCAN MISSIONS - PAINTED CHURCHES OF TEXAS - 7:30PM DINNER (SMALL GROUPS)
EXHIBITIONS Two exhibitions are programed for the attendees of our meeting. Please make yourself at home an visit the Alexander Archives where you will find valuable material in the collection. In addition, you can learn about the unique late-gothic buildings of Mexico in the lobbies of Goldsmith Hall. We hope you take advantage of the exhibitions and enjoy your visit to the School of Architecture at UT Austin.
Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry South and North Lobbies of Goldsmith Hall Open access during the meeting
Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry is an innovative exhibition that allows us to understand, from a unique perspective, a bright moment in Mexican architecture history. The work presented in this exhibition identifies and analyzes three sixteenth-century buildings constructed in the Oaxacan Mixteca which exhibit complex ribbed vaults. The exhibition shows that the vaults built in Mexico were built with the same rigor and precision of their European counterparts in the great Gothic cathedrals. Using digital technologies, Prof. Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla addresses the challenge of representing and explaining the details and intricacies applied in the design, development, and construction of the lush vaults and the stone pieces that shape them. The exhibition responds to a rising global interest emerging from the need to understand these buildings through the eyes of construction history, focusing on information relevant to the architects and engineers interested in technical aspects. The study of these buildings is situated in the context of technology knowledge transfer and it is the first of its kind that systematically addresses the relationship between geometry, stone stereotomy, and twentyfirst century forms of architectural visualization for sixteenth-century buildings in Mexico.This exhibition and body of research have been awarded The University of Texas / Coop. Excellence Creative Research Award 2014 and the medal for best publication in Mexico Cityâ€™s Architecture Biennale in 2015.
The Alexander Architectural Archives at the University of Texas at Austin is an architectural research center of national importance. As a unit of the University of Texas Libraries within the Architecture and Planning Library, the Archives support research and education about the history of the built environment by acquiring and preserving research collections and by making them accessible. The Archives also support learning opportunities and scholarly activities for students studying preservation of the cultural record and archival enterprise.
Alexander Architectural Archives 1st Floor of Battle Hall Friday May 27 from 9:00 to 4:00pm
The Alexander Architectural Archives constitute a repository of overÂ 139 collections of material preserved to enrich and serve our architectural heritage. Holdings include any type of document involved in the management of a firm, the development of a design through the finished product, and the reflection of lives of architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, preservationists, historians, professors, and businesses in the industry. Emphasis is on the southwest region of the United States, however, we do have material from England, California, Chicago, and some Latin American countries. The Alexander Architectural Archives support instruction in the School of Architecture through the doctoral level in architectural design, history, preservation and community and regional planning.
KEYNOTE LECTURES The meeting is honored with the presence of scholars of international reputation who will deliver the keynote lectures.
Welcome to the School of Architecture
Dean Frederick Steiner Dean Steiner will welcome all attendees to the meeting
Richard Cleary: Austin’s Growing City Limits
Founded in 1839 on the banks of the Colorado River as the capital of the Republic of Texas, Austin has spread broadly but unevenly beyond the limits of its original grid across grasslands and against the uplift of the Edwards Plateau. It is now the hub of a metropolitan area with over two million residents. Loblolly pine from nearby Bastrop, river clays suitable for brickmaking, and easily accessible limestone sustained the city’s early building industry. The arrival of railroad service in 1871 integrated Austin within broader regional and national networks of building materials and products. This presentation will examine episodes of Austin’s growth with particular attention to examples of building practices including brick producers, lumber suppliers, the system of Moonlight Towers illuminating the city’s streets, and the embrace of air conditioning. Dr. Richard Cleary, Professor and Page Southerland Page Fellow in Architecture, joined the UT School of Architecture faculty in 1995 and is the author of Bridges (2007), a volume in the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture, Design & Engineering. Other books examine public squares in France designed to honor Kings Louis XIV and Louis XV; the relationship of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Kaufmanns of Pittsburgh designing projects for that city and the family’s country house, Fallingwater; and, with co-author Lawrence Speck, the architectural history of the UT campus.
Tom F. Peters: Eiffel of Paris, Jenney of Chicago, and their French Engineering Education
Keynote speaker Tom F. Peters will discuss the influence of construction culture and personal development on Gustave Eiffel and William Jenney, and how engineering education in mid-19th century France at the Ecole Centrale in Paris led to very different careers in iron construction in Europe and the United States. Dr. Tom F. Peters is Lehigh University Emeritus Professor of Architecture and History. His writing ranges from the theory of technological thinking in civil engineering and architectural design, cultural theory in structural engineering, and pedagogical studies on teaching construction and materials, to treatises on construction history, a field he helped develop from the mid 1970s. He is the author of many influential books, reports and articles and is known for his expertise in antiquarian books that deal with civil engineering and construction.
Roberto Meli: Knowledge transference in the birth of a Colonial Mexican architecture in the 16th century: The monastic temples and the aqueduct of Padre Tembleque. The transfer and adaptation of architectural patterns and building techniques brought from Spain to colonial Mexico will be illustrated, using the monastic temples and the Tembleque aqueduct as case studies. Professor Roberto Meli is an Emeritus professor at the National University of Mexico where he has taught since 1967. He was visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. His research activity has dealt with different topics of the structural behavior of buildings, mainly regarding the effects of earthquakes on concrete and masonry structures. He has kept a continuous and intense activity on research and consulting on structural safety and rehabilitation of historic buildings, being member of the National Council on Monuments in Mexico and of the International Scientific Council on Analysis and Rehabilitation of Architectural Heritage (ISCARSAHICOMOS).
TOURS Join us for a learning journey through historic places of Austin and its immediacies. Visit outstanding places with the character that only years can give.
Walking tour of Austin
Join Dr. Richard Cleary on a walking tour exploring Austin’s history through the architecture of The University of Texas at Austin, the Texas State Capitol, and an introduction to the city’s main street, Congress Avenue. This tour will visit the Capitol’s areas closed to regular tours, and we’ll be able to have an inside-out tour of the building from the foundations up to areas of the dome. Tour members will have to be able to handle some fairly tight stairs and catwalks and be able to duck around some low structural features. Almost all of the visit will be in conditioned space. The group will find the building of great interest. It is a transitional structure in many ways: a combination of load-bearing masonry construction (limestone, granite, brick) and iron (cast and wrought), thoughtful strategies for ventilation, a lighting scheme that hedged the bet on gas vs electricity.
Bridges: Transportation, Austin and Immediate Surroundings
Visit three innovative wire-supported bridges which are Central Texas transportation landmarks: a multilevel Post-Modernist interchange, a suspended-deck arch bridge, and a fin-back bridge. Co-lead by a retired TxDOT senior bridge engineer and TxDOT bridge historians Mark Brown & Dean Van Landuyt (designer of US 183 /I35 interchange).
This afternoon tour will offer a visit to the National Park of the Franciscan Missions at San Antonio Texas. These historic landmarks built during the 18th Century have been designated as World Heritage Site within UNESCOâ€™s list. The outstanding craft and elaborate stone carving makes these historic buildings unique in North America. The tour will be guided by specialists involved in the restoration and preparation of the nomination dossier submitted to UNESCO. This afternoon tour, guided by local historians, will offer a visit to Central Texas countryside visiting the historic churches also known as The Painted Churches. These buildings near Schulenburg TX reveal the delicate artistry of Czech and German immigrants to this Texan region. Exuberant decorations characterize these historic structures as an example of the cultural transference that took place during the 19th-century.
San Antonio Franciscan Missions
Painted Churches of Texas
ABSTRACTS The meeting includes a number of exciting presentations on different Construction History topics. We hope you enjoy and be prepared to learn more about Construction History by our excellent lineup of authors.
PREFABRICATION IN NORTH AMERICA
“FEDERALIZED PREFABRICATION” SOUTHEAST MISSOURI FARMS BRINGS PANELIZATION TO THE PUBLIC MICHAEL O’BRIEN TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
The “Bootheel” section of Missouri had been ravaged by earthquakes and floods, cleared of its timber, and promoted to sharecropper farmers as the next weevil-free nirvana between 1870 and 1920. As the textile industry collapsed in the early years of the great depression, sharecroppers sunk into more and more primitive living conditions as the land yielded less, the crops sold for less, and their landowners demanded more of their crop as rent. (Stepenoff 2003, Cantor 1969) As part of the second New Deal, The Farm Security Agency (FSA) undertook a program in 1937 called “The Southeast Missouri Farms Project” to build sanitary housing for sharecroppers evicted from the land in the bootheel counties, ultimately building some 900 barns, houses, privies, and even small community centers and stores. Faced with the need to quickly address housing concerns the FSA turned to “sectionalized” strategies for prefabricating buildings. Through “continuous efforts” of the FSA design staff, the cost for a farm family house, after building some 12,000 plus units, was ultimately reduced to $1,313.00. (Resettlement Administration, 1937) The implementation of prefabrication techniques allowed for the construction of 100 homes in Southeast Missouri in 100 days using local skilled and unskilled labor. (Resettlement Administration 1940) Compare that production time to our modern house construction where 90 days is the standard goal for a home built by a large production builder, and a custom home can take up to 6 months or longer. (Bonislawski, 2015). The typical FSA prefab included three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and dining space, front porch, screened work porch, even a prefab privy. Including porches the houses cost averaged approximately $1,250 for 1,000 square feet of floor area. This paper will present a comparative analysis of the prefabricated farmhouses produced by the FSA with traditional home building methods and consider the Southeast Missouri Farms Project as a possible direction for low/no income families such as the 400,000 living in areas such as the Colonias along the border.
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER: SINGLE WALL CONSTRUCTION AND MODERN QUEST FOR A ONECOMPONENT STRUCTURE AND ENCLOSURE AHMED K. ALI & MICHAEL O’BRIEN TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
In this paper we present the single-wall construction method used in the Joseph V. Frnka House in Columbus, Texas as a case study and we develop a comparative analysis with both the Structural Insulated Panels and Cross-Laminated-Timber panels approach to contemporary single wall constructions. If the idea of one piece replacing numerous framing, enclosing, insulating, and finishing components is a persistently modern idea, how can it be informed by the historical single-wall method? Single-Wall or “Box-Type” construction methods were a dominant approach to economical, often owner-built housing in America during the early and middle nineteenth century. Hundreds of examples of what is essentially a load-bearing-skin approach to structure for houses, sheds, churches, and stores wherever speedy construction was demanded. The single-wall house persists across the south, even though it inherently challenges the need for insulation, cavities for electrical and plumbing systems, houses built this way are still occupied, and are still being resold. Looking at the system where ¾” thick sawn boards, stitch-nailed and battened together, one might think of the fragility of a house made of ordinary playing cards, ready to fall at a moments notice and indeed, the primary mode of failure for these structures is laterally. Yet as a building culture, we continue to innovate and construct small buildings out of a single panel wall element that is simultaneously structure and enclosure. Structural Insulated Panels and more recently Cross-Laminated-Timber panels (CLT) are notable examples of such efforts. While this product is well established in Europe, work on the implementation of CLT products and systems has just begun in the United States and Canada. Interest in the use of CLT in North America and other industrialized countries outside of Europe is increasing. The idea of building with a massive single wall timber is not new, and historical precedents of the typical country house addition in the Black Sea region and Scandinavia still stands today. The authors have been involved in a comparative study and fieldwork for both regions, which through similar climate and socio-economic conditions shared similar construction techniques of their indigenous architecture. Although elevated from the ground on posts, these simple Box-Type timber board-constructions developed a profound response to the lateral problem by emphasizing its corner detail and bracing system. The tectonic expression of the corner expressed the influences from both structural needs and construction technology of each region. A lot can be learned from these expressive details and joineries in todays’ massive engineered CLT products, which primarily depends on simple brackets (galvanized steel angels and plates) as connections screwed into the panels. We argue that current construction techniques of joining CLT panels have missed a great opportunity of tectonic expressions when dealing with solid panels in similar fashion as lightwood framing walls. The manufacturing process of CLT panels could greatly benefit from historical traditions of joinery that we discuss here by paying careful attention to details. The CLT fabrication process compose several layers of lumber boards stacked crosswise (typically at 90 degrees) and glued together on their wide faces and, sometimes, on the narrow faces as well. This layering process could suggest for example a “finger joint” type to the end of the panels instead of a “butt joint”. Historical precedents of the single timber wall construction provide a wealth of information and knowledge that need to be transferred into contemporary engineered massive wood products especially CLT. If wood is on the premise of becoming the sustainable building material of the 21-century, replacing steel and concrete, we must rethink beyond mass production and honor its historical traditions, craftsmanship, and our technological advancement in fabrication.
PREFAB PIPEDREAMS? SELLING THE FACTORY-MADE HOUSE IN POSTWAR AMERICA MARISA GOMEZ UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
During the housing crisis of the 1930s, and again during the building-boom of the postwar years, designs for a prefabricated house offering “better living” for American families that could be built cheaper and faster than traditional construction occupied the center of discourse in architecture and building trade journals. Throughout the 1930s, prefabricated homes were showcased at department stores, spread across the pages of shelter magazines, and praised in nationally syndicated ladies advice columns. Both public institutions and private corporations—such as the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, Purdue University, and General Electric—became increasing invested in research on prefabricated housing. With the outbreak of World War II, the realization of the promise of prefabrication—low-cost, quality homes for every American family—was stalled as industrialists turned to the production of wartime necessities. Yet as early as 1942, prefabrication again began to occupy the forefront of discussion in professional circles. Several prefab systems had been enlisted for wartime housing, and as architects and builders looked forward to victory and prosperity in 194X, the prefab home promised to transform the postwar landscape and, in so doing, raise the standard of living in America. By the 1950s, as builders struggled to keep pace with consumer demand for detached, single-family homes, the number of prefabricators—working in steel, plywood, and even concrete—skyrocketed. My research considers what the promise of prefabrication held for both builders and consumers, turning a critical eye to why the prefab industry ultimately failed to meet the utopian expectations of either group. This paper represents a portion of my dissertation research on the prefab home in America from 1930-1965, with a particular emphasis on the tactics prefabricators employed to win over builders in the immediate postwar years. The investigation is structured around two central questions: what did the promise of prefabrication hold, for builders and homeowners? and, how did prefabbers market their homes to postwar builders? To answer these basic questions, I focus on one prefabricated scheme in particular—a system of stressed-skin (load-bearing) plywood panels developed in 1935 by the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin. An exemplar of leading-edge thinking in domestic design in the 1930s, the stressed-skin system would be taken up by several of the country’s most successful prefabricators after World War II. By tracing the trajectory of the panelized, plywood house, from its development in the 1930s to its application in postwar suburban tract housing, I construct a broader history of prefabricated housing in America. More specifically, I engage the major hurtles to prefabrication’s success in American housing: on the one hand, consumer resistance to the monotony of modular, modernist house designs, and on the other hand, the logistical and financial challenges that faced the prefabricators themselves. Rather than crafting a merely technical account, however, I view the house as a cultural object. Applying a critical lens to the rhetoric surrounding the prefabrication industry reveals the cultural barriers in American society that ultimately prevented mass, prefab housing from succeeding—at least in the way architects and entrepreneurs had envisioned during the interwar years. This approach yields a material history that moves from a micro- to a macro-scale to understand the dramatic transformation of American cityscapes during this period in a new way.
SAN FRANCISCO’S SUNSET DISTRICT: A PRE-WWII EXAMPLE OF MASS-PRODUCED LIGHT WOOD FRAMED HOUSING COREY GRIFFIN PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
As the last neighborhood developed in San Francisco, the center of the Sunset District stands today as one of the least altered built environments in that city. Produced in the late 1930s and early 1940s by a limited number of developers using similar Federal Housing Authority approved plans across hundreds of blocks, the single-family “tunnel houses” – so named for the ground floor tunnel and exterior stair used to reach the second floor living space – served as starter homes offering suburban amenities, such as attached garages and back yards, with easy access to downtown. Using field research, historic advertising and photographs, aerial photographs, fire insurance maps, planning documents as well as original and updated floor plans, this paper documents the development, construction and transformations of the Sunset tunnel houses up until the present. The tunnel houses serve as a stepping stone from the balloon framed zero-lot line Victorian Houses more commonly associated with San Francisco to the single-family detached platform framed housing that dominates the Bay Area to this day. The construction of a tunnel house is unique in that it combines aspects of both balloon framing and platform framing. This paper argues the specific details of their light wood construction system along with the design of the houses at multiple scales impacts the longevity of this housing stock. Despite the advances the Sunset District’s developers made in applying Henry Ford’s concepts of the assembly line, repeating the construction of a single design, and bulk ordering supplies to the assembly of single-family houses, the tunnel houses provide an example of a construction system that cannot accommodate change over time. Consequently, despite 75 years of use and shifting demographics over that time period as well as significant transformations in San Francisco’s housing stock in general, relatively few of the Sunset tunnel houses show any sign of alteration or change in use. As a result of real estate pressures and zoning that allows for taller building, the tunnel houses being torn down rather than adapted for multi-family use as seen in rest of San Francisco’s housing stock. As of 2013, Sections of the Sunset District are now a part of a Historic Resource Survey adopted by San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission. This designation was largely given for the exterior styles of the houses – which differ greatly from block to block and even house to house – but only mask that the tunnel houses all shared the same floor plan and use the same construction techniques. The tunnel houses should be recognized as an important precedent in the development of suburban, mass-produced, light wood platform framed construction that would be followed by the well-documented suburbs of Levittown and others.
FROM AIRPLANES TO HOMES: ORIGIN OF PLYWOOD PANEL CONSTRUCTION IN THE U.S. MICHELE CHIUINI BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
The development of plywood as a structural material is a story of technological transfer between different types of industries and across the Atlantic. While plywood found extensive use in aircraft and automotive construction first, this paper focuses on its experimental use in housing construction in the1930s, which influenced the American construction practice of light framing. Small-scale industrial production of plywood started in the Pacific Northwest at the beginning of the 20th century, primarily for the automobile industry. Production boomed in the 1920s with the growth of aviation and the car. Plywood started replacing canvas in European airplanes during WWI, while in the US the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) carried out a research program on wood airplanes using plywood skins. Thus the plywood "stressed-skin" structure was born. In an attempt to improve housing construction in the 1930s, several new types of light-weight framing were promoted by the FPL and the Douglas Fir Products Association (DFPA); these were supported by a number of federal agencies. Many of these new systems involved the extensive use of plywood using the stressed-skin principle that had proved successful in airplane construction. It was hoped that plywood would contribute to a housing that was innovative in design as well as economical in construction. The FPL completed a first demonstration house in 1935; two additional houses with plywood stressed-skin panels were built in the following three years. In 1938 plywood standards were issued by the DFPA, and exterior plywood was accepted by the Federal Housing Authority. These developments helped clear the way for the promotion of plywood in the construction industry with the Dri-Bilt homes and a number of trademarked products. The first tests by the FPL in 1935 were on floor panels with a structural thickness just over 6 in. and very slim wall panels. Several other experimental houses were designed by architects, sometimes prominent ones, such as Neutra and Schindler, competing with concrete and steel systems. A variety of sizes and jointing systems were tested for shop-built stressed-skin panels. The light-weight and ease of panel joint connections using wood splines were a great advantage compared to concrete. However the glueing of plywood on the frame and sealants used in the splines resulted a totally air-tight envelope, prone to condensation on the interior of the panel. This led, around 1938, to the introduction of vapor barriers. The experimentation with plywood peaked in 1938-39 in preparation for the New York World's Fair, where the Douglas Fir Plywood was featured as the "House in the Town of Tomorrow." In 1940, the DFPA sponsored â€œThe House in the Sun,â€? the first of several plywood demonstration houses. However in the early1940s the national industrial efforts shifted to the war, and research on plywood technology was again applied to the construction of airplanes, replacing hard to find metals. The technological transfer of plywood between industries had by then gone full circle. Two lasting achievements resulted from this intense period of experimentation. The first was the diffusion of standardized construction methods with structural boards. The SIP system that we have today is a direct descendant of those experiments. Second, panelized construction contributed to an emerging architectural vocabulary based on new building systems and materials, which in the 1930s gradually replaced the traditional historicist design approach. These new construction systems and design principles found application in low-cost housing, a new area of engagement for the American profession.
SHELLS & SPATIAL STRUCTURES I
FROM AIRPLANES TO HOMES: ORIGIN OF PLYWOOD PANEL CONSTRUCTION IN THE U.S. THOMAS LESLIE, KYLE VANSICE & BENJAMIN KRUSE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
In early 1961, Italian engineer Pier Luigi Nervi—busy in the wake of his successful arenas for the Rome Olympics, scrawled a brief note on a page of sketches for a speculative projects commissioned by the Reynolds Aluminum Company. Perhaps as a way of explanation, the note—“The key to the problem is in the section”—encapsulated the simple structural theory behind some of Nervi’s greatest long span copertura. By shaping thin sheets of wire mesh, impregnated with light, aggregate-free cement, into hull-shaped “waves,” Nervi had been able to design and construct roofs of unprecedented span, lightness, and rapidity for an exposition hall in Turin, for a natatorium in Legorno, and for the Palazzo dello Sport in Rome, the 1960 Olympics’ largest arena and site of boxer Cassius Clay’s internationally televised gold medal victory. Nervi’s system had been honed through an abortive project to produce concrete hulls for the Italian Navy in the midst of World War II. Embargoed by most of the world and facing critical shortages of steel, timber, and power, Italy had already sought ways to construct using minimally-reinforced concrete and brick; facing grave maritime losses, the effort to build ships out of only locally-available materials led to the desperate but fruitful quest for naval concrete. Nervi ultimately built just three hulls, but the experience of building with a skeletal labor force, with no power or machinery, and to impossible budgets and schedules forged a technique that translated perfectly into the postwar labor climate in Italy. Nervi’s greatest triumph in the wake of the war, the long-spanning Salone B for the Turin International Automotive Fair in 1947-48, won him global acclaim for finelygrained, balletic space; but its clever mechanics and fabrication process, both borrowed from naval architecture, were equally impressive. The ultimate example of Nervi’s prefabricated “wave” roofs would have been the 1200-meter span aluminum “copertura” commissioned as a demonstration project by Reynolds Aluminum in 1961. This proposal forced Nervi to consider how his system could be translated into a newly affordable material with stunning structural and fabrication possibilities. Through sketches, notes, and written explanations, Nervi explored aluminum’s potential to transform his proprietary concrete techniques—an exchange of form, testing, and principle that would find echoes in other speculative work by Nervi over the coming years. This paper examines the history of the Reynolds project by tracing its precedents in Nervi’s shipyard experience and through previously unpublished documents and illustrations in the Pier Luigi Nervi archives in MAXXI, Rome. The project demonstrates Nervi’s philosophy of dividing structural problems into two phases of solution: a formal one in which the statics of the largescale problem suggest ideally efficient shapes, and a constructive one in which the materials available to hand suggest component forms, sizes, and connections that are capable of realizing those shapes. The dialogue between performance and assembly often played out in dramatic spaces that gave Nervi opportunities to visually express one realm or the other, elevating the disciplines of structural and construction engineering to a spatial and visual art.
REINFORCED CONCRETE SHELLS: MAXIMUM CONSTRUCTIVE EXPRESSION OF THE PROCESS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CONSOLIDATION OF 1900 TO 1970 IN MERIDA, YUCATAN, MEXICO MANUEL ROMAN UNIVERSIDAD AUTĂ“NOMA DE YUCATĂ N
The emergence of the reinforced concrete in late 19th century and early 20th involved a technological change in Yucatan. The use of regional materials such as stone, sahkab, wood and lime in Yucatecan buildings took the step towards the employment of innovative industrialized materials as cement, iron and steel, which were gradually replacing the regional materials in construction of supports and materials covered. This was an initial process of substitution of materials to then incorporate elements of reinforced concrete in building load-bearing walls systems producing a mixed technology with which were built several architectural genres in the city of Merida in the first decades of the 20th century. In the middle of that century, in full architectural modernity reinforced concrete system already was used in buildings of various levels as support in foundations, supports and roof structure. This process of consolidation of the system of reinforced concrete reached its maximum technical and formal expression with the construction of roofs with shells in buildings of different architectural genres. Knowledge of structural, technical and construction procedures with high degree of difficulty and the conceptualization of architectural modernity came here together.
The objective of this paper is to present the process of development of the system of reinforced concrete used in different buildings covering the first seven decades of the 20th century in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Analyzes tipologic and constructive buildings with mixed building systems that are the background of the built subsequently with reinforced concrete structures, to finally scan systems folding covers and double curvature that characterize this process.
BUILDING TECHNOLOGY FROM EUROPE TO AMERICA IN MID-20TH. CENTURY: STRAIGHT EDGE SHELLS BY FÉLIX CANDELA IN MEXICO. JUAN IGNACIO DEL CUETO UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL AUTÓNOMA DE MÉXICO (UNAM)
Felix Candela (Madrid, 1910 – Raleigh, North Carolina, 1997) was one of the leading builders in the field of the design and construction of light-roofing systems worldwide. In Mexico, he developed hundreds of works during the decades of the fifties and the sixties. “Cubiertas Ala”, Candela's construction company, was his vehicle to materialize his innovative solutions. Candela used the hypar profusely and with exceptional skill in the design and construction of thin reinforced concrete shells that now cover different types of buildings throughout the Mexican territory.
The purpose of this paper is to present the way in which Felix Candela brought to the Americas an European technology on concrete shell construction and mastered the geometry of the hyperbolic paraboloid (hypar). The investigation focuses on how Candela was able to make the most out of this system taking advantage of its structural and architectural-expressive characteristics while studying theconstruction processes and challenges faced by Cubiertas Ala.
The proposed presentation will focus on three Candela's masterpieces: El Altillo chapel (Mexico City, 1955-57), the church of San José Obrero (Monterrey, N.L., 1958-59) and San Vicente de Paul chapel (Mexico City, 1959-60). These churches crafted by this structural design genius in collaboration whit mexican architects such as Enrique de la Mora and Fernando López Carmona. The paper will demonstrate a straightforward morphological and constructive analysis. This analysis unveils the geometry of Candela’s anticlastic surfaces of straight edged shells.
The presentation is based on an extensive research project undertaken by the author and a team of scholars in Mexico. In addition to the exhaustive archive investigation necessary to contextualize these buildings, this investigation included digitizations of Candela's masterpieces revealing their features and nuances through a set of digital models and animations. This paper aims to contribute to the knowledge on reinforced concrete shells in Mexico. Is also a dissemination instrument to appraise the reinforced concrete shells as part of the architectural legacy of the 20th century.
CODE, THEORY, & MANAGEMENT
A POST-MODERN TECTONIC: CHARLES MOORE'S EARLY DESIGNS WITH POST AND BEAM CONSTRUCTION RICHARD HAYES INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR, NEW YORK
Post-Modern architecture has often been interpreted as fundamentally scenographic in intention, with its emphasis on recuperating the associational, historical, and narrative capacities of architecture as opposed to the constructional. The emphasis on flatness, image, and historical reference in the work of Venturi, Scott Brown and Charles Moore would seem to confirm this interpretation. Complicating this view, however, is the fact that the oldest, continuous design-build course in American architectural education was founded during the tenure of Charles Moore as chairman of the architecture department at Yale. Every year since 1967, first-year students at Yale have designed and constructed a building as part of a program that combines community service with fostering an understanding of construction by hands-on experience. Moore’s role as founder of the Yale Building Project thus suggests that his interest in construction may be deeper than previously understood. Extending this line of inquiry, a review of Moore’s early residential designs shows in fact that he was tenacious in his studied use of post and beam construction.
My paper looks at three early projects by Moore from the period in which he practiced in California while teaching at Berkeley. In 1961 he designed the Jobson House in Palo Colorado Canyon, near Big Sur, followed in 1962 by his own house in Orinda. In 1964-65 Moore completed Condominium One at the Sea Ranch in Sonoma County with his firm MLTW. All of these structures were influenced by the wood-frame domestic architecture of the Bay Region Style, as seen in the work of William Wurster and Joseph Esherick. What Moore added to this local tradition was a clarity of conception though a rigorous use of post and beam construction in wood. At the Orinda house and the Jobson residence, interior space is focused on cubic volumes defined by four wood posts—recycled columns with Tuscan capitals at Orinda, 6x6 fir members at Jobson—about which the wood-frame walls and roof drape like a tent. The attraction of this simple tectonic was due in large part to Moore’s reading of Sir John Summerson’s essay on the aedicule in his 1949 volume, Heavenly Mansions. It also derived from the constructional probity of one of Moore’s mentors at Princeton, Louis Kahn. At the Sea Ranch, the simple post and beam construction used at the Jobson and Orinda houses is expanded to become the governing module for ten residential units, each of which has interiors designed as spaces within spaces, volumes defined by four-post aediculae, now built of heavy timbers. Moore and MLTW worked with structural engineer Patrick Morreau and builder Matt Silva to devise a framework that would meet the demanding wind loads on the Pacific coast. At the same time, the architects activated the multiple historical meanings associated with the aedicule, including shrine, tabernacle, and protected realm of household gods, to intensify the ontological experience of shelter. The implications of Moore’s use of post and beam construction form the subject of my analysis.
ARBITRATING THE ARBITRARY: ARCHITECTS, CONTRACTORS, AND THEIR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY GEORGE JOHNSTON GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
The U.S. architecture profession’s increasing distance over the course of the 20th century from the site of building construction, from the physical efforts of manual laborers, is arguably one of its most defining if unacknowledged traits. This distance can be gauged in terms of the profession’s general ambivalence toward labor as well as receding self-awareness among architects themselves of their profession’s very own vocational origins. Did the architect arise to a level of authority out of the loyal ranks of guild-bound craftspeople; or did the architect descend from loftier heights to serve as intermediary between the aims of privileged classes and skilled but directionless workers? Was this process of differentiation achieved by demonstration of some extraordinary mastery of material craft or by virtue of esoteric knowledge, abstract artistry, political skill? Where do the architect’s loyalties really reside?
Early membership in the architecture profession in this nation was in fact drawn from both of these ranks; but beginning in the latter half of the 19th century, the aim and practical impact of professionalizing efforts in the United States were to differentiate the architect from the builder class by ever closer alignment with client interests. Visionary, socially well-positioned, selfanointed architect-leaders strove to raise the stature and influence of the profession so that it might be counted among the nation’s essential arbiters of a burgeoning building culture. These early efforts to shape a unified and exclusive public identity for “the architect” were laden, however, with unintended consequences. In pursuit of social position and influence, architects ceded ever more authority for the technical, managerial, and economic aspects of building to a new class of construction intermediary, the general contractor. The ironic effect, as is so often bemoaned today, has been a gradual recession of the very relevance that the profession so painstakingly sought.
Drawing upon a range of archival materials, historical journals, and standardized contracts, this paper focuses on a formative episode in the history of the U.S. architecture profession at the turn of the 20th century when the shifting relationship between architects and tradespeople became increasingly palpable. Terms of a uniform contract governing relations among owners, builders, and architects became flash-points for controversy as contractors directly challenged the presumptive authority of the architect as impartial and final arbiter of all contractual disputes. Architects’ own internal debates and sounds of alarm about the rising influence of general contractors mark a moment in time when architects fretted about the changing shape of their profession even while acquiescing to a new order of project responsibility and control.
FROM ARCHITECTURE CAME STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING LICENSURE IN ILLINOIS MARCI UIHLEIN UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
Chicago is well-known for its contribution to nineteenth-century architectural history. There were changes in the conceptualization of buildings developed in concert with the knowledge needed to construct them. At the same time, the professions of architecture and engineering were themselves evolving and solidifying. The State of Illinois passed a law in 1897 to become the first state to license architects. The first structural engineering license came again in Illinois in 1915. Illinois’ House Bill 406, establishing the licensure and process, was controversial. Architects were threatened by the law, seemingly thinking that this effort was an attempt by structural engineers to win all the work.
Irving K. Pond, architect and one-time president of the American Institute of Architects (1910-11), stated that the law was intended “to wipe out of existence architecture as a profession in the State of Illinois.” Others suggested that structural engineers had essentially taken Illinois’ architectural licensing law and simply replaced the word “architect” with “structural engineer.” However, engineers were not all entirely behind the law either, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
An examination of the origins of controversial Illinois law tells much about the developing professionalization of the fields of architecture and structural engineering at that time, and the jurisdictional battles that were occurring. There were questions about professional responsibility and the relevancy of architects in the paradigm shift caused by engineering. This paper seeks to examine how the law developed, the form of the professions at that time, why there was so much strife about the law, and the key players who supported or fought against it. The history of the first structural engineering license in the United States is one of the construction environment of Chicago, and therefore one of architects as well as engineers.
THE 19TH CENTURY
DETAILING THE SYSTEM: CROSS-DISCIPLINARY KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN CONSTRUCTING THE CRYSTAL PALACE ERIC BELLIN UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
The gardener Joseph Paxton is typically credited as the “genius” behind the “Crystal Palace,” the structure built for the Great Exhibition of all Nations in 1851 at London’s Hyde Park. While the vision for the building was undeniably Paxton’s, the realized project was critically dependent on the skills and expertise of many others—and perhaps most chiefly the collaborating engineers and contractors, Charles Fox and John Henderson. It was through Fox, Henderson, and their team that Paxton’s initial sketches were developed into a full set of detailed drawings, all parts manufactured, prefabricated into subassemblies, delivered to the site, and there assembled to form what was at the time one of the largest buildings in human history, all in an astoundingly short period of just seven months. This achievement was made possible by their vast body of experience in the practices of railroad engineering, contracting work on infrastructural projects, and the manufacture of industrial products in iron, through which they were able to mobilize a highly developed collection of techniques, organizational procedures, and machines in their work for the great exhibition. While certain revisionist accounts (Peters 1996, Addis 2007, Saint 2007) have emphasized the critical role played by Charles Fox in the project, this paper extends this viewpoint through the analysis of a range of firsthand accounts and unpublished archival materials. By tracing the lineage of specific innovations in detailing practices and labor management developed from Fox and Henderson’s prior pursuits in practice, this study shows how the unprecedented degree of speed and economy achieved in the construction of the Crystal Palace was based on bodies of knowledge drawn from the British Factory System and the construction and management of British railways. And further, this inquiry shows how such transfer of knowledge across disciplines helped Paxton’s collaborators understand the project less as a singular object, and more as a technological system itself, and one that condensed the entire process of building—from planning, to fabrication, delivery, and assembly—into the very design of its physical parts and processes.
OLD COCOA PLANTATION HOUSES BUILT IN THE LOWER GUAYAS RIVER BASIN DURING THE SECOND COCOA BOOM (1880 - 1920) CLAUDIA PERALTA GONZÁLEZ UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA DE SANTIAGO DE GUAYAQUIL
This study is an approach to the traditional wooden architecture of the Ecuadorian coast and specifically looks on the cocoa plantation houses that were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In those years Ecuadorian cocoa seeds were largely known around the world because of their quality and the cocoa traders, who sold this product, were able to travel overseas and see what was going on in European cities bringing in new ideas of architecture that they wanted to start using in Ecuador. Since the Spanish colonial times, the construction was done by people who were used to work in timber in this area of Ecuador, especially in the construction of boats, canoes and vessels, so these naval carpenters applied their knowledge of vessel construction in building houses with the same wood joints and elements they used when building a ship. This way of construction improved thru the years and when Ecuador declares its independence from Europe kept using it. Later, at the end of the 19th century, when the Cocoa traders came back from Europe, they felt the urge of changing the architecture and gave instructions to these naval carpenters to change some details in the façade or the new buildings that were inspired in European architecture and is possible to see Greek order capitals and pilasters in this tropical architecture. The characteristics of this traditional architecture are: facades with loggias, carvings, moldings, windows that were made out of wood with the typical “chazas” (wood blind windows), roofs with eaves, etc. All of these elements were painted with bright, brilliant colors which enhanced all of these details. The use of these typical elements in this kind of architecture was thought to keep the interiors comfortable because they were fresh and cool all year round, in other words they applied thermal comfort criteria in the architectural design. The ornamentation indoors consisted in mural paintings, ceilings made out in wood or embossed tin and the house had big rooms where they developed their dwelling´s activities. Many of these old buildings are still in their original location by the riverside, location that was perfect useful in those years when roads were inexistent and the most important mean of transportation to the cities were canoes, vessels and even rafts. This presentation will show the application of the naval wood construction techniques in architecture, the knowledge that the local people had of cutting the tree in the most appropriate time and how they prepared the timber for being used in construction, the knowledge of carpenters in selecting and pick, from the wide broad variety of woods of the tropical forests of this area with diversity in quality, hardness, texture, weight, etc. the right one to be applied in the structural and architectural elements in the various stages of the construction, the combination of wood with another materials such as the traditional mortar known as quincha and bamboo, and the skill developed, through the years, by the naval carpenters in building architecture that kept using the same terms to name the structural elements in the buildings. In other words, this kind of construction shows materials that had been used in this area since pre-Columbian times with the application of the colonial Spanish construction techniques of naval carpenters that added formal features inspired by European architecture requested by the cocoa traders at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. This particular way of building houses with all the mentioned above characteristics was soon spread all over the Ecuadorian lowlands (rural and urban dwellings), bringing an interpretation of an European style mixed with local ways of construction techniques and materials that today is known as Traditional wood Architecture turning the old cocoa plantation houses in important examples of this way of construction.
A RIVETING STORY: DEVELOPMENT OF THE HOT-RIVETING TECHNIQUE IN IRON AND STEEL CONSTRUCTION (1840-1940) QUENTIN COLLETTE SPARKS ENGINEERING, INC.
INE WOUTERSÂ VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL
Today, engineers, architects and historic preservationists often need information on the hot-riveting technique when assessing the heritage value, condition, design or structural safety of the connection details of historical iron and steel structures. Hotdriven rivets was the most widely used joining technique in iron and steel construction during the decades around the turn of the 20th century. Unfortunately, available literature dealing with historical riveted connections is typically fragmented since most publications focus on one given research field, topic, method, and/or period of investigation. Most of the 20th- and 21thcentury studies have belonged to the research field of structural engineering. Next to structural engineering, a few other research fields such as industrial archaeology, history of technology, history of structural engineering, and history of material science have directly or indirectly addressed the topic. Construction history approaches are, however, undeservedly underrepresented. Engineers, architects and historic preservationists need to gain insight into the development and evolution of the hot-riveting technique (i.e., tools and machines used, technological innovations). Therefore, we partially reviewed international sources primarily published between 1840 and 1920 in Belgium, France, the UK and the US. Traditional sources such as (hand)books, papers, theses, exhibition catalogs as well as historical patents were referred to. This paper attempts to describe the evolution of the hot-riveting technique in the field of iron and steel construction between 1840 and 1920. The three main stages characterizing the hot-riveting technique are discussed, that is: plate perforation, rivet heating and rivet driving. The portable pneumatic riveting machines of John F. Allen (1876-77) were chosen as case study to illustrate technical advances that marked the mechanization of rivet driving in more details. The field of boilerwork was the first to introduce the hot-riveting technique at the beginning of the 19th century. Boilerwork had laid the foundation for the traditional craftsmanship of hot riveting. The hot- riveting technique consists of three main stages: plate perforation, rivet heating and rivet driving. The perforation of plates was the subject of the most controversial debates within the evolution of the riveting technology. Rivet heating was, like rivet driving, fundamentally based on the know-how and experience of riveting crews. Different systems were available, namely fixed and portable devices fed by charcoal, coke and fuel, and later by gas and electricity. Rivet driving can be defined as the installation process of fastening plates with rivets. To every driven rivet belongs a rivet shank with a shop and a field head clamping two or more plies. Different mechanized driving techniques were developed in the second half of the 20th century, replacing the first techniques operated by hand. The mechanization of rivet driving consisted of three main technological innovations regarding the energy supply of the riveting machines developed: steam energy, hydraulic energy, and pneumatic energy. While the first riveting machines fitted for structural work date back from the 1850s, their mature development and widespread use occurred from the 1880s onwards, stimulated by the breakthrough of steel as a structural material and the obsessive search for cost savings. Inventions of new riveting machines and improvements in the working of existing ones were a major concern between 1895 and 1910, as it will be revealed by historical patents. The study of the evolution of the hot-riveting technique allows to apprehend overall appraisal procedures of the connection details of existing riveted structures with more confidence.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER FROM RAILWAY ENGINEERING TO SKYSCRAPERS OF THE CHICAGO SCHOOL MICHELE CHIUINI BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
Two of the major technological innovations that contributed to the development of skyscrapers in the 19th century were related to railway transportation: steam engines and steel frames. The steam engines used for elevators and the coal-powered steam boilers that provided heating were obvious relatives of the locomotive. Steel skeletons, which replaced cast iron systems in the 1890s in North-American skyscrapers, also benefited from the growth of civil engineering knowledge stimulated by the rapid expansion of the U.S. railroad network. This paper focuses on the innovations in steel frames by the Chicago firm of Adler and Sullivan. Their skyscrapers were among the first to use an all-steel frame, with a curtain wall supported at each floor; this is the construction system defining modern frame buildings. Two of their buildings, the Schiller Theatre and the Stock Exchange, are also examples of early use of transfer girders and transfer trusses, designed on the model of railway steel bridges. This paper traces the details of the transfer trusses used on the Stock Exchange Trading Room back to the practice of railroad bridges, through the examination of original drawings of the Indiana Bridge Company and of the Chicago Stock Exchange. The surviving set of shop drawings for the steel structure has allowed a computer reconstruction of the structural system of the Stock Exchange. These construction documents also shed some light on the collaboration of the Adler and Sullivan office with the consulting engineer Abraham Gottlieb and on the transfer of engineering knowledge from Germany to America. Gottlieb had been appointed consulting engineer for the World's Fair in 1890 and had worked for the Carnegie-owned Keystone Bridge Company. Transfer beams and trusses were necessary to support the columns of the upper floors over a large column-free space at the base of the building, such as the Schiller Theatre. The Chicago Auditorium had solved the problem of combining a theatre with an office building by separating the two uses: the theatre is located at the back of the office block, so that the multi-story offices have an independent skeleton system. In the Schiller Building, built in1891-92, Adler and Sullivan placed nine floors over the theatre supported on two-stories deep trusses spanning over 60 ft. These extraordinarily deep trusses supported four rows of columns (two on the exterior wall and two internally), matching the office partitions. It is interesting that in descriptions of this building all authors praise the foundations and the four columns carrying the structure above the rigging loft of the stage, but not the feat of supporting an office block on trusses over a theatre. A different issue altogether was the creation of large assembly spaces below office floors, as in the Schiller theatre and in the Stock Exchange. All European precedents of stock exchanges and theatres are low-rise structures, with the main assembly hall surrounded by two or three stories of ancillary spaces. Such was still the case with the famous Amsterdam Exchange (1898-1903) by H. P. Berlage. An additional truss system covers the Club Room at the 13th floor (an interesting comparison to be made with the Stock Exchange), with a span just under 44 ft. This top floor was an observatory, as can be found in other Chicago skyscrapers, and perhaps a feature of the 13th floor of the Exchange as well. For the Schiller, Adler adopted a Warren truss configuration with an unusually steep angle, due to the location of the four columns to be supported on each truss. Unfortunately we do not have details of this truss construction; however, the computer reconstruction of the Stock Exchange trusses, based on the surviving drawings and the contemporary bridge construction practices, can help us to understand more about the application of this technology to high-rise buildings.
CONSTRUCTING THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE BUILDING 1873-1875 LEE GRAY UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA - CHARLOTTE
The New York Tribune Building, 1873-75, by Richard Morris Hunt offered its architect and builders a unique challenge through its size (nine stories above grade, two and one half stories below grade), its location (a tight urban site confined by existing buildings on two sides), and a two-phase construction plan (necessitated by the requirement that newspaper maintain production while the new building was being erected). The building also sought to incorporate the most up-to-date building systems technology: improved heating, ventilation and plumbing systems, communication systems (pneumatic tubes, speaking tubes, and electric annunciators), and transportation systems (passenger and freight elevators).
The Tribune Building also lies at the beginning of a new era of building construction. Although it primarily employed a masonry construction system, in its floors, fireproofing, partition walls, and over-all design strategy, it hinted at the notion of skeletal construction. Through the use of day labor for its construction and the employment by the client of a building supervisor who was hired for both his knowledge and known strike-breaking abilities, it also speaks to the changing labor environment in America and the difficulties encountered using a day labor force on such a complex building. Finally, the professional ability of the architect to cope with a project which had no ready precedents is also revealed through its successes and failures, measured through the letters between client and architect and, following the building completion, the threatened law suits.
SPANISH COLONIAL (16TH – 18TH CENTURIES)
THE FRANCISCAN COLEGIO DE SAN ANDRÉS IN QUITO AND THE INTER-AMERICAN TRANSFERENCE OF ARCHITECTURAL FORMS IN THE EARLY COLONIAL PERIOD SUSAN WEBSTER COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY
The Franciscan Colegio de San Andrés (ca. 1555-1630s) is a ubiquitous but disembodied presence in the scholarly literature regarding the early establishment of the seraphic order in Quito. Renowned as the first Franciscan school in South America wherein Andean and other boys were trained in the spiritual and manual arts, San Andrés is heralded as the origin of the socalled “Quito School” of artists and builders that dominated the trades in the later colonial period. Despite its often-referenced importance as a crucial site of education and artistic formation, nothing is known of its physical structure or even its precise location within the immense Franciscan monastic complex. Based on recent archeological excavations, archival documents, and architectural plans, this paper locates the original structures of San Andrés and links their form, plan, and technologies to the first Franciscan schools established in colonial New Spain, underscoring the inter-American diffusion and transference of architectural knowledge. San Andrés may thus be identified as the earliest, and indeed perhaps the only, South American example of a specific genre of capilla abierta (open chapel) modeled on New Spanish Franciscan prototypes, the specialized knowledge and technology of which circulated and was transmitted via members of the seraphic order.
THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS: METROLOGY AND PROPORTIONS IN SPANISH COLONIAL LAND SURVEY AND BUILDING CONSTRUCTION SHELLEY ROFF UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
This paper will present my current research on metrology and the use of proportion systems used in the construction of the five Spanish colonial missions built along the San Antonio River in Texas. Scholars of the San Antonio missions have proposed hypotheses regarding the use of the proportion systems and geometry in the design of the Spanish colonial churches at these mission sites. For the most part, their conclusions were drawn from romantic notions regarding the importance of sacred numbers and geometric forms in designs they drew on paper and were not substantiated with practical knowledge of building construction known to be used along the northern frontier of eighteenth-century New Spain. Relying solely on information gathered from archival and primary sources and from measurements taken in the field, I propose a method of analyzing the design of Spanish colonial architecture that is grounded in historical traditions of building construction in stone that are evident at the sites along the San Antonio River. This method leads to new insights regarding both design and construction methods used at these sites. This study will demonstrate how methods of measurement described in eighteenth-century Hispanic treatises, measurement tools listed or described in historical mission inventories, and methods of construction described architectural treatises from Mexico and Spain informed the scale and proportions of the mission building complexes. Little is known about the builders and craftsmen at these sites; yet the extant mission perimeter walls and buildings provide ample physical evidence for comparison to the historical textual evidence. Yet, when this comparison is made, there are consistent and notable discrepancies between measurements and proportions described in treatises, those described by Franciscan friars at the mission sites, and actual measurements that can be taken today at these sites. A comparison of San Antonio mission church plans and enclosed mission squares will shed light on this problematic issue. Of the five Franciscan missions developed along the San Antonio River, no single mission was fully completed as planned. This study utilizes a comparison of factors available at each of the missions to create a more complete vision of the means and methods used in the San Antonio region. A variety of potential measurement tools and methods were evaluated and compared to historical evidence from the San Antonio missions to determine a likely method used. An analysis of the applications of the vara, the basic unit of measurement used in New Spain, will be presented in order to elucidate how Spanish and local craftsmen developed a method of measurement that could be used in primitive, frontier areas to measure land lots and building foundations. Measurements taken in the field were compared to those provided by historical maps and described in archival documents. Despite the discrepancies in the length of the vara from region to region, even from town to town in New Spain, it appears that a consistent measurement tool was used for the San Antonio missions in the eighteenth century. My analysis of the discrepancy between the intention (treatises explaining â€œhow toâ€?) and the realization (existing measurements) has allowed me to formulate a hypothesis about measurement practices for building construction in the San Antonio region.
OF REEDS AND CLAYS: TRANSFORMING THE WALLS OF SANTA CRUZ DE LANCHA, AN EIGHTEENTHCENTURY JESUIT FARM LISA DELEONARDIS JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
One of the issues at the forefront of scholarly debate concerns the transmission and exchange of ideas and practices in architecture between Europe and Latin America during the viceregal period (circa 1520-1825). During this innovative era of building construction, a new architecture emerged in the Americas as architects and novices alike sought to align European design canons with local construction techniques and materials. In this paper, I examine external and local innovation in construction techniques and materials at Santa Cruz de Lancha, or “Lanchas” (circa 1726), a working farm managed by the Society of Jesus in Pisco, Peru. These farms have received considerable attention as the economic support system that catapulted the Jesuits into becoming the largest landholders in Latin America but their architectural history remains unwritten. The lacunae in research on the architectural history of rural estates prompts me to more closely examine the unifying mechanisms that characterize the built environment of working farms. In the case of Lanchas and other dependencies linked to the mother church in Pisco (and headquarters in Lima), elegant chapels that frame the entrances are juxtaposed against fortresslike walls and open plazas that define interior and exterior spaces. Both employ ancient building techniques and materials but neither is visibly apparent. On-site study of the architecture and intensive documentary research that I have conducted over the past five years presents a more complicated architectural history and a richer social history than originally anticipated. While it is clear that the farm was built upon the lands of the provincial Inca (ca. 1470) and their memory invoked in official documents well into the eighteenth century, there is little support for a continuation of their iconography in devotional spaces such as the farm’s picturesque oratory. On the other hand, the presence of internal structuring, or quincha (reed and plaster), bolsters George Kubler’s observation about how the Pre-Columbian method was reconfigured during the viceregal era to achieve theatrical effects. New discoveries, such as the use of pottery fragments to construct some walls, harken to pre-Incan approaches and add to the corpus of construction material possibilities. The hands at work are revealed to be a community of Jesuit priests, artists of Inca descent, and free and indentured Congoans and East and West Africans. Primary sources allude to the farm’s social life and religious obligations -- weddings and baptisms beneath the bell tower, an annual festival for Saint Ignatius -- and these findings enliven our understanding of the daily activities and ceremonial life of those residing within its walls. My work calls attention to architecture on the margins of the traditional canon and narrates the transformations that occurred in the ideas and practices of its builders, and the changes in architecture that resulted. I identify what Tom Cummins refers to as “presence of the past” in eighteenth-century building practices and give voice to its Jesuit patrons and anonymous builders. My research equally contributes to our understanding of the vernacular architecture of eighteenth-century Peru and situates the study of Lanchas, more broadly, in the context of the Jesuits’ approach to the built environment.
SPANISH MOORISH CEILINGS IN THE NEW WORLD E. LOGAN WAGNER ALARIFE, LLC
The Moorish Invasion and occupation of the Iberian Peninsula lasted for over 800 years; its influence on the Spanish culture was intense, widespread and long lasting. From language to literature; music and cuisine; technology, art and architecture; to this day, Moorish culture permeates the Spanish way of life and that of its former colonies in the New World. In the realm of construction technology it is wooden ceilings where the level of sophistication in Moorish carpentry became the calling card for important architecture in Spain and Spanish America during the early period of Spanish colonization. Known as alfarjes, Spanish Moorish ceilings consist of a complex truss system of twin rafters, tensing beams, corbels, panels, ornamental tracery strap-work and elaborate wooden pendants. In Spanish America, alfarjes are typical of sixteenth century church naves. In the 17th century masonry barrel vaults and domes became more popular, not just for new churches but in many cases replacing the Alfarjes already in place in most convent churches. In Cuba alfarje ceiling technology survived well into the 18th Century not just as church naves but in private residences for the elite as well. In the late 1920â€™s many alfarje ceilings, maybe more than one hundred were imported from Spain to the U.S.A. by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, some dating as early as the 14th Century. This work will attempt to present an overview of examples of Spanish Moorish ceilings that exist in the Continent of America, their Spanish antecedents and modern day attempts to revive this ancient Moorish wood technology. Insight will be offered as to its various components and their structural and architectural roles.
MIXTEC STONECUTTING ARTISTRY, 16TH CENTURY RIBBED VAULTS IN MEXICO BENJAMIN IBARRA-SEVILLA UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry is an innovative research work that allows to understand a bright moment in Mexican architecture from a unique perspective. The work revealed in this presentation identifies and analyzes three sixteenth-century buildings constructed in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca. The buildings are of especial interest because they were covered with complex ribbed vaults built with the same rigor and precision of their European counterparts in the great Gothic cathedrals. Using digital technologies, the author addresses the challenge of representing and explaining the details and intricacies applied in the design, development, and construction of the vaults and the stone pieces that shape the buildings. The indigenous people of Mexico were the only labor force available upon the arrival of the Spaniards to the Mixteca regions back in 1535. The indigenous people construction skills were different from those of their European counterparts who, on the other hand, had ambitious commissions to be accomplished in a new environment with new set of conditions. What did the Spanish master builders need to teach? How did the transference of technology happen? What did the indigenous people know and what did they need to learn? The content of this presentation is case-study based and focuses on three different vaults scrutinizing each building under the light of stereotomy. The research work responds to a rising global interest emerged from the need to understand these buildings through the eyes of construction science, focusing on information relevant to the architects and engineers interested in technical aspects and the history of construction. This is one of the few research works dealing with the study of these buildings in the context of the transfer of knowledge of construction technology and it is the first of its kind that systematically addresses the relationship between geometry, stone stereotomy, and twenty-first century forms of architectural visualization for sixteenth-century buildings. This analytical process serves to document the constructive solutions and underlying geometry of the three vaults as it positions these buildings in the context of global construction history and the transmission of building technology from Europe to the Americas.
MID-CENTURY MODERN ARCHITECTURE
SAARINEN'S WAR MEMORIAL IN MILWAUKEE: A CASE STUDY ROYCE EARNEST UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - MILWAUKEE
Eero Saarinen’s War Memorial and Art Museum building in Milwaukee has not received much attention in the histories of midcentury modernism. When the facility was built between 1955 and 1957, it demonstrated Saarinen’s perceptive use of innovative structural forms and the expressive potential of concrete form in the modelled geometry of the piers and cantilevers. The work also showed an attention to civic and public social space more sensitively than other brutalist architecture. An addition in 1975 provided much needed space, but significantly changed the civic space and entry sequence, and considerably diluted the strength of Saarinen’s composition. Recently, the building has been largely overshadowed by Calatrava’s addition of 2001. Even before that, the Milwaukee building did not receive the attention of other examples of Saarinen’s work, overshadowed by major commissions like TWA and the MIT work. In spite of this lack of attention, the building was a significantly successful example of mid-century expressively brutalist architecture. It explored some of the motifs of Le Corbusier’s early work and predated some of the later explorations in concrete of Le Corbusier and Breuer. This paper will review the design and construction of the original Saarinen building for Milwaukee, situating it both in the context of post-war monumental architecture and in the context of Saarinen’s oeuvre. The building’s design includes a major urban space and civic plaza connected to a central atrium space that was the intended entrance. This atrium is surrounded by four cantilevered boxes raised on polyhedral pilotis above the base (originally, the museum was in the base and the raised portions were offices for the veteran’s memorial). Unlike some of it brutalist peers, the building has remained popular and well regarded in Milwaukee. The building represents an interesting case study of cast-in-place concrete architecture. To a degree atypical from other brutalist compositions, it exhibits a sensitive accommodation of civic public space. While the War Memorial is neither as structurally innovative as other Saarinen examples like the Kresge Auditorium nor as expressively adventurous as the later TWA Terminal, it explores the potential for of form making in its expressive pilotis, and even more shows how that plasticity is mobilized to produce social space. The building is structurally innovative with its dramatic thirty-foot concrete cantilevers and the polyhedral formwork that is similar to the later work of Breuer and others. While the building is formally successful, it also demonstrates some of the technical challenges of concrete brutalism for thermal and moisture control. While the facility is undergoing its third major expansion of its sixty year history, this case study offers an opportunity to situate the building in its time as an example of post-war expressive concrete construction and as an example of a masterwork by Eero Saarinen.
JUDITH CHAFEE: BUILDING CULTURE CHRISTOPHER DOMIN UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
After graduating from Yale University School of Architecture in 1960, under the direction of Paul Rudolph, Judith Chafee (193298) spent a decade working with Edward Larrabee Barnes, The Architects Collaborative (Walter Gropius, Sarah Harkness, Benjamin Thompson), Eero Saarinen Associates and the Rudolph office in New Haven. In 1970, Chafee returned to Southern Arizona and began a private practice that combined her interest in the Sonoran Desert landscape of childhood, vernacular building techniques, on both sides of the border, and the experimental building culture that she embraced during internship years on the East Coast.
In the studios of Paul Rudolph and Eero Saarinen, Judith Chafee worked on the Yale Art and Architecture Building and Yale Married Student and the international terminal expansion of TWA at John F. Kennedy Airport. When Chafee returned to Tucson, the local massive material building techniques, which had been refined over centuries of trial and error, became her palette as she proceeded to define a unique way of building that is simultaneously tough and refined, local and universal. This paper will analyze Judith Chafeeâ€™s development of a building culture that respected landscape, climate and deep regional precedent. Implementation of massive materials in the Chafee office, including concrete block, traditional adobe and earthen construction techniques will be explored through systematic iterative project development. Use of passive solar strategies and emerging active methods of environmental control provide a prescient case study of practice and research conjoined. Access to the Judith Chafee Archive in the University of Arizona Special Collections Department, entre to existing projects, direct client interviews and new photography by Bill Timmerman provide primary source information for this research.
SHIPSHAPES: STRUCTURAL PLASTICS AND THE 1964 NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR ANDREW CRUSE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Plastics research and development experienced a boon during World War II. While many of the plastics developed for the war effort were substitutes for existing materials, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) was a uniquely new material. FRP, also known as fiberglass, was a structural plastic formed from glass fibers held in place by resin. As the plastics industry sought to develop and expand their markets for FRP after the war, they looked to several industries including the marine and building construction. As each began to build with FRP, there was an exchange of knowledge from boat to building construction. In this paper I will examine three FRP pavilions built for the 1964 New York World’s Fair that showcase this exchange: the Marine Pavilion, the 7-Up Pavilion and the West Virginia Pavilion. All were sponsored by the Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation, who made FRP glass fibers. The Marine Pavilion was fabricated by Ray Greene, a pioneer in the fiberglass boat industry. The 7-Up and West Virginia Pavilions were engineered by Frank Heger, a pioneer in the field of structural plastics. Although the three pavilions shared a common material and similar mold-cast structural shell construction, there were significant differences between how FRP was used in each. Comparing these projects highlights the complex knowledge exchange between marine and building industries at the moment when there was much hope for the future of FRP as a building material. Many in the marine industry predicted that plywood, made with waterproof adhesives developed during the war, would become the preferred boat building material in the postwar period. In the years immediately preceding the war, the boating industry had begun to discover the potential of FRP. FRP could be molded into seamless, complex geometric shapes, like boat hulls. It was lightweight, waterproof and required significantly less maintenance than wood. In the late 1930’s, Ray Greene, an industrial engineer and boat builder, was commissioned by Owens-Corning to experiment with an early batch of glass fibers. In 1942, he made the first fiberglass boat hull. By the early 1960’s, when Green built the Marina Pavilion, the number boats owned in the United States reached over 7 million, and FRP was the material of choice for many of them. Beginning in the late 1920’s, architects began to experiment with plastic houses. The moldability of structural FRP, and its potential for industrial production suggested it could play a large role in the postwar housing marking. The Monsanto House of the Future (1957) was the first full-scale use of FRP in a building application, and was responsible for promoting this image. Much of the technical work on the house was done at MIT’s Plastics Research Laboratory where Frank Heger was in charge of the House’s structural engineering. Heger was later the structural engineer for the 7-Up and West Virginia Pavilions. Ultimately, structural FRP did not have the success in the construction industry as it did in the marine industry. From 1928 to 1972 about 50 all plastic houses were built worldwide. This was due to several factors including the high up-front cost of mold making, FRP’s difficulty in meeting building life safety requirements, and a growing cultural association of plastics with inferior quality goods. Recently, however, material advances such as Kevlar and carbon fiber, combined with digital modeling and fabrication techniques have renewed enthusiasm for structural plastic composites. Again, architects and contractors have turned to the marine industry for knowledge about how to design and fabricate with these materials. One recent example is the façade for the new San Francisco MoMA (Snøhetta, 2016), being built by Kreysler Associates, which began as a highperformance boat building company. This renewed interest structural composites brings a contemporary relevance to this historical case study.
PRE-COLONIAL LATIN AMERICA
ENGINEERING THE INCA ROAD IN THE HIGH ANDEAN MOUNTAINS CLIFF SCHEXNAYDER ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
The source of Incas engineering knowledge was the careful observation of natural forces. This knowledge, particularly an understanding of water flow and resulting hydraulic forces, was first applied to increase of the production of food. Later their patient study and unique consciousness of nature and natureâ€™s forces became the foundation of their transportation system achievement. These engineers, with a tradition of observing nature, succeeded in building the 3000 mile high Andean road from Quito, Ecuador to Santiago, Chile in less than 100 years because they learned to work with nature instead of trying to dominate. These ancient engineers lacked a written language and possessed no maps. Therefore, it is assumed they relied on memory to build their centrally planned transportation infrastructure. Their work is truly a monumental engineering achievement considering the road traverses a land subject to major flooding from El NiĂąo rains and about ten significant seismic events annually. Close examination and reverse engineering of their accomplishment supports thoughtful solutions to current engineering challenges, particularly the effort to construct sustainable infrastructure.
MONOLITHIC CONSTRUCTION IN MESOAMERICA MARÍA FERNANDA LÓPEZ ARMENTA COORDINACIÓN NACIONAL DE CONSERVACIÓN DEL PATRIMONIO CULTURAL, MEXICO
Monolithic Architecture sample cases are present all over the world, with no direct influence between the cultures that created them, it is clear that similar solutions to similar problems, under alike circumstances prevail. In America a unique example of Monolithic architecture is located in the archaeological site of Malinalco, Estado de México. At the top of the “Cerro de los Ídolos” (Hill of the Idols) the Aztecs created an architectural masterpiece known as the Cuauhcalli of Malinalco. Stand out its amazing building technique, the imposing emplacement and the relevance of its function: this was the initiation ritual for the elite Aztec’s groups of warriors. It is noteworthy that the precedent of this important work resides in the excellence of Aztec stone carvers, who are well known all over the world because of their mastery transforming lithic materials: for example the Aztec Calendar Stone, the Tlaltecuhtli Monolith, the Tlaloc Monolith, just to mention a few. Malinalco’s construction period is defined between 1476 to 1520 a.C, this fact implies that the site was still under construction while the Spanish conquest occurred, and that this historical event interrupted it. The mountain where this site for the elite was constructed is 215 meters above the actual town. Approximatively at the middle of the hill a system of artificial terraces is located, where a group of perfectly planned monuments are partially or almost completely carved in the mountain’s rock: the Cuauhtinchan Group, it is the most important ceremonial center in Malinalco; specially dedicated to the Sun, and to the elite groups of warriors known as Cuahutli and Ocelotl (Eagles and Jaguars). Carvings of eagle’s and jaguar’s skin, embellish the most important temple of the complex, which is also engraved in the bedrock. Here devoted warriors used to consecrate their lives to the Sun God. Stone carving and engraving was done using only lithic tools. Some of them have been found in the excavation site of the unconcluded Structure VI, also carved in the bedrock. The complex building technique of monolithic architecture in Malinalco responds as other examples in Mesoamerican architecture to a specific ideology and set of symbolism. Another example of monolithic structure is the gardens and baths of king Nezahualcóyotl in Tetzcotzingo, Estado de México. Both sites were the result of educated minds, since are both for the use of an elite society, the most important warriors and the king itself, Nezahualcoyotl who is known to be a great engineer and architect. So he must have design his baths in the mountain, whit also a palace, unfortunately the place was destroyed after the fall of Nezahualcoyotl, because of the Spanish religious fanaticism that considered the place to be dedicated to evil. The observation of Nature was always an essential for Mesoamerican architecture, and in both cases we are talking about the relevance of the architectural project, the study of the site, the knowledge on the lithic materials and the soil, and the artistry of the stonework.
COMMUNITY BASED PROJECTS
DO-IT-OURSELVES: IKEA HACKERS AND PARTICIPATORY BUILDING COMMUNITIES SAMUEL DODD OHIO UNIVERSITY
This presentation examines ‘Ikea Hacking’ as a case study in contemporary knowledge production related to historical notions of home improvement and do-it-yourself building. IkeaHackers.net is a popular online community whose members upload videos and graphic tutorials explaining how to repurpose ready-to-assemble furniture kits sold by the Scandinavian chain store Ikea. The hackers’ activities stem from a desire to find creative expression in not only modifying standardized products, but also in sharing personalized methods and results, commenting on others’ designs, and engaging in an online community of likeminded customizers. As a result, Ikea Hacking provides a digital-age iteration of participatory design elements – specifically the importance of communal identity and shared knowledge – that have long characterized American building practices. To further understand participatory building communities within the United States, I will compare Ikea Hacking to a well-known historical example of do-it-yourself enthusiasm: remodeling practices in postwar Levittown. Many Levittown residents saw their volume-built house as a starting point – a kit of parts to be adapted, expanded, and innovated upon in a display of identity enhancement. To learn and share remodeling ideas, residents took adult education classes and read locally published magazines, including Thousand Lanes: Ideas for the Levitt Home. In 1957, the New York Times explained how the popularity of remodeling within the community stemmed ‘from a determination to make the basically uniform houses look different.’ Similarly, Ikea Hacking is a consumer-driven community, relying on social interactions between participants and their shared interest in overcoming the uniform nature of kit-based products. By applying new theories on community formation and information exchange coming from the field of media studies, I argue that both Ikea Hacking and Levittown remodeling represent grassroots alternatives to standard narratives of American architecture. As building subcultures, both have relied on communities whose members forge new building practices through collaboration and communication. While the objects of their interest – Ikea furniture and suburban houses – may seem inconsequential, the ways in which they create and perform new design ideas have serious implications for questions of production and expertise within construction histories.
SUKKAH : SHALOM - BUILDING CULTURE THROUGH ARCHITECTURAL ARTIFICE PETER RAAB TEXAS TECH UNIVERSTITY
Architecture, at its most meaningful, is the physical embodiment of culture. In the fall of 2012, a small group of architecture students, professors and volunteers from the local community were united in the design and construction of a cultural artifact that reflected upon the phenomenological connection humans have with their most immediate environs through the construction of sukkah:shalom. During the weeklong festival of Sukkot, the Jewish faith celebrates the culturally significant event of their fall harvest, and connection to their history and environs through the building of a temporary shelter, called a Sukkah. The Book of Leviticus describes the structure as a “wilderness structure” which embodies the Israelites time of wandering through the desert after they were freed from their slavery in Egypt. Specific architectural guidelines are outlined in the Talmud (a central text of Judaism) in which the architectural experience becomes center point to the celebration by ensuring a certain phenomenological atmosphere is created for this temporal event. The significance of this is that even today, these ancient texts are referred to in the present-day re-creation of these religiously significant architectural works - embodied through the materiality, configuration and relative openness of the structure. Also embedded within the Ancient text is the importance of constructing by hand. By using readily available materials from the fall harvest, people of the Jewish faith are presented with a haptic understanding of the world around them through the physical construction of the structure - connecting the earthly endeavors toils of the fall harvest to the design of the sukkah. This paper will outline the history of architectural competitions in the United States throughout the past ten years, while focusing directly on one of the winning entries for the 2012 Sukkah City: Austin competition. This structure was designed by students and faculty, and built by volunteers, students, faculty members and other members of the community in a celebration of Jewish faith. By reinterpreting the tectonic qualities of earthbound materials [wood, rope, and metal] - removing these natural elements from the ground and in an open design that hovers just above the ground – the architecture allows for the reification of the person with the space he or she occupies in the world. Upon entering the sukkah, the connection with ones surrounds invites a reinterpretation through a filigree of lightweight hemp rope, held in place by a lightweight structural wood frame. This combination of wood and rope present at once a sense of protection and security, while still being physically engaged with the nature enveloping the thin membrane of rope and wood lattice. This thin transparency is punctuated by a series of wooden apertures that create three distinct moments for reflection, marked not only by their potential for resting, reading, eating, reflection and prayer, but each is mapped with the solar angles on the seven day festival of sukkot, situated within Austin, Texas. It is within this sukkah that ones connection to natural is reinforced through the constant temporal reminder as these simple materials are animated by the interplay of sunlight during the day, and moonlight at night. The rope thatch is utterly open to wind and rain, day and night. This openness reminds the occupant that spirituality is open to others, and that our life should be connected to natural elements and surroundings. Combining two cherished ideals of sukkah and shalom.
LINKS TO A LEGACY: REDISCOVERING LEWIS WERNWAG’S 1823 NASHVILLE TOLL BRIDGE CHRISTOPHER MARSTON NPS HERITAGE DOCUMENTATION PROGRAMS
In 2013, the National Park Service’s Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) was contacted by the NPS National Trails Office, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Native History Association, about the authenticity of some historic stonework in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The site was of interest because it was thought to be the last remains of the Nashville Toll Bridge, a ca. 1823 covered bridge whose design was attributed to early bridge pioneer Lewis Wernwag and erected by his longtime partner Joseph Johnson. The Cherokee Indians crossed the bridge on the Trail of Tears when they were displaced from their homelands in the South and forced to migrate west to Oklahoma Territory in 183839. HAER recommended that consulting bridge engineer Jim Barker inspect the site. His report verified that the remains do indeed match an 1820s bridge abutment, and confirmed that, according to the original construction contract, the bridge was “erected on the principles of Lewis Wernwag’s patent as displayed in the New Hope, Reading, and Pittsburgh bridges.” The presentation describes the legacy of Lewis Wernwag, a German native who rose to fame by building The Colossus Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia in 1812. Wernwag subsequently designed several other crossings along prominent turnpikes and railroads from the Mid-Atlantic to the Ohio Valley over the next twenty years. A major partner was bridgewright Joseph Johnson, who built Wernwag-designed bridges at New Hope, Reading, and Pittsburgh, before being hired to erect the first bridge over the Cumberland River in Nashville. The story of documenting the Nashville Toll Bridge’s remains, its history, and significance is a compelling one. While few of Wernwag’s designs survived long enough to be thoroughly documented, there are three major pieces of evidence pertaining to the Nashville bridge that still survive: -
The 1819 Nashville Bridge Company construction contract, including a ledger and day book
Wernwag’s 1813 Broadside, which shows a detailed design drawing of the 1814 New Hope Bridge, the model for Nashville
The 1823 abutments themselves, including associated archaeological artifacts
This presentation describes the ingenuity of the engineering design of the truss, and its place in the evolution of early American truss development. The transfer of technology of knowledge, capital, labor and materials from the nascent industrial center of Pittsburgh to the frontier outpost of Nashville is examined. The surviving abutments and artifacts are analyzed, and the challenges presented for HAER documentation of the site amidst urban development along the Cumberland River are detailed. Finally, the presentation portrays the bridge’s role in the tragic history of the Trail of Tears, and how NPS, TDOT, and its local partners are working to commemorate and interpret the site amidst this multi-state cultural landscape.
WILHELM HILDENBRAND’S INNOVATIVE ENGINEERING WORKS AT LA OJUELA, MEXICO WILLIAM D. PANCZNER LA OJUELA RESEARCH PROJECT GROUP
STEPHEN G. BUONOPANE BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY
German born and trained civil engineer, Wilhelm Hildenbrand immigrated to the United States in 1867 and is perhaps best known for his association with the works of John and Washington Roebling, and later the Roebling Company. Hildenbrand was a skilled draftsman and illustrator, and many of the well-known colored renderings of the Brooklyn Bridge are in his hand. As the Principal Assistant Engineer for the Brooklyn Bridge, Hildenbrand became an expert in cable-making for suspension bridges and later published an influential book on the topic. In addition to his work with the Roeblings, Hildenbrand was responsible, as an independent consulting engineer, for the design and construction of the original train shed at New York’s Grand Central Station (1868-1870), the Abt rack railway for the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railroad (1889-1890), and the strengthening and retrofit of the Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge (1895-1899). Between the years of 1894 and 1900 Hildenbrand worked as an engineering and construction consultant to the Compañía Minera de Peñoles for their mining operations at La Ojuela near Mapimi, Durango, México. Working with Hildenbrand in México was noted Canadian-born and trained civil engineer Henry Grattan Tyrrell, and Swiss-born and trained mining engineer Santiago Minguin (Minghuin). Hildenbrand supervised the design and construction of two innovative works—a suspension bridge spanning 1035 feet (315 m) and an Abt rack railway of nearly two miles in length; thereby transferring American and Swiss technology to Mexico. The rack railway was based on the work of Swiss engineer Roman Abt, for which Hildebrand served as the North American representative. The Abt railway at La Ojuela was the second installation of Abt system in North America and used a staggered two bar, toothed center rail system to provide traction. Hildenbrand also specified an new type of drive locomotive, produced by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. To climb inclines, rack pinions on all three drive axles engaged the toothed Abt rail. On gentler grades, an innovative clutch system allowed the operator to switch to the use of two pairs of adhesion wheels. The combination of the innovative Abt rack railway and locomotive allowed the La Ojuela railway to climb typical grades of over 10%, and grades even as high as 19% over short distances. When completed in 1900, the suspension bridge at La Ojuela was the sixth longest suspension bridge in the world. La Ojuela Bridge employs the Roebling-style inclined diagonal stays to provide stability and resistance against wind loads and nonuniform live loads. Long span suspension bridges of this era would typically have used parallel strand cables, spun in-place one strand at a time, and then compacted with circumferential wrapping. In contrast, each suspension cable at La Ojuela was constructed from three two-inch twisted wire ropes, thereby avoiding the need to perform the complex cable spinning operation in a remote location. Hildenbrand also employed underfloor sway cables to further limit motions of the bridge. Finally, the deck of the bridge is sloped by about 5% to allow the laden ore trains to travel by gravity, while a cable winch system returned the empty trains. Beginning in 1990, Hildenbrand’s La Ojuela Bridge has been restored as the centerpiece of the Eco-Parque Minera Ojuela, which is included in both the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and the Programa Pueblos Magicos of the Mexican government.
SHELLS & SPATIAL STRUCTURES II
SAARINEN’S SEATING AND SCULPTURAL SHELLS: THE ENDURING INFLUENCES OF EARLY FURNITURE DESIGNS ROB WHITEHEAD IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
“One finds many different shapes are equally logical—some ugly, some exciting, some earthbound, some soaring.” Eero Saarinen “Everything eventually connects—people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” Charles Eames Between 1950-1960, Eero Saarinen’s office built a series of remarkable large-scale models to explore structural shell design options for Kresge Auditorium (1951-55), TWA Terminal (1956-62) and Dulles Airport (1958-64). At the time the use of models strictly for design exploration was somewhat unusual, but because of the complexity of the proposed roof forms, typical orthographic representations of the complex building forms were inadequate for design exploration and documentation of the design. In the face of these challenges, Saarinen turned to a modeling process of design he had first used at the earliest stages of his career—furniture design and prototyping. In 1940, while he was teaching at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Saarinen and Charles Eames collaborated together to win first prize in the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition for their seating and storage systems designs. Their different chairs, the Relaxation and Conversation Chairs, were each made from compound-molded shells that were developed, prototyped and tested at full-scale personally by Eames and Saarinen. Saarinen and Eames continued to design furniture with organic shell-like shapes and modern materials throughout the remainder of their careers and Saarinen’s most notable work, for Knoll, was designed and built during the same era as he designed these notable shell structure buildings. By exploring original sketches, drawings, and photographs of early model making process of the chairs, this paper will compare and contrast this design and documentation process to the architectural efforts in designing the buildings. In using a similar large-scale model building process for buildings as he did for the furniture, Saarinen was able to explore, evaluate, and communicate the designs for these complex forms more effectively. Many of the tactics used by Saarinen to translate the three dimensional forms into working drawings for fabrication were used to generate and communicate the complex forms of the building designs into construction documents as well. This presentation will argue that this early furniture design process was strongly influential on Saarinen’s later design process, and that the furniture forms may have emboldened Saarinen’s architectural explorations, as he selected building forms that didn’t follow conventional structural logic or construction constraints. But ultimately furniture and buildings are quite different to fabricate and occupy and this unlikely confluence of design process and forms between two widely divergent physical entities had consequences on the success of the building shells as a result.
TYPOLOGY AND CONSTRUCTION OF LAMELLA SYSTEMS: AN INTERNATIONAL CROSS-FERTILIZATION MICHELE CHIUINI BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
The development of plywood as a structural material is a story of technological transfer between different types of industries and across the Atlantic. While plywood found extensive use in aircraft and automotive construction first, this paper focuses on its experimental use in housing construction in the1930s, which influenced the American construction practice of light framing. Small-scale industrial production of plywood started in the Pacific Northwest at the beginning of the 20th century, primarily for the automobile industry. Production boomed in the 1920s with the growth of aviation and the car. Plywood started replacing canvas in European airplanes during WWI, while in the US the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) carried out a research program on wood airplanes using plywood skins. Thus the plywood "stressed-skin" structure was born. In an attempt to improve housing construction in the 1930s, several new types of light-weight framing were promoted by the FPL and the Douglas Fir Products Association (DFPA); these were supported by a number of federal agencies. Many of these new systems involved the extensive use of plywood using the stressed-skin principle that had proved successful in airplane construction. It was hoped that plywood would contribute to a housing that was innovative in design as well as economical in construction. The FPL completed a first demonstration house in 1935; two additional houses with plywood stressed-skin panels were built in the following three years. In 1938 plywood standards were issued by the DFPA, and exterior plywood was accepted by the Federal Housing Authority. These developments helped clear the way for the promotion of plywood in the construction industry with the Dri-Bilt homes and a number of trademarked products. The first tests by the FPL in 1935 were on floor panels with a structural thickness just over 6 in. and very slim wall panels. Several other experimental houses were designed by architects, sometimes prominent ones, such as Neutra and Schindler, competing with concrete and steel systems. A variety of sizes and jointing systems were tested for shop-built stressed-skin panels. The light-weight and ease of panel joint connections using wood splines were a great advantage compared to concrete. However, the gluing of plywood on the frame and sealants used in the splines resulted a totally air-tight envelope, prone to condensation on the interior of the panel. This led, around 1938, to the introduction of vapor barriers. The experimentation with plywood peaked in 1938-39 in preparation for the New York World's Fair, where the Douglas Fir Plywood was featured as the "House in the Town of Tomorrow." In 1940, the DFPA sponsored “The House in the Sun,” the first of several plywood demonstration houses. However, in the early 1940’s the national industrial efforts shifted to the war, and research on plywood technology was again applied to the construction of airplanes, replacing hard to find metals. The technological transfer of plywood between industries had by then gone full circle. Two lasting achievements resulted from this intense period of experimentation. The first was the diffusion of standardized construction methods with structural boards. The SIP system that we have today is a direct descendant of those experiments. Second, panelized construction contributed to an emerging architectural vocabulary based on new building systems and materials, which in the 1930s gradually replaced the traditional historicist design approach. These new construction systems and design principles found application in low-cost housing, a new area of engagement for the American profession.
RESTRICTED CREATIVITY: JACK CHRISTIANSEN’S CYLINDRICAL SHELLS (1953-1958) TYLER SPRAGUE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Though he would eventually design some of the most geometrically complex thin shell concrete structures in the world, Jack Christiansen’s career as a thin shell designer started out simple. Never formally educated in thin shell concrete design, Christiansen began exploring one of the simplest shell forms first: the cylindrical vault. This geometrically modest form (a rounded barrel vault with a constant radius of curvature) had only a limited set of design parameters, allowing Christiansen to easily engage the material, spatial and structural qualities of shell construction. Christiansen was greatly assisted by the publication of the ASCE 31 Design Manual in 1952, which provided needed guidance in the structural analysis of these forms. Restricted to only the barrel-vaulted form, Christiansen began to creatively visualize these shells as truly three-dimensional, space-enclosing structures. He soon discovered that by varying the proportions of the vault, the shell action could vary between arch and beam behavior, and be designed to create drastically different architectural spaces. As the Design Manual stated, shells could be categorized into short, intermediate and long shell configurations, (depending on their span-to-radius ratio), and Christiansen began to use all of these variations in his designs. In addition, Christiansen began to utilize each cylindrical shell as a segment, or module - one that could be used both individually and in combination with other segments to create entire buildings. A systematic forming system that took advantage of this repetition made these shells economical to construct as well. With this approach, Christiansen designed cylindrical shells into a wide variety of architectural and utilitarian structures. Working closely with modern architects in the Pacific Northwest, Christiansen’s projects varied from a simple vault over a swimming pool, to multiple vaults enclosing a warehouse. Between 1953 and 1958, he incorporated cylindrical shells into schools (both classrooms and gymnasiums), office buildings, workshops, churches, and most grandly, an airplane hangar for B-52 bombers. This presentation will analyze and compare some of the more significant projects created in this time frame. Though geometrically limited to the use of the cylindrical shell, Christiansen designed with it in a diversity of ways. This restriction forced him to creatively explore shell construction within practical means. The collective scope and scale of these early projects are both significant works of modern architecture and engineering, and hint at the complexity of his projects to come.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION & MASONRY VAULTING: THE DECLINE OF THE GUASTAVINO COMPANY & THE RISE OF ELADIO DIESTE JESSICA GARCIA FRITZ & FEDERICO GARCIA LAMMERS SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
“Today, the countries that are developed are those that initiated the revolution of the scientific interpretation of reality and later its application to technical knowledge. This is what we call the Industrial Revolution.” The onset of the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century made the selection of building materials highly political. Building methods transitioned from assemblies based in masonry and wood to include newly developed materials like iron, steel, and reinforced concrete. Previous building methods had relied on trial and error. After the Industrial Revolution, “engineers had at their disposal building methods that could be gauged with security, rather than by trial and error. These methods replaced long and imprecise processes with new forms of rapid analysis.” This shift affected the selection of building materials throughout the building industry and specifically impacted Rafael Guastavino (1842-1908) and Eladio Dieste (1917-2000), who both worked with masonry. Rafael Guastavino Moreno arrived in the United State in 1881. Trained as a master builder in Spain, Guastavino gained notoriety in the architectural community by implementing thin tile vaulting techniques. He established the Guastavino company in the late 1880’s and after decades of success, work began to decline in the 1930’s. The “Modern Architecture: International Exhibition”, held at the recently opened Museum of Modern Art in 1932 exhibited work that looked upon steel and reinforced concrete as the favored materials and assembly systems. Further, building codes that standardized building methods, resulted in the Guastavino Company’s reluctant submission to structural engineers as they were told how to size their own structures. In the United States, this was “an age which recognized licensed engineers rather than master builders as the authoritative figures of construction.” The Guastavino Company officially closed their doors in 1962. As the Guastavino Company’s work declined in the United States, Eladio Dieste began his career as an architect/engineer in Uruguay. In the early 1940’s, Dieste studied graphic statics as well as numerical methods for engineering calculations at the Facultad de Ingeniería de Montevideo. Against fashionable trends, Dieste worked with brick masonry building methods because it was the most economical mode of construction in Uruguay. With previous failures such as the Guastavino Company, Dieste realized this use may lead to his relative obscurity, but wrote “I chose brick, a material with unlimited possibilities, almost completely ignored by modern technology, and began to use it structurally….I am convinced that structural brick has the same great possibilities that reinforced concrete has.” In constructing the Berlinghieri house, one of Dieste’s first projects, the architect Antoni Bonet proposed building Guastavino Vaults. Instead, Dieste designed his own system built out of brick and post-tensioned steel reinforcing. While the tile vaults of the Guastavino Company slowly lost favor to the calculable safety of steel and reinforced concrete in the United States in the mid-twentieth century, the masonry work of Eladio Dieste surged in Uruguay as his brick vaults responded to the resources and skills of Uruguay. This paper will explore the political and economic climate of these countries in response to the Industrial Revolution and how this climate led to the eventual decline of masonry vaulting processes in the United States and the success of these processes in Uruguay.
SKIN AND GUTS: ENVELOPE AND MECHANICAL SYSTEMS
AIR CONDITIONING IN THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARIAT, NEW YORK CITY, 1947–1950 JOSEPH SIRY WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
The tall glass curtain wall building was the signature achievement of modern architecture in the mid twentieth century. Essential to this new construction were advances in mechanically powered air conditioning. The earliest large completed example of the type was the United Nations Secretariat, whose design by Wallace Harrison and Max Abramowitz began early in 1947 and whose construction finished in 1950. Harrison headed an international design board of architects that included Le Corbusier who advocated that brise-soleils to protect the Secretariat’s facades. To insure a maximal amount of sun and natural light, the board decided that the main east and west elevations would have glass curtain walls. To assess heat gain, Harrison initiated studies that showed that the extra steel and other materials needed for the brise-soleils would add considerable weight and increase construction costs substantially, among other problems. Harrison turned the question if air conditioning over to the mechanical engineers Syska and Hennessy. Their heat tests showed that double-glazed thermal glass or Thermopane resulted in interior temperatures ten to fifteen degrees lower than those behind single-pane plate glass windows. Thus, while fifty-percent more expensive, Thermopane, with its distinctive blue-green color, was preferred to moderate heat and cold on the Secretariat’s east and west sides. Yet Thermopane was not used, partly due to its cost premium. Also, as built, the windows were not sealed, but were rather operable sliding sash. The building’s north and south ends are clad in white Vermont marble. The Secretariat included Carrier Conduit Weathermaster units along the windows supplied with high-velocity air. Low-velocity air was supplied through larger ceiling ducts for the central office areas. At the Secretariat, 4,000 such units would provide the largest air-conditioning system ever equipped with individual controls. After many experiments, it was decided to place six units along the outer walls in each 28-foot-long structural bay between the columns. Each of the units responded to hand controls, so that the Secretariat’s system aimed to make conditions “climatically perfect” for delegates and staff workers who came from all over the world and thus whose sensitivity to temperature and humidity in New York City varied partly with their climate of origin. As the Secretariat was occupied in 1950, Secretary General Trygvie Lie objected to the particle- and fume-laden air that was wafting toward the building’s air intakes from the waterside generating plant of the Consolidated Edison Company nine hundred feet to the south. The plant burned coal to make steam for turbines that generated electricity, and its smokestack was seventy-five feet lower than the Secretariat so the plant’s emissions drifted directly up and toward the U.N. building’s air intakes. The Secretariat’s air conditioning apparatus included air washers, but these would not protect the building from discoloration inside, and emissions would stain and blacken the pristine exterior. Ultimately the U.N. agreed to relocate the new Secretariat’s air intakes below the thirty-ninth story down to a level where danger from sulfur dioxide fumes was considered negligible. The power company consented to investigate the possibility of burning pulverized anthracite coal instead of soft bituminous coal that emitted large quantities of sulfur dioxide. These and other negotiated compromises effectively saved the Secretariat architecturally and environmentally. Sixty years after its completion in 1950 the Secretariat underwent a renovation that included its by then outmoded and inefficient mechanical systems. Inspections from 2002 led to the decision to replace the curtain wall with a system that would closely resemble the original materials in color, and other details. Daylight dimming of artificial lights, demand-control ventilation, a computerized building management system, and a revamping of the central refrigeration and heating plant for the U.N.’s whole campus was to cut its energy use by 50 percent.
COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION: POSTWAR ALUMINUM PRODUCERS AND THE SPREAD OF ALUMINUM CLADDING TECHNOLOGY TAIT JOHNSON UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
This paper examines the role of postwar aluminum producers in the spread of aluminum cladding design, fabrication and construction technique. During World War II, companies such as aluminum producer Alcoa and fabrication company Kawneer began envisioning new and wider uses of aluminum. Tasked with producing airplane parts during the war, these companies turned to the construction industry after the war as a market with rich potential. In the postwar period, aluminum was widely adopted for cladding, framing and mechanical components. Aluminum companies touted the benefits of their material â€“ lightweight, durable, cost effective, as reasons for its wide adoption. Historians have often focused on the theories of modern architects as contributors to the spread of modern architecture. Less studied has been the distribution and sales strategies of material producers, developed in coordination with fabricators, builders and architects. In this paper, I argue that companies such as Alcoa shared information vertically - with architects and fabricators along the chain of distribution, in order to disseminate the use of aluminum in construction, despite persistent accusations of monopolistic behavior horizontally - against other competitors. This mode of knowledge transfer contributed to a robust economy of light metal cladding. Such knowledge exchange was surrounded by a constellation of physical capital such as factories, fabrication plants and company headquarters, and human capital, such as engineers, designers, fabricators and installers. Alcoa opened its Pittsburgh headquarters in 1953 to advertise by example the myriad uses of aluminum. Salesmen and designers were deployed to both explain the benefits of aluminum and demonstrate potentials. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Alcoa produced sales documents such as the "Architectural Achievements" brochure series to reveal techniques of construction and designs of aluminum components to fabricators, builders and architects, using case studies consisting of photographs and details pulled from the working drawings of select buildings. Alcoa disseminated specific techniques and design details as a means to boost profit, measuring the number of pounds of aluminum contained in a building as its benchmark of success. The distribution of aluminum building technology often coupled in nonlinear ways. While distinct roles for producers, designers, fabricators, and builders emerged, they often intertwined. As fabricators in other markets such as General Bronze Corporation and Flour City Ornamental Iron Company envisioned the potential of aluminum, they pivoted to fabricate the light metal despite their namesake. Adjacent markets merged into competition. Similarly, producers and fabricators often developed competing building products such as aluminum cladding, yet were simultaneously beholden to a hierarchical relationship. This paper draws from primary sources at the Heinz History Center for the Alcoa archives, documents at the Virginia Historical Society for the Reynolds archives, primary sources and internal company documents for companies such as Kawneer, and advertisements and journal articles from postwar issues of architecture journals. The paper employs illustrations of promotional material, sales documents, specific details of aluminum components, photographs of buildings under construction and contemporary photographs of extant buildings. Aluminum moved from an expensive, scarce specialty material before the war, to one of the most widely used materials in construction after the war, fostering a spatial rhetoric of high-modernity and the future on the one hand, to the mundane and quotidian application of aluminum siding on the other. Visual and textual production as a mode of knowledge exchange for aluminum served as a potent distribution of building technology in a burgeoning postwar economy.
AIR CONDITIONING IN PLACE BETSY FREDERICK-ROTHWELL UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
Both popular and scholarly understandings of air-conditioning technology in America portray it as a strong homogenizing force. Not only did it make indoor conditions virtually identical in widely different climates, but it also muted regional cultural difference. This paper seeks to complicate these perspectives by considering not just the effects of a new technology on place, but also the effects of place on a new technology. It does so by interrogating the influences of local economic, environmental, social, and cultural conditions on professional and institutional choices about air-conditioning technology in the early years of its introduction into urban locations in America. Certainly, recent scholarship on the history of air conditioning in the United States has upended the perceived inevitability and autonomy of the technology, but these analyses have often remained at the national scale. Critical works, such as historian Gail Cooper’s Air-conditioning America: Engineers and the Controlled Environment, 1900-1960 and Marsha Ackerman’s Cool Comfort: America’s Romance with Air Conditioning revealed key insights such as the contested professional terrains of early airconditioning engineers and the industry’s environmentally determinist motivations and marketing strategies. However, these and other scholars, for the purposes of their particular analyses, have tended to de-emphasize the complex contingencies of place by remaining in the elite centers of knowledge. This lack of close attention to place has downplayed the effects of the transmission of building technology from center to periphery, even within the United States. While many of these scholars have noted that the early propagation of air conditioning into spaces of entertainment and consumption (movie theaters and large department stores) followed economic rather than climactic trajectories—air conditioning in these building types appeared first in the wealthiest cities, not the hottest—this was not the case for the first full-building installations of air conditioning into large office buildings. The first and second installations were in San Antonio, TX, and Philadelphia, PA, respectively, and the first fully sealed, air-conditioned building was in Portland, OR. As its framework for analysis, this paper investigates the critical case of an early full-building air-conditioning installation in the United States, at the Milam building in San Antonio, Texas in 1928. Although the Milam building has received recognition from professional engineering societies, it has received little scholarly attention otherwise. Thus, the primary emphasis of this study is not on the system’s hardware, but rather on the contexts, meanings, and associations integral to its selection and deployment. In this, the paper attempts to reconcile the spatial fixations of the “Jim Crow” American South, the economic imperatives of the area’s growing petroleum industry, and the environmental limits of the region. Today, with growing popular demand for buildings that reduce energy use, it seems critical to understand the specific circumstances under which the high-energy-use choices associated with air-conditioning systems were made. While this analysis will not provide a model for a low-energy future, it will open the highly consumptive choices to scrutiny within the accepted narrative of air conditioning in America.
DOUBLE WINDOW || DOUBLE WALL: TRAJECTORIES OF DOUBLE SKIN CONSTRUCTION IN NORTH AMERICA MARY BEN BONHAM MIAMI UNIVERSITY
This research explores the historic precedent for double glass wall and double window construction in North America. Doubleskin construction is characterized by a controllable buffer zone with air spaces that may span across multiple floors or be limited to a single story or ‘box window’ module. Because Europe was at the forefront of double-skin glass façade development in the last two decades of the twentieth century, it could be surmised that the facade technology has been wholly imported to North America as of late. This is only partially the case. Knowledge about double skin technology has transferred back and forth across the Atlantic in a number of instances. This research establishes lines of development leading to present day techniques by connecting the dots between brilliant and practical inventions that had only isolated application. One trajectory follows the development of ‘active’ double walls, making the connection between Swiss-born New York architect William Lescaze and Le Corbusier’s les murs neutralisants and respiration exacte concepts. Lescaze was influenced by the approach that Le Corbusier had used at Villa Schwob in 1916, and adapted it to a whole-house scale for the Loomis House (1937) in New York’s Rampano Mountains. Mechanically conditioned glazed cavities would resurface decades later as indoor air curtain walls. A type of double-skin façade, this active strategy uses the space between glazed walls as a return air plenum. The first US application was by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill for the curtainwall of 601 Congress Street (Boston, 2005). A second branch of this trajectory tracks the passive approach to double walls and windows. Double back to the mur neutralisant concept: Le Corbusier had proposed the double wall technique for the Centrosoyus collective housing building in Moscow (1933). The ribbon windows were constructed in double layers, acting as a thermal and acoustic buffer for the apartments even though the proposed inner wall conditioning system was left out. Frank Lloyd Wright employed horizontal bands of windows as a formal tool well before this - as early as the Winslow House (1893) where windows were integrated with terra cotta panels and the Hickox and Bradley Houses (1900) where continuous bands of casement windows parallel the spreading mass of the roof. These Prairie Style windows featured only one layer of single glazing. Wright fiercely resisted storm windows and screens as an affront to the purity of form. What a surprise, then, to find bands of double windows throughout the house and garage buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House (Springfield, 1908). The author’s ongoing research on this house intends to discover the motive force behind this seeming anomaly in Wright’s body of work. The story of double windows continues with a new trajectory tracking the work of the Keck brothers who built hundreds of Chicago-area suburban houses between 1935 and 1979. Keck & Keck homes were unique in part because their solar collector ‘picture windows’ had fixed double-glazed lites with separate operable vents. In 1940, the Kecks took window design in the direction of a double skin to solve the problem of insulation when double-glazed units were temporarily unavailable due to troubles with the seal. The window invention appears to have had a sole application in a Menasha, Wisconsin residence. The Kecks’ solar designs were not typical of mainstream home construction, which continued to be built with minimal insulation, nor of the even glassier American modern homes designed by architects of significant renown. Richard Neutra, beginning in 1932 with the VDL research house, and later, John Lautner in the 1950’s and 60’s, built window walls exclusively with single glazing. Rising energy prices in the 1970’s brought more widespread attention to energy conservation; solar collector windows in particular were the subject of renewed research and development. In 1975, Walter S. White filed the first US patent for a double-layer airflow window design. This context gave rise to exploration of the thermal, lighting, and ventilation potential of double-layered construction at the building envelope scale in the form of two historically significant office buildings - the Occidental Chemical Building (Niagara Falls, 1981) and the Prudential Enerplex North building in Plainsboro, NJ, 1982). The prototype structures preceded the wave of double-skin façade design research and development in Europe that now influences global norms of construction for high performance facades. These trajectories of technology development cannot be contrived as a continuous line of development. Rather, parallel paths and seeming dead-ends reveal the influence of individual persons, places, and politics on construction practices. The accumulated impact of these cases provides precedent for continued experimentation with construction techniques and inspires future acts of innovative building.
CONSTRUCTION UNITS: TERRACOTTA, GLASS & EARTH
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARCHITECTURAL TERRA COTTA INDUSTRY IN CHICAGO: THE LETTERS OF WILLIAM H. JUNGE, 1876-1917 ELYSE MCBRIDE PRESERVATION RESEARCH OFFICE
In 1868, Sanford E. Loring became the Treasurer of the Chicago Terra Cotta Company, the first architectural terra cotta manufacturer in the United States. Seeing the potential of the new building material, but being disappointed in the quality of their product, Loring contacted James M. Blashfield, the owner of England’s largest manufacturer, the Stamford Terra Cotta Company. Loring learned that Blashfield’s superintendent, James Taylor, was immigrating to the United States, and by 1870 Taylor was the Superintendent of the Chicago Terra Cotta Company. Under Taylor’s direction, Chicago Terra Cotta produced the highest quality architectural terra cotta available in the United States at the time. William H. Junge was first employed by Chicago Terra Cotta as an assistant to James Taylor in September of 1876. In 1878, The Chicago Terra Cotta Company was awarded the contract for the Boston English High and Latin School. Shipping terra cotta from Chicago was not economically feasible, so Loring established an agreement with Boston Fire Brick Company to utilize a portion of their factory, persuading Taylor to once again superintend the Boston work. Junge remained in Chicago as superintendent of the Chicago Terra Cotta factory. In 1880, William Junge began work as a travelling salesman on behalf of True, Brunkhorst and Company, initially a rival of, but eventually the successor of the Chicago Terra Cotta Co. He was charged with visiting architects, making estimates, and overseeing jobs in various Midwestern states. In 1886, Junge became the superintendent of the Boston Terra Cotta Company after the previous superintendent, James Taylor, departed for New York. William Junge remained in Boston until 1892, when he was offered a position in Chicago with Northwestern Terra Cotta Company, the successor of True, Brunkhorst and Company, as the factory superintendent. The superintendent would be someone who, in the words of Hugh Burnham, would “oversee the drafting department, the shipping department, the mill work, kilns, pressers, plaster shop, in fact, the entire factory, but to have nothing to do at present with the office work or the soliciting for work.” Junge remained at the Northwestern Terra Cotta Factory until 1917, when he became responsible for their sales office in Omaha. The archive of correspondence to and from William H. Junge is housed at the National Building Arts Center in Sauget, Illinois. Junge’s letters to Loring, Taylor, True & Brunkhorst, Boston Terra Cotta and various other entities, both architects and manufacturers, involved in the architectural terra cotta business, shed light on how the industry developed during the late nineteenth century and into the early twentieth. The correspondence reveals how issues of personnel, materials, processes and cash flow were handled. Records of estimates, delivery schedules and on site installation are contained within these documents. Additionally, the true character of individuals involved in the architectural terra cotta business are revealed in the “unofficial” personal correspondence that is included in the archive. The information provided by these letters allows for a deeper understanding of the early architectural terra cotta industry in Chicago, and the United States as a whole.
THE DECLINE OF TERRA COTTA BUILDING CLADDING IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY CLIFTON FORDHAM TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
With the exception of visible projects designed by several renowned architects including the Italian architect Renzo Piano, contemporary specification of terra cotta by modernist and traditionally inclined architects in the United States has been rare. Although structural use of terra cotta can be traced to the eighteenth century, the material has served as an alternative to stone for ornamental sculpture since in antiquity. Formed from a combination of raw clay and previously fired clay products, terra cotta can be pressed into molds or formed through extrusions. Its durability and resistance to fire made it advantageous for use for interior partitions in larger buildings during the latter portion of the nineteenth century after the devastating impact fire could have in dense urban centers was acknowledged. Terra cotta can be considered the first modern cladding material for non-residential building construction providing a natural complement to skeletal steel frame construction in many of the first skyscrapers in the United States. It is lighter than stone, formed with a thin cross section, and allows for exterior profiles that match the crispness of stone. Its economic advantages include being a light weight alternative to stone lessening loads carried by the primary structure, logistical advantages for lifting and installing at significant heights, and economies of scale gained by utilizing repetitive shapes. The thinness of terra cotta cladding and its conduciveness to high rise construction made its application innovative alongside other advances that made high-rise construction feasible including the adoption of skeletal framing, the passenger elevator, and the use of plate glass. Explanations for the decline of terra cotta use include economic conditions created by the great depression, high production costs, and changes in architectural design which favored smooth surfaces over articulation and ornament. Cast stone, a moldable and shapeable material emerged as an alternative to terra cotta cladding around the same time that experimentation with terra cotta ornamentation was occurring in the late eighteen hundreds. Like terra cotta, when used as a cladding, cast stone can be stacked or anchored directly to the primary structure with metal connections set in the cladding. However, widespread adoption of cast stone was slow due to application failures that sullied its reputation. Use expanded after the Cast Stone Institute was founded in 1927 which implemented manufacturing standards that led to greater product consistency and predictability. Like terra cotta, demand for cast stone diminished as streamlined designs emerged after the great depression. Unlike terra cotta, cast stone use revived after World War II and remains a common alternative to natural stone cladding. The economic recovery after the war and return to greater use of ornament in the nineteen eighties suggests that the adoption of terra cotta and cast stone should not have been so asymmetrical. If both terra cotta and cast stone are similarly capable of forming exterior cladding veneers, both impacted by the great depression, and both materials affected by the impact of modernist aesthetics, why did terra cotta use diminish and cast stone emerge as a viable cladding material today? This paper examines factors contributing to the rise and decline of terra cotta as a cladding material in light of the influence of advertising, production standardization, and the influence of industry trade groups.
GLASS BLOCK AS A “SUSTAINABLE” MATERIAL FOR BUILDING RETAIL STORES: “BENSON & RIXON” STORE IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO, 1937 MEHDI ASHAYERI JAHAN KHANEMLOO & NARJES ABBASABADI ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
In the Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition in 1933-34, the Toledo’s Owens-Illinois Glass Company surprised fair-goers with the most innovative and example of a new transparent material. It presented a pavilion constructed wholly out of glass blocks. Despite their non-structural characteristic, the blocks were enough crack-resistance that the manufacturer marketed them as favorable material for wall fabrication. The pavilion comprised a 50-foot high tower connected to two large wings which projected forward. It is a similar construction method to masonry, allowed workers to rapidly assemble the building in 12-days with approximately 27,000 glass blocks. In a paper published in the World's Fair Weekly, the Owens-Illinois Glass Pavilion called as the eighth wonder of the world by Joseph C. Folsom. The glass blocks served as insulation by helping to avoid extreme cold or heat inside of the pavilion, while the translucent surfaces let light enter. Although critics claimed that the building would be intolerably hot in summer times, the air-chamber in the individual blocks was fulfilled insulation needs and ensured moderate temperature for the fair-goers. As with the booster of the porcelain steel-model houses, Owens-Illinois assured that this material eliminates the need for protection the bricks, and could be kept clean through only spraying with a garden hose. All these aspects contributed to the benefits of the material in comparison to plate glass. During the time that the fair was designed and set up, architects were seeking for design solutions suitable for the rapidly changing modernism despite the economic obstacles of the Great Depression. After enacting the movement “Modernizing Main Street” —mainly supported by Federal Housing Act (FHA) and private loans in 1934—the American architect Alfred S. Alschuler took an advantage under these circumstances. Having designed numerous Chicago-school towers with eclectic motifs, He turned his trajectory to design different retail stores in downtown Chicago in 1937. Located at the Southern corner of Quincy and State Streets, the six-story Benson & Rixon store designed by Alschuler replaced a late 19th century’s clothing store and saloon with a streamlined innovative design which emphasized horizontal light streaks across the façade. As the predecessor of the American glass-block made building enclosure, the store is surprisingly still furthered after eight decades despite the fact that all its neighboring buildings were dramatically torn down and rebuilt. However, this building was a symbolic spatial embodiment of immediate modern architecture of its age—which belongs to the mass modernized era of the US— Having briefly discussed the store’s timeless design success—to demonstrate its harmony with 21st Chicago’s downtown luxurious feature in spite of possessing a pure form—this paper examines the building process, cost reduction, sustainable tendencies, and facade durability. In doing so, this research synthesizes the archival documents, site observation and building’s energy strategies. With examining the Benson & Rixon store, this research eventually demonstrates how the convergence of environmental attentions and cost-diminish attitude fulfilled a pragmatic modernist architecture through material advances of the Great Depression era introduced at Chicago’s Exposition.
CULTURE AND TRADITION; TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE IN EARTHEN ARCHITECTURE IN NEW MEXICO FRANCISCO UVIĂ‘A-CONTRERAS UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
This presentation will discuss the unique evolution of earthen technologies in the State of New Mexico and its present transfer of knowledge through community participation. Historically edifices in Indo-Hispano communities were traditionally protected with the use of mud for its cyclical maintenance. This systematic process was affected with the introduction of modern materials, such as Portland Cement. This revolutionized how earthen architecture, especially adobe blocks were protected. The development of the adobe code promoted new adobe stabilizers, standardize the adobe block size and new construction systems, including the use of concrete foundations, bond beams, lintels, and cementitious plasters and mortars. These recent non-traditional systems have endangered the way earthen historic structures are maintained, repaired and restored. It is important to understand these early construction systems in order to resolve the dispute of utilizing modern systems, which are becoming more common in present day modern adobe construction. The talk will describe the evolution of these traditional earthen architecture elements and the importance of their retention for the continual cyclical communal maintenance. The lack or in some cases the extent of local materials create interesting typologies that have posed themselves in the rich cultural landscapes. The remarkable layers of cultures, such as the early native inhabitants, the Spanish Colonial and the latter, American presence makes for a unique evolution and changes to these early architectural systems. The systems evolve according to the presence of new technologies and influences. These extensive historic building system practices will be discussed to an extent as a mean of the continuance of local construction traditions, and to better understand why the traditional systems are essential for the well-being of the built heritage, which carries with it centuries of subsistence, adaptation to local materials, and climatic conditions in the Southwest.
INDEX BY AUTHOR Look for authors and review what they have presented
Ali, Ahmed K.
Ashayeri Jahan Khanemloo, Mehdi
Bonham, Mary Ben
Buonopane, Stephen G.
42, 55, 81
Del Cueto, Juan Ignacio
Garcia Fritz, Jessica
Garcia Lammers, Federico
López Armenta, Maria Fernanda
Panczner, William D.
Peralta González, Claudia
Wagner, E. Logan
Booklet for the 5th Biennial Meeting of the Construction History Society of America. The book includes all abstracts and details of the meet...
Published on May 20, 2016
Booklet for the 5th Biennial Meeting of the Construction History Society of America. The book includes all abstracts and details of the meet...