Page 1


TRANSPARENT PLASTICS


Simone Jeska

TRANSPARENT PLASTICS DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

Birkhauser Basel \ Boston I Berlin


GraphiC design: nalbach typografik, Stuttgart Translation into English: Gerd H. Stiffker and Philip Thrift, Hannover This book is also available in a German edition: IS8N 87B-3-7843-7488-3 Library of Congress Control Number: 200783320B Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Bibllothek Die Deutsche Bibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the Internet at http://dnb.ddb.de.

This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in other

ways, and storage in data banks. For any kind of use, permission of the copyright owner must be obtained. Š 200B Blrkhauser Verlag AG

Basel, Boston' Berlin P.O. Box 133, CH-4010 Basel, Switzerland Part of Springer Science+8usiness Media Printed on acid-free paper produced from chlorine-free pulp. TCF 00 Printed in Germany ISBN 87B-3-7643-7470-8

www.birkhauser.ch 8B7654321


PREFACE

6

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PLASTIC BUILDINGS

8

MATERIAL AND FORM - "FORM FOLLOWS MATERIAL?"

24

TRANSPARENT PLASTICS BETWEEN INTELLECTUALISATION AND TRASH CULTURE

30

EXHIBITION

BMW Bubble, ABB Architects

I Bernhard Franken

40

EBo Bologna, MCA

46

"Light Building" Mobile Pavilion, Atelier Kempe Thill

52

Cyclebowl, Atelier Bruckner

56

RESIDENCES

Apartments and Studios in Cologne, B S K+

64

Naked House, Shigeru Ban

70

Lucky Drops, Architecture Studio Tekuto

76

Housing Project in London, Ash Sakula

82

Cite Manifeste, Lacaton S Vassal

86

House and Studio in Almere, Arconiko

92

Semi-detached Houses in Mullheim, Pfeifer.Kuhn

98

CULTURE AND SPORTS

Museum of Paper Art, Shigeru Ban

104

Catholic Church Christus Konig in Radebeul, Staib Architects with Gunter Behnisch

110

DBU Conference and Exhibition Pavilion, Herzog + Partner

116

Allianz Arena, Herzog S de Meuron

122

RESEARCH

Gerontology Technology Centre, Bad Tnlz, D. J. Siegert

130

Rocket Tower, Nicholas Grimshaw S Partners

136

Festo AG Technology Centre, Jaschek S Partner

142

Glasshouses, Graz, Volker Giencke

148

APPENDIX

Bibliography

154

Index

156

Illustration Credits

159


6/7

Since the mid -199Gs , synthetic mate ria ls - p rim arily t ransparent or transluce nt plas tic s - hav e once again been making their mark on architectu re . Artistica lly curving ten s io n st ruc tures made from transparent p lastic mem branes , but also industrially m anuf ac t u re d plastic sheets are readily used instea d of heavy glass constructions. Bu t th e transparent plastics n ot on ly rep rese nt a less costly alte rnative to glass. In ad d it ion, th ey evolve their own particular qualities that become evident through the light n es s of such constructions , the variety of forms and , l ast but not l e ast , their aes t h et ic effects - the upshot of unusua l [acade arra nge ments and structures .

///

Th is book is intended to provide the reade r with an ov erv iew of t he potentia l uses of tra nsparent and t rans lucent plastics in arc h itecture, and d em o n st rat e the broad ra n ge of both constructional and architectu ral opportu n ities. Lightweight , cost eff ec t iv e synthetic mate ria ls are p art icu l arl y suitab le for use in the jacades of ware hou ses or temporary pavilions. Tension structures made from transparent mem b rane s can serve as climate -control enve lopes for animal enclos ures , glasshouses or ext en s iv e biospheres , and are ideal for lo ng-span atrium roofs as we ll as conser vatorie s and sun spa ces providing int erm e d iat e climate zo nes for the adjoining inte rior s p ac es . In th e m eantime , t hey have become almost a standard so lution for t h e roofs to larg e sports ar enas. But in hous ing , m useums an d sc hoo ls , too , where high d emand s are pla c ed on the imperviousness , in s u l at ion and du rab ili t y of the walls , synth eti c ma t erial s are being u s ed m or e and m or e .

///

Depending on the type of

building and the interior c limate requ irements, s ing le -leaf, mu lti -leaf or multi -la yer [acade c on struction s can be c hosen. These differ from co nventiona l wall structures and ope n up t he way for experime ntatio n by the architectural avant-garde. Exte rnal walls are turn ed int o air co llectors or re duced to a thickness of j ust a few mi lli metres. plast ic sh e ets are glued to t he sup porti ng constructio n to form a minimalist design , mem brane s ar e attached w ith Velcro tape , which allows t he m to be removed and wa s h ed ; high -te ch in s ul at ion systems are available , or tra nsluce nt insulatio n is im pro vis ed DIY- styl e . Fa c ad es become mov ing, adaptive " s kin s", large sect ions of w h ic h c an b e open ed up to t he outs ide , or react to so lar rad iation levels . New pro ducti o n m ethod s are tried out on double -curvature p lastic sheets , and tension st ruc t u res imi t ate natural phenomena and become efficient m inima l co nstructions . ///

At t he sam e t ime , transparent p lastics quite obviously serve as a sou rce of

ins p iration for th e artistic rendition of t he [acade - coloured artificia l li gh t , p igments ,


PREFACE

p rinting or c ol oured infills provid e an effec ti ve adv ert is in g medium externally or -a changing play of light internally. The alienation of ever yd ay arti cles or the use of waste products create provocations and challenge ou r visual p er c eption s architecture becomes art.

///

The projects shown here repres ent only t he begin-

ning of a new development; the potential of synthetic materials is illust rated in t he int ro duct ory chapter with the title "Transparent plastics between intelle ctua li sation and trash culture". Plastics are not only destined to be part of the new, digital design and manufacturing process , which renders possible mass customisation in archi tecture , but are also ideal for use as " b ion ic" building materials and are being t ested from the point of view of sustainability. Demands for efficient constructions and adaptive building envelopes , which adjust automatically to climatic conditions , de termine the themes here and in the end lead to architectural designs that respond dynamically to dynamic processes.

///

These tendencies in contemporary arch i-

tecture, which are leading to a gradual renaissance for synthetic materials , are un derstandable when we consider the relationsh ip between form and material. The chapter entitled "Form follows material? " presents an overview of developments and the change in the meaning of form and material in architecture , which has led to a breakdown in the formerly clearly defined form -material relationship. In archi tec ture , form and material have now become autonomous parameters , opposites in th e shapes of the digitally created form and a material fetishism , which focuses on the sensual qualities of the material.

///

But the fascination of synthetic materials

and the willingness of architects to experiment with such substances are not new phenomena , as the chapter " A brief history of plastic buildings " reveals. Since the mass production of plastics began in the 1920s, these materials have awakened the imaginations of architects and engineers alike . Nevertheless , their current visions of the future are less euphoric and less idealistic than thos e of the early p ioneers of plastic buildings. Once again , it is not the material itself that dominates or c onst itutes the starting point for a design . Instead , architects are seeking the right mate rial for their architecture , which follows conceptual design approaches or notions of form, and are aiming at atmospheric , sensual or provocative effects . In doin g s o, immateriality and ambiguity - the characteristics of transparent plastics - frequ ently harmonise well with such design approaches and make plastics the current building materia l of choice for the architectural avant-garde .


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Synthetic materials from the chemistry lab have always had some th ing remarkable about them. Even the alchemists of old were se arc h ing for a synthetic substance supposedly more precious than gold because it would unite all the positive properties of the co nv ent io nal " n at ural" materials . As plastics were invented in the 19th century and went into large -scale production in the early 20th , it seemed as though this vision had become reality. Archi te c t s and eng ineers linked their hopes and dreams to this " m iracle material " , which apparently could be given all conceivable c h arac t eri st ics . It c om b in ed lightness , strength , transparency , therma l insulation capacity, light permeability and load bearing characteristics , and opened up a world of infinite shapes. Plas t ics enabled planners to think in ter ms of bold , futuristic architec tural and urban visions and to revo lutio nise architecture through techno id s p at ial forms or o rganically cu rving engineered struc tures . Th ey w ere likewise a sym bol of a better, promising f u t ure that would know no housing shortages nor climate problems and do justice to th e needs of modern society in every respect .

III

II/cherd Buckmins ter Fuller 'S " Oym exion Dwelling Mach ine " of 1927 was the development of hIS Idee for e mobile , lightweight house.

The ar ch it ectur al applications conquered by the new p lastics w ere j ust as div erse as the plastics themselves . Pl ast ic sheets co uld be us ed to build folded -plate structures , or shells and pan els fo r room modules or modular constructions ; nylon ropes form ed long -span nets , and membranes of every kind were inflated to fo rm dom e st ru c t u res, or stretched across an existing load b ea rin g fr am ework .

I II

The history of the development of

p lastic b uil d ing s can be understood only in the social context and by referrin g back to the countless experimental designs of the vis ionaries and art ists . This is where th e fas cination of the syn t he t ic m at er ial find s expres sion ; and in the end it was mostly the bold vis ionari es who determined the direction of practical every d ay bu ildin g, wh ether in the formal -aesthetic or the technical c o nstructiona l aspect. In the discord between pragmatism and ut o p ia, a number of remarkab le p lastic butld tngs emerged , each of w hich , however, represents a momentary respite in t h is ongoing journe y of d evelopment.

1 See Joachim Krausse led .), R. 8uckminster Fuller , Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1973 . p. 133 2 The idea of a lightweight , mobile and at the same time prefabricated hou se runs like a thre ad through t he work oj Buckminster Fuller. Using the same principle , he developed the " St reamli ned Oymaxion Shelter " in 1932, a resid ential tower on a circular plan wit h a st reamlined, transparent enclo sing f ac ade which shields the tower against the wind . A rej inement and jurther development of his ideas resulted in the building oj a prototype, "Wichit a House" , in 1945 /46. 3 Kiesler under stands t ime-space arch itecture as the embedment oj t he chronol ogic al aspect of living int o the spat ial design ; the hou se shou ld not be divided int o self -c ont ained rooms, but rathe r int o jun cti onal zones, whose use and size shoul d remain f lexible and changeable . Frederick Kiesl er, Not es on architecture: the Space House, in: Siegfried Gohr, Gunda Luyken led s.l , Frederick J . Kiesl er. Sel ecte d Writings , Stuttgart , 1996, pp . 23-2B 4 The plastic house s of th e 1930s were produ ced by the ir manujactu rers for adverti sing purposes . See Arthu r Quarmby, The Plastic Arc hit ec t, London , 1974, p. 21. In th e early t9 40 s, with


A BRIEF HISTORY OF PLASTIC BUILDINGS

THE BEGINNINGS: THE STUFF DREAM HOUSES ARE MADE OF The triumphant advance of plastics in arc hitect ure began with th e rapid progress in plastics resea rc h and the onset of th e boom in manufacture towards the end of th e 1920s. The all ure of t hese synthetic materi als provi ded creati ve mind s like Richard Buckm inster Fulle r and Frede ric k Kiesl er with impulses for their arch itectural uto pias.

III

Buckm inst er Full er des igned his " Dymaxion Dwell -

ing Mach in e" in 1927. It was a "f eatherw eight", mobile-house that cou ld be tran sported in one piece to any faraway place and set up in a f ew hours . The name " Dymaxion", a concoction of dynami c , maxi mum and tension , is the expression of his intentions . Just like t he advocates of " white modern ism " , Buckminster Fuller was inspi red by automotive and air craft production and saw the future of arc hi tec ture in th e mass production of industrially prefabricated buildings. But in c ontrast to his colleague s, he focused on energy concepts and mobile architecture. Joachim Krausse des cribes this concep tual appro ac h as follows : " Wit hin the constructions , the distribu tion of building mass should make way for an organi sation of energ y-e xc hange processes, the sturdy statics supplanted by ephemeral dynamics . "I " Dymaxion" c onsi st ed of a loadbearing alumini um mast f rom wh ich th e floors , hexagonal on plan , were suspe nded by means of steel ropes made from piano wire . The ce ntral mast simultaneously served as a service shaft not only for hea t and power, but also for water and ventilation . The floors of the house were made of pneumatic membrane assemblies and the f ac ade was conceived as a double -leaf, self-supporting plastic envelope - transparent , translucent or opaque - with a vacuum in th e c avrt v.?

III

Whereas the transportable plastic house

was f or Buc km inster Fuller part of a global social utop ia , Frederick

" Sp ac e House " , Frederick Kleslor, 19 3 3

Kies le r linked the design of an organically curving plastic house in to his " ti me-s pac e architecture " theurv .? He designed the "S pace House " for the Modernage Furniture Company in New Yor k in 1933 . The house was to be moulded completely in plastic so tha t the walls , floors , ceilings and columns would merge into one. The interi or exte nde d as a continuous space over several levels and cou ld be subdivided into individual areas or segments as reo quired by means of movable partitions . This streamlined building anticipate d the architectural language of the plastic buildings of the 1970s, with their apt use of synthetic materials .

III

How -

ever , the practices of everyday build ing in those days were in no wa y ab le to take up the ideas of the vis ionaries and turn them into reality. The materials had not yet been fully developed , their properties had not been verified and th eir structural behaviour was still un c ertain . Nev ertheless, from the late 1930s onwards , initial, cau tio us att empts were made to establish the new materials in arc hitect ure" - a dynam ic that was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II because the plastics industry was forced to concen trate on supplying products for the war effort.

a view to t he impending hou sing shortage , t he Brit ish developed concepts for pref abricated houses made from pla stic s con si sting of self 路s uppor ting, multi-layer sheet s [see "The all -pla stic s hou se", in: Brit ish Plastics, April 1944) 5 Archive mater ial on the 1946 f air: "The pl anned plastic house f or export in order to secure food supplies and rebu ildin g activit ies " [bu ilding arch ives of the Berlin Academy of Arts ]; pub lished in Der Bauhelf er, No.6, 1946 6 The pref abric at ed plast ic hou se " Deut schl and" was designed by Hans Schara un and Karl Bottcher. 7 Ulrich Conrads and Hans G. Sperlich , Fantast ic Archi tec ture, London , 1963 . Gaff' s use 01 plast ics is not c ont rary t o his " organic" f orm 01building in whic h he makes direct ref erenc es to nature , th e nat ural surroundings and the ch aract er of th e mat erials . B The house was f unded by th e Daily Mail newspaper and exhibit ed at t he Ideal Home Exhib it ion in London. 9 "The general concepti on of th e hous e: The rooms fla w int o one anot her like the com partm ents of a cave, and as in a cave , t he skewered passage which joins one compartm ent wit h another eff ect ively maint ains privacy." Catherine Spellma n, Karl Unglaub [eds.],


10 / 11

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~G{]~~u~ THE POST-WAR YEARS AND GERMANY 'S ECONOMIC MIRACLE - THE PLASTIC BUILDING BETWEEN PRAGMATISM AND EXPERIMENTATION FROM THE HOUSE TO THE ROOM MODULE

III

in the

indust riali sed countries , the shortage of housing in the post-war years led to a yearning for the prefabricated house . This method of building , which had been established after World War I, encourages standard isation , mass production , transportability and the straightforward assembly of prefabricated elements . The new synthetic materials seemed predestined for this method of build ing, and compared to conventional prefabricated timber and con c rete elements their lower weight would help to reduce transport and erection costs - an important advantage . A certain plastics euphor ia was evident ; some even proclaimed it to be the dawn of the plastics age , which led to considerable research and develop ment activities on an international scale . A building trade fair held in Berlin in 1946 exhibited a number of prefabricated plastic houses which were intended to be produced in large numbers in the following years in order to overcome the shortage of housing at home and at the same time for export in order to help German in -

Houso in Ul bono. illinois, Bluco o/gmdon sldo

Gall. 1952: pOlspoClivO V'OW

dustry get back on its feet. 5 The initiator of this study was the international Committee for Building 6 Housing , composed of archi tects from the US and the UK as well as Germany. Five na t ional teams of architects designed Single -storey, modular house types made from plastic sheets with a f loor area of 65 m 2 , which could be arranged as terrace or semi -detached houses. " The pragmatic approach of this study was reflected in the design of the houses , which matched those of conventional house types . III Buckminster Fuller 's " Wic h it a House " was less conventional. It was both a prototypical prefabricated house ready for mass production and at the same time, the first time Fuller had been able to realise his vision of a lightweight, transportable house . How ever , the house was made chiefly of aluminium, not plastics. because Fuller had acquired a former aircraft assembly plant for the production , which was equipped for metalworking operations . The only remnant of his materials concept for "Oymaxion " was the wraparound windows made from double -leaf Perspex sheets. The industrially prefabricated aluminium and plastic elements were

Tho pOlsp oct ivo viow 01 tho InlOllOI shows rne spllol connocllng III mp and tho susponded -' iVing spholos - /dlowlng: Helboll Gl oonb ol g/ .

intended to be dispatched as a building kit to all parts of the coun try. Oespite the great interest shown by potentia l buyers, mass production never got going; the plastics industry, which was primar ily concerned with the manufacture of everyday articles, at t hat time showed no interest in the mass production of houses .

III

Pel el Smith son: Conversat lons with Student s , New York, 2005, p. 43 10 The archit ect s' priority was to f ind new hou sing concep ts for urban living. Besides t he "House of t he Fut ure" , they designe d several oth er house types bet ween 195B and 1958 base d on similar con cept s: mass produc t ion in c ont empor ary construc tion , Integ ral garden, open -pla n layout , built -in st orage and working spaces , et c. are t he f eat ures of the ir hou ses. 11 The hou se was comm ission ed by Charbonnages de Franc e to geth er wit h th e engineers Coulon and Magnant , and was also displayed in The Hague in 195 6 . 12 The hou se was f inanc ed and produ ced by the plast ics manuja ctur er Monsanto Chemical Co. and remained on show f or 10 years at Disney World in Californ ia. 13 Sche in 'S mobile 10 0 m mod ule (1956J can be seen in c onjunct ion with the glo wing caravan fa shion . Start ing in t he mld-19 50s , caravans made [ rom moulded glass fi ble had been produce d in the UK. The mobile plast ic room modules were not intended j ust f or holid ay accommo datio n, but could also provide living accomm odati on f or fam ilies; furth ermore, they coul d be equip ped and used f or any type of mobile tas k [e.g. exhibition s,


A BRIEF HISTORY OF PLASTIC BUILDINGS

It was not until the mid -1950s , as the pri ce of oil began to fall stead ily , as the new gene rat ion of plastics started to appear and as production and mach in ing methods underwent improvements , did it seem that the plastic house , as a mass -produced item , was within reac h. The plastics industry recognised the potential in the build ing industry and encouraged the development of prototypes , which were exh ib ited at relevant trade fairs ; however, the first plastic houses turned out to be merely displays of the materials of standard indust rial products .

///

Beyond the Widespread

pragmatism and the architectural approach tailored to the needs of industry, there were isolated attempts to sound out the design options that plastics offered . The "fantastic" house designed by Bruce Goff for a mus ician dating from 1952 can be counted among these attempts . The plastics and aluminium industries financed the project and determined the materials. Goff designed the roof as an oversized " umbrell a" of transparent plastic and suspended spher ical room modules from this which were linked via a ramp -

- House of rhe Furure - , Alison end Perer Sml lhson, 19 56 ; bedroom

like ascending plastic tube . The transparent walls of the house were to be moulded from liquid plastic which cures to form a rigid

she ll."

///

In subsequent years , the first plastic houses ap -

peared in which both the architecture and the construction did justice to the materials themselves, which kindled a sort of for mal-aesthetic revolution . The houses made from moulded parts, which joined together floors, walls and ceilings seamlessly, were th e expression of a new image of civilisation in the increasingly

-HouSO of rho Fuluro " Cur -oway view

prosperous and individualised society of leisure . Mobil it y and f lex ibility were the buzzwords of a new generation of architects. How life in the future would look was demonstrated by Alison and Peter Smithson in 1956 with their "House of the Future" (H.o .F.).o The int rovert ed, single -storey patio house consisting of organi cally interlinked spaces on the one hand evoked a feeling of anc ient cave shelters ," but at the same time the interior, with its moulded , seamless, satin gloss walls, the " o-Volving" shelving, cupboards , kitchen appliances and washing facilities, reminded the viewer of scenes from a science-fiction film . Even though the whole design was based on the new plastic materials (the house was int ended to be moulded in glass fibre). the materiality was more an inspiration than the actual focus of the design .'? In that same year , lonel Sche in presented his " Maison en Plastique " in Paris at the Salon des Arts Menagers Y This " expand ing" house had a sp iral form on plan to which extra rooms cou ld be added if required - thus anticipating society 'S demands for jtexlbllttv. Desp ite the complex plan geometry, the rooms were made from iden t ical segments produced from prefabricated , folded plastic sheets . In contrast to the organically curving science -fiction vi sion of the Smithsons , the structure of this house employed a conventional form of construction in which the walls, loadbearing structure and roof are clearly separate items .

///

A sensa -

t ional breakthrough in the bulldlng of plastic houses was achieved by the American architects Hamilton and Goody in 1957 with the

mobile hospitals. building site accommodation, etc.). 14 1957: The "Plastic House" by Hubert Hofmann and Wassili Luckhardt and the "Dwopor House" made from plastic sandwich panels and exhibited at the Interbau fair in Barun, plus any number of additive plastic cubes measuring 4.B x 4.B m by Cesare Pea at the Triennale in Milan. 195B: A plastic house as a weekend retreat made from a self-supporting shell construction by Rudolph Doernach at the "Plastics Conquer the World" exhibition in Stuttgart. 1959: Troisdorfer plastic house from the Dynamit-Nobel A/G company. 15 The Congres Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne [CIAMJheld in 1956 discussed issues of mobility, growth, organic "cluster formation" and communication [Bauwelt, No. 3B, 1956J. 16 The founding members of the group were David Georges Emmerich, Yona Friedman, Jean Pecquet, Jerzy Soltan and Jan Trapman. in addition, the German architects Frei Otto, Gunter Gunschel and Gunther Kuhne also took part in the meetings. 17 "The expression 'architecture mobile' signifies not only the mobility of the whole construction, but also its adaptability to meet the changing needs of a


12 / 13

Monsanto " Ho us e of the Futu re" ;' ? The curved plastl c shells raised above ground level were joined together seamlessly to form the roof, walls and floor of the four square rooms that radiated out f rom a central square spa ce . The c onst ruct ion of the nearly 5 m w ide , c ant il everi ng glass fibre -reinforced plastic shells represente d the limits for this material, and it was therefore a pe rfect demonstration vehicle for the plastics industry. In terms of archi tecture , aesthetics and construction , the house staked out the route that would be taken by the future development of plastic houses . Another equally pioneering project was the plastic room module c onc eived by lonel Schein , which could be used as a mo bile beach -house , a hotel chalet or for other funct ions . It con -

Monsant o "'House of the Futuro" Hamilton and Goody. 19 5 7 I

tain ed a small bathroom unit and a double bed , which during the day could be converted into a couch and table . These min imal ac commodation units could be easily transported on a goods vehicle and set up as interconnected structures ." Further plastic houses , the majority conceived as holiday chalets , followed in the footsteps of these early examples .':'

///

The grow ing trend towa rds light-

weight , mobile room modules found an outlet in new urban concepts . Inspired by the ClAM Congress held in Dubrovnik in 1956,' 5 young architects in Paris founded the "Groupe d 'Etudas d 'Arch itecture Mobile " (GEAMj .'6 Based on the realisation that people should form part of a permanent sociologica l and technical process of change , the architects called for [Iexihle and variab le residen tial structures . As an answer to these demands , they developed the " arc hit ec t ure mobile ":"? room modules without specific functions that could be inserted int o an independent load bearing and se r-

WIth Us ca ntlle vor;ng pl ast tc sheUs, the Monsan to -House of the

Fu turo"demo nst rated tho posslbWtles of synthetiC ma terials and nen c c hBralded 8 no w era In architecture .

vices structure and added to or removed depending on require ments (growing/shrinking families . relocation , etc.I .'"

SHEDS AND CANOPIES

///

Temporary exhibition halls and

canopies represented another area where the exponents of plas ti cs architecture could experiment. Starting in the mid -195Ds, pla st ic sheets or membranes were used to form enclosures to the de licate timber and steel load bearing structures of single -storey sh ed s and to demonstrate the innovat ive energies of their own ers. !"

///

Richard Buckminster Fuller played a special and

pioneering role in this sector, too , with the development of his geodesic domes . Starting with his "Necklace Domes", which he built in 194B/49 together with students , the [ollowlng 20 years saw him produce a multitude of dome structures covered with the mo st diverse synthetic materials or made from self-supporting plastic sheet s. The us es and the sizes of these domes varied ."? The early 195Ds saw Fuller introduce the use of transparent mem branes and plastic sheets for facades. At the same time he also demonstrated the load -carrying capacity of the new materia l by constructing a radome made from rhombus -shaped . self-supporting plastic shells (1954) .

///

Another option f or creating large

str uc t ures using loadbearing plastics was put to the test by the

Tho mobile room module - horo as 8 library - which was conceived as a bsach 路houss or hotel chala t, can be fCJ88 fdc d as rha predecessor

of the modular archirocwrc 0/ tha

J970s.

changing SOCiety." Yona Friedman in: Werk, No.2, 1963. The group first published its ideas in 195B (see Bauwelt, No. 21, 195B); they presented their works at an exhibition in Amsterdam in 1962. 16 See Bauwelt, No. 21, 195B 19 Halls and canopies at the 1955 German National Garden Exhibition, the Hannover Industry fair of 1956, Interbau 1957 and the 195B World Exposition in Brussels were built in this way. See Hansjurgen Saechtling, Amtor Schwabe, Bauen mit Kunststoffen, Berlin, 1959. 20 Buckminster Fuller built domes with diameters up to 67 m; they were used for research centres, restaurants, swimming pools, planetariums, warehouses, aircraft hangars, exhibition halls and radar stations. 21 Similar canopy constructions were used in the 19BOs and 1970s as roofs 23 ibid. 24 "Why not design to petrol stations or for large projects such as the airport terminal in Dubai. 22 Sir George Thomson, quoted in Michel Ragon, Oil Vivrous-nous Demain?, Paris, 1963 fully fitted houses into which one can step and simply live, complete, in much the same way as one can sit in a normal fully-fitted car and drive away?" Quarmby, The Plastic Architect, p.132 25 Suuronen


A BRIE F HISTORY OF PLA ST IC BUILD INGS

US pav ilion at the Amer ican Exchange Exhibition in Moscow in 19 59 . A modu lar system consisting of translucent , canopy-type moulded plastic shells 6 m high and about 5 m in diameter formed the roofs to this pav il inn .?'

III

Mobility, flex ibility, modular ar-

ch itecture and space -travel aesthetics were the dominating th emes and parad igmatic features of 1960s architecture , and el ements of this could be seen in the plastic buildings of the earl y years .

THE 1960S - THE RIGHT-ANG LE I S A TH ING OF THE PAST During the 196os, the mobile leisure society, characterised by Its enthus iasm for space travel , its belief in technology and the future , it s rejection of traditions , but also its fear of the worldwide population explosion , constituted a fertile soil for the ongoing de velopment of plastic houses . This new, lightweight material fu elled the fantasies of a whole generation; enthusiastic planners and theorists saw the cities of the future as dynamic organisms charact erised by weightlessness and a diversity of forms. 22 Plast ics arch itecture promised to liberate us from an "architecture of

The lully liffed. mobIle module "Futuro" was built Irom 16 ,denl,caf plastiC S9gments and could be used as an aprtfs-slc, hut . holIday accommodation. kIosk Of petro' starlon bUIldlOB . MaUl Suuronen. 1968

concrete or steel , the structure of which appears like a cage and unluckily has led to the aesthetic of the right-angle. "23 The pro fession was in agreement: the future of architecture belonged to synthetic materials .

ROOM MODULES AND MODULAR CONSTRUCTION

III

In thematic terms, the use of plastics in architecture thorough ly declined in the 196os. Room modules appeared , additive or stand alone , made from prefabricated, self-supporting, curved plastic shells and also buildings made from modular panel systems . The fully equipped room module fitted perfectly into the idealised im age of future llvtng stvles .> With crystalline , circular or organic forms , they were placed on stilts , anchored like tents to the ground , or floated on the water. They were placed in rows , stacked in towers , or suspended from loadbearing frameworks . The imagi nations of the designers seemed to know no bounds . Within a very short period of time , more than 200 prototypes destined for mass production were developed in Europe and the US.

I I lOne of

the highlights in this wide assortment of plastic houses was the " Fut uro" apres -ski hut designed by Matti Suuronen (1968). Opti mised structurally and ecologically , this mobile room module looked like a flattened plastic sphere sitting on a steel frame with

Tho flattenod plastic spharo with lold -our Sfalts looks I,lce a

UFO Sflol touchdown'

four legs .2 5 Sixteen identical plastic segments enclosed a floor area of 50 m 2 • The prototype was fitted with relaxing armchairs arranged radially around a fireplace . Besides th is communal room , there was a small kitchen , a bathroom and one bedronrn .?" The build ing, which reminded the observer of a UFO after touchdown ,

realised an archit ect ural space that Frederick Kiesler had already procl aimed as an ideal space back in 1934: " Next simplified met hod of bui lding : t he die-c ast unit.. . Such co nstru ct ion I call shellmonolith . EaSily erecte d. Weight mini mized. Mobile . Separat ion int o floor, wall s, roof, col umns, is eli minate d. The flo or contin ues int o t he wall .... the wal l co nti nues int o the roof . t he roof into t he wall. the wall int o the f loor.... The ideal house configurati on wit h least resist ance to outer and inner st ress is not t he ovoid but t he spheroid mat rix: a f latte ned sphere. in its equatorial sect ion a circ le . in it s longi tu dinal section an elli pse..... Gohr. Luyken (eds.). Frederick J . Kiesler, pp. 23-28 2 6 A detailed desc riptio n of the hist ory and c onstructi on of t he " Fut uro" apres-ski hut can be f ound in Elke Geruel, Pamela VOigt . Kunststoffbauten, Weimar, 2005 . and in Marc o Home. Mika Taanila leds .l , Futu ro. Tomorrow 's House from Yesterday, Helsinki, 20 02. 27 The Feierbach f amily liv ed in the hou se from 196 8 to 1978 . By 1979 . a further 35 houses had been built using th is system . Genzel, Voigt , Kunststoff bauten. p. 189 ; www .f eierbach.c om 28 During the 1950s Luigi Nervi. Osc ar Niemeyer, Feli x


14 / 15

was the practical manifestation of a generation enthusiastic about technology , and also the culmination of the possibilities of synthetic materials in terms of architectural language , content and construction . Patents for the system were sold worldwide and in the follow ing years some 60 " Fut uros" were built for use as kiosks, holiday homes, petrol station buildings and even watch towers.

III

Despite the great public interest in the plastics

architectu re of a " Monsant o" or a " Futuro", the vast majority of potential buyers was not prepared to accept the dictatorial principle of the room module . A moderate yet contemporary variation appeared in the form of the FG 2000 system by Wolfgang Feierbach , which permitted many different plan layouts. This modular building system consisting of self-supporting , glass f ibre -reinforced plastic panels fitted in well with the architectural language of the 1960s. The curved panels with their rounded edges and smooth surfaces formed both the roof and the external walls of the buildings . The prototype , a rectangular plastic box standing on a masonry plinth was used by the Feierbach family itselfY Full -height built-in cupboards of plastic divided the open plan layout into functional areas , and carpeted ceilings , replaceable textile wall coverings and modern plastic furniture determined the ambience of the interior. The form of construction, the plan layout and the interior were an impressive demonstration of the ideas of contemporary, modern llvtng.

III

In contrast to

the majority of plastic buildings of that period , which were con ceived exclusively for temporary occupation [holi day homes, ski huts . beach -houses , etc .I, the FG 2000 system was approved by the authorities and consequently could be used for commercia l or residential purposes . Notwithstanding, plastic bui ld ings still did not establish themselves firmly in the marketp lace; high produc The FG 2000 systom consrsrs of ptasnc modules that can be JOined tOBother In e numbor of dIfferent ways; WolfBanB fe/erbach. 196B

tion costs and fire protection prob lems were only two of the reasons for this .

BUILDING DN A LARGE SCALE

III

A number of different

types of construction became available for large -scale projects such as industrial sheds, sports halls and large-span roofs. The range included self-supporting plastic shells and folded -plate structures , structural steelwork with plastic infill panels, or pneu matic and mechanically tensioned membrane constructions. III

Fold ing or double curvature gave very thin plastic sheets the

necessary stiffness - construction principles that had first been used successfully in the concrete buildings of the 1950s 20

-

and

th ey became self-supporting enclosures for large projects , pri marily industrial utility structures. In the 1960s many systems were deve loped and verified structurally for these three -dimen sional building envelopas .?" Produced as modules , they were as sembled to form barrel vaults , large canopies or domes . The pro tective roof over an industrial plant near Rome is typica l of one of these self-supporting , folded -plate constructions. The transport-

fG 2000. Cu t-eway view

Candela , Eero Saarinen and other s had built delicate folded and curved c onc rete shells . 29 In th e UK in parti cular, the Structural Plasl ic s Research Unit . a research group at the civil engineering faculty at th e University of Surrey, investig ated t he st ruct ural properties of f olded -p lat e st ruct ures, and Art hur Quarmby and st udents at the Bradf ord Region al College of Art experimented wit h folded plate struc tu res that could be fo lded to gether conc ert ina -fa shion . In Italy th e archit ect Mario Sch elchenbauer investig at ed th e develo pment of prefabr icated folded -pl ate st ruc tures. 30 Ju st like prefabr ic ated pl ast ic houses and pneumat ic buildings , the archi t ec t ure of folded -pl ate st ructures was det ermin ed by indu st ry. Leaders in th is f ield were the Brit ish comp ani es Formplus Co. of Quarry Bank, Anmac Ltd . and Mic kleo verTr ansport Ltd. ("Clamp svs rern"] . 31 At th e University of Surrey In the 1960s, several institutes were involved in research int o 3 0 st resse d-ski n st ruc tures made from plast ic pyramids: t he Depart ment of Civil Enginee ring heade d by Prof. Z. S. Makowski and th e Stru ctura l Plastics Research Unit under the leadership of R. C. Gilkie and D. Robak. In t he Netherlands ,


A BRIEF HISTORY OF PL AST IC BUILDINGS

able , modular barrel vault , designed by Renzo Piano in 1966, was made up of rhombus -shaped , glass fibre -reinforced plastic ele ments bolted tng eth er.P'' The 3D stressed -skin structures , made up of small-format , standardised plastic pyrarnlds , were folded . plate structures with more demanding architecture. In addition to the bolted connections , the elements were connected via a sys tem of tubes , mostly steel or aluminium , installed inside or out side the envelope ."

III

In other large projects the plastic

shells were not used as the loadbearing elements , but rather as the facade material. One outstanding example with a resounding symbolic effect was Buckminster Fuller 's US pav ilion at the 1967 World Exposition in Montreal. This giant geodesic dome 61 m h igh

This solf路supportlng foldod sfruClUro modo from ptnsnc modules forms 8 bartol -vault protectIve rool

and 76 m in diameter was formed by a delicate, three -dimension -

lor an Industria! plant

noar Rome , Renzo Plano . 1968

al network of bars with infill panels of bubb le -shaped Perspex panels . As the world 's largest dome construction , the pavilion be c am e the symbol of technology's supremacy over nature.

URBAN U T O P IA S

III

In the early 1960sthe notion that the

concrete frame would in future be replaced by modular systems w ith plastic room modules spread throughout the building indus try ;32 plastics architecture seemed to represent an adequate answer to the emerging technological age of nuclear energy and transistors , which would give rise to the new human being - the mobile individual. 33 Architectural practices with an international outlook such as Archigram, G.I .A .P.34 (Groupe International d 'Architecture Prospective) and the Japanese metabolists t ook up these themes and appea red in public with urban utopias as a manifestation of complex theoretica l systems .

III

G.I.A.P.

took up the ideas and concepts of GEAM and worked on socially relevant topics like mobility, jtextbllltv, automation, individualisa -

Tho spec taculor goodeslc domo DI the Amorican Expo peviuo芦 consIsted 0/ B space Irame wHh an rn/llfrng of transpafont acrylic alamonts; Buckmmster Fullor . 19G7

tion and growth in their architectural and urban models. The result was a number of individualistic designs which, however, basically followed the same pattern : lightweight, mobile room modules " doc ked" at random onto a primary loadbearing and infrastructure system . The primary structure, resembling that of the "Corn on the Cob " project by Arthur Ouarmby , consisted of a central concrete mast with cantilever arms , or a three -dimensional loadbearing framework , like that sketched out for the projects of Wolfgang Doring and others. As a further development of his " arc h it ec t ure mobile " , Yona Friedman designed the "ville spatiale " (1959) and the " vil l e- p ont" (1963) as urban megastructures . His designs con sisted of large -scale, multistorey space frames supported 12 m above the ground on columns . Based on a 5 m grid , the loadbearing structure could be filled as required with any number of 25 m 2 room modules. The conventional apartment had been resolved int o a collection of spaces made up of monolith ic compartments which could be assigned to indiv idual family members and adapted for var ious uses .?" A thin, transparent membrane covering the ent ire living accommodation assisted the straightforward construe-

K;sho Kurokaw8 deSIgned thiS primary loadb8Sflng struclUlO for fesldonOal

blocks In tho form of a double helix /l9Gl}

P. Huybers was c arrying out research into pyramid system s at the University of Delf t . 32 Saechtling. Schwabe , 8auen mit Kunsts t off en, p. 511 33 In te rms of our curren t towns and cities, we behave li ke peopl e who still clo t he th emselves in baggy breeches and mail -shirt s in t he age of radar, t ranstst ors, t elevislnn , at omic cen t res and synt het ic mater ials . Our current urban settl ement s are like ol d, worn-out clothes t hat no lo nger mat ch our occ upati ons and inte nti ons. [Ragon, Oli Vivrous-nous Demain?] 34 The group was fo unded in Paris in 196 5 by lone l Sch ein, Yona Friedman, Paul Maymont , Georges Pat rix, Mich el Ragon, Nicholas Sch oj j er and Walter Jonas. The inte ntio n of t he fo unding membe rs w as to unite arc hitect s, urban pl anners and artis t s on t he international st age who were examining th e fut ure of cit ies and architecture ; ideas should be exchanged and j oint exhibit ions and conf erences organised. The group hoped t o attrac t international members such as Art hur Ouarmby, Frei Ott o, Guy Rottier , William k at avotus. Kisho Kurokawa, s ta phana du Chat eau, Werner Ruhnau, Pasc al Hauserrnann and David Georges Emmerich . The Belgian Cent re d 'Etud es Archit ect urale s served


16 / 17

tion Of the modules . Similar megastructures , but emphasizing the cyclic character of th e c ity , are to be found in the urban utopias of the rnetabo ltsts .s" In an analogy with biological systems , the ir city of the future is like an organic, dynamic body subjected to changing cycles and forming an indivisible alliance between hu mans , mach ines and spaces . The different structures of a city [capsules , loadbearing structure , communication structure, transport structure) should be separated from each other accord ing to their life cycles . The ir mega structures in the form of waves ["wall clusters "], trees ["urban connectors") or double-helix molecules reflect in a very pictorial manner the bio logica l-organ ic ap -

Tho "yUle spatlalo " consisted o/a muir/storey space frame that could be filled with any number of ,oom modules; Yona r, ledman , 1959/60

proach . The technoid , migrating cities , which the Archigram Group presented in comic-style drawings, formed the conclusion and climax of the urban utnplas .:"

THE ROOM MOOULE, A TECHNOIO ORGANISM

III

The

futuristic urban visions were accompanied in the 1960s by architectural utopias that questioned the very essence of trad it ional liv ing concepts and forms and demonstrated radical, new solu t ions based on the automation of fully equipped houses . Arthur Ouarmby 's vis ion of the house of the futu re drew a picture of a technoid organism defined by the comfort and convenience of its occupants . Lighting , colours , sounds , music , views of the outside world , odours and feelings 3B should be controlled via the touch of a button just like the movable partitions, facades and roofs . In 1965 David Greene went one step further with his "Living Pod" design . The high -tech , automated residential module with its space -travel aesthetic was fitted with electrical sliding doors , an

Sclf 路SUPPorfjn8 accommodatfon capsules susponded from a delIcate structure frameworlt.,

Wol/ga ng DO ring. 19 114

automated " b ody- cl eansing system" , rotating cupboards for storing clothes, a mobile food -and -drink servery and integral, auto matic cooker. The house had become an active , living organism - a " mot her machine " that washed , clothed and fed its occupants .:" III

Also rem iniscent of a living organism was the fantastic ar-

ch itecture of the American philosopher and industrial designer William Katavolos . Katavolos designed a mobile , weightless plas t ic house made from liquid plastic moulded into torus shapes or spheres . The outcome of chemical processes , the self-cleaning windows also regulate the temperature , the rib -like , double-leaf plastic walls function as refrigerator or cooker, and the walls cre ate everyday articles out of plastlc. "? The houses are created at random and produce - imitating the growth processes of living organisms - " blossoms" from their own integral substances in the form of everyday articles .

The room modulo 858 tochnold organism which cleans . cremes and feeds us occupants; "L1vlnB Pod", David Greeno. 1965

as their mouthpiece, a centre which besides hosting regular avant-garde exhibitions also published a series of books defining the positions of individual members of the group. Michel Ragon, founding member of the group and architecture critic, chronicled the work of the group through publications and papers In journals. Some members of the group, e.g. Schein, Ouarmby, Hauserrnann, dedicated themselves to investigating the possibilities ofthe new material in architecture. 35 Yona Friedman, "L' Architecture Mobile", in: Cahier du Centre d'Etudes Architecturales, No.3, Brussels, 196B, pp. 20-21 36 Kisho Kurakawa founded the metabolists group in 1960 together with the architecture critic Nobru Kawazoe. In that same year they presented their ideas at the "Metabolism" exhibition in Tokyo and published their manifesto Metabolism: The Proposals for New Urbanism. The architecture of metabolism is an expression of the "Age of Life" and is based on cycles ["metabolic cycle"], on metamorphosis [change} and on symbiosis [the fusing of different, sometimes opposing factors and information, e.g. tradition and hi-tech, different cultures and lifestyles, etc.}. Kisho Kurokawa,


A BRIEF HISTORY OF PLASTIC BUILDINGS

IJ[X]~ W~D@[X]IJ[S~~~ W(Q)~[S[ID (Q)[? ~)J[h]IJ[X]~IJ D~

~~~OO~拢[h]~~ MEMBRANE TENS ION STRUCTURES

III

Today's plas -

t ics archite cture landscape is essentially characterised by struc tures employing synthetic membranes. The apparently weightless forms made from transparent sheets and synthetic fabrics are the result of modern , engineered membrane construction . We should not forget that building with membranes is almost as old as hu manity itself; tents with coverings of animal skins, wattle, canvas, c otton or linen have been used as accommodation since time im memori al by nomadic peoples or soldiers , as temporary banquetin g ha lls by royal courts , and textile sunshades have been used as roo fs of sports arenas and theatres since Roman times . Until the mi ddle of the 20th century, however, the construction industry

Tho cit y In rho see Is tho out com e 01 tho curlnB processos of liquid plas tics ; Will iam

xet avoto s . 1960

paid little attention to such membrane structures , attached little import an c e to them , did not regard them as elements of archi t ecture.

III

Modern membrane construction started with the

development of suspended roojs .:" Vladimir G. Shukhov built two exhi bi t ion pavilions for the lB96 pan -Russian exhibition at Nizhni Novgorod ,42 wh ich with their suspended , mesh -like roof construct ions of steel strips became exh ibits themselves and excited the interest of the international audlenca.:" The mesh and lattice roof s represented the breakthrough for shell structures in double c urvat ure made from identica l elements. During the 1930s, James Stewart." and , in particular, the French engineer Bernard Laffaille advanc ed the development of membrane tension st ruct ures; Laf f aille'S sheet-metal shells in double curvature dating from 19 3 6 ess ent iall y formulated the nature of membrane t ension st ruc tu res . But it was not until the publication of Oas hangende Oach (t he suspended roof] in 1954 that the industry reached a water shed in membrane construction . Frei Otto illustrated the con str uct ional and architectural possibilities of membrane construc t ion and thus raised the status of arch itecture 's " ugly duckling " . Conventional tent structures became precise ly designed and ca lculat ed engin eered assemblies made from prestressed mem -

Vladi m" G. Shukhov 's ava' pav"'on a t Iha l B98 pan路 Russian exhibItion was an Bartyexample ala mesh路 typo suspen ded roo! construction made from Identical eleme nts .

bra nes in double curvature with diverse , c omplex forms , albeit initi all y sti ll mak ing use of traditional cotton materials. Again and aga in , tr ials were conducted in an attempt to replace convention al tent materials by modern fabrics b ecause the advantages promi sed by the new materials were already evident. The light weight membranes showed their potent ial in terms of their im pr ove d du rab ility, higher tearing strength , better behaviour in fire and w eath ering res istance, and thus seemed predestined f or this new f ield of structural enginee ring .

III

But th e first attempts

ended in disa ster. In 19 57 the ent ran ce arch for the German

This Ir/al sad d la路shapad arch mada fram shae t melal segments formulat ed for I ha firSI tlma Iho (oQujremcn ts of membrane tonslon struc tures : Bernard Laf alll a, 19 3 8

K. Kikutaka, MBtabolism: ThB Proposals for New Urbanism, Tokyo, 1960 37 Archigram was founded in 1960 by the British architects Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Graane, Ron Herron and Michael Webb. Up until 1974 their urban utopias such as "Walking City" or "Plug-in City" ensured plenty of attention. They first came to the notice of a wide international audience during their joint exhibition "Living City" held at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1963. 3B "I would like to be able to create an atmosphere - a mood - by varying lighting, colours, sound, music, views, smells, feeling. Why do we not build such facilities into housing?" Duarmby, The Plastic Architect, pp. 131-32 39 ibid., p. 132 40 Ragon, ou Vivrous-nous Demain?, pp.1D2-o4 41 The Czech engineer Friedrich Schnirch invented the suspended roof in 1824 and patented it in 1826. Schnirch covered parallel purlins positioned between ridge and eaves. GeorgMoller, in his "design theory" of 1828, published for the first time the use of "grid or node systems" for curved iron roof structures. He took the Gothic as his model. He built the first iron lattice dome over the east crossing


18 / 19

Federal Garden Exhibition in Cologne and the Bellevue Palace cafe at the Inte rbau fair, both by Frei Otto, were originally built using synthetic fabrics , but were replaced by cotton after just a short t ime in se rvice because moisture damage and tears revealed the deficien cies of the plastics of that time. The changeover from cotton and linen materials to synthetic membranes in the form of textiles, sheets and meshes was only completed gradually in the 1970s as synthetic materials underwent constant improve -

I I I Whereas the focus of interest in shell structures is the construction itself, it is the fascination of the almost immate rial material that favours the use of synthetic membranes as the ments .

facade material for temporary sheds and domes. As early as 194B, Buckminster Fuller clad his "Necklace Oome " 45 of the "Skybreak

Dwelling "?" in transparent plastic sheeting. The dome was intend ed to serve as a controlled -climate envelope for a mobile house ,

Tho anrranca arch for the Gorman Fodoral Gardan Exhibition In Cologne demonstrated tho doslg" mombrana structures as a new field 01 englneBred DfchHecruro; Fro' Otto . 1957

potontla!

01

made from modular units, plus its garden. Dur ing the 1950s, other domes copied this example. However, the trade fair halls in which the sheeting was stretched over conventional loadbearing structures without taking into account the specific needs of th is form of construction revealed the lack of experience in handling the

I I I The architectural and structural highlights were the tent constructions of the German pavltlorr" at the 1967 World Exposition in Montreal and the Olympics struc tures built two years later in Munich. In Montreal it was the grace new building materials .:"

ful , playful, open roof landscape - plastic membranes in double curvature supported by a network of steel cables - that proved so popular with international visitors . The curv ing roofs of the Olym pies structures in Mun ich have a covering of transparent Perspex panels which are bolted via neoprene pads to the joints of the ca ble -net supporting structure .

III Air -inflated and air -sup ported structures represent a special area of membrane construcPNEUMATIC STRUCTURES

t ion . In pneumatic structures , pressure differences between the enclosed space and the exterior are responsible for giving the

Tho "NBc /d acs Domo", covarad with transparen t plastic shooting . was intended to se rve 85 a cllmate -contmlled enclosure lor 8 mobile hou se; - Skybrsok Dwol!lnB " , (JuckmlnSIOt Fullot, 19 4 9

bu ilding its shape and also for stabilising the envelope. Although pneumatic structures had been seen in earlier centu ries in the form of rafts of inflated animal skins, as the battle standards of armies in the form of air -filled kites , or as flying hot-air bat tncns.: " it was not until the start of the 20th century that their use for ar c hit ect ur e was cons idered . In his patents of 1917 and 1919 , the British engineer F. W. Lanchester outlined the most important principles of pneumatic shed constructions [airlocks , fans for stabilising the air pressure , anchorage to the ground , stabilising network of cables) and thus created the foundation for the devel opment of pneumatic structures in architecture . However, the patents did not bring about any notable buildings over the next 3D yea rs and the first attempts in the 1930s to build so -called in flated domes d id not get beyond the experimental stage . It was

Tho tensllo sholl structuro 01 the Gorman pavilion a t tho World fKposltlon ,n Mont roal. wah Its orna to beauty and lightness, made alt visUalS,' Fro; OUD . 19 6 7

D

'asting ImpreSSion on

of Mainz Cathedral, although the lattice was not yet in one plane. It was Johann Wilhelm Schwedler who built the first true lattice domes (1863 onwards] in which all the members were positioned in the same plane. Rainer Graefe suspects that Shukhov was familiar with Schwedler's designs. 42 He had already tested his mesh-like roof system on a factory building in 1894 and had applied for a patent one year later. 43 One of his pavilions, a rotunda, consisted of two different suspended roofs. The steel mesh covered the outer perimeter of the circular building, suspended between two rings with diameters of 68.3 and 25 m. Within the inner ring, a suspended shell of riveted sheet metal formed the selj-supporting roof covering. 44 In James Stewart's suspended rooffor a grain store in Albany [New York, 1932], the sheet metal panels just 2.7 mm thick spanned 36 m and thus formed a freely suspended membrane In single curvature. In contrast to prestressed shell structures In double curvature, suspended roofs are frequently only Single-curvature structures and hence unstable; they achieve their stability through their high self-weight. 45 In the "Necklace Dome" [a predecessor


A BRIEF HIS T ORY OF PLASTI C BUILD INGS

the American engineer Walter Bird who achieved the breakthrough . He had been working in this field since 1946 and in 1955 he built the f irst spherical inflated dome for the General Electric company at Cornell University ; it made use of plastic membranes and caused worldwide uproar. Just one year later, his design for a pn eumatic sw imm ing pool roof made from transparent sheets ap peared on the cover of an edition of Life Magazine. 5o This cost effective method of building large sheds - 1 W cost only 9B US cent - led in subsequent years to considerable development and production acttvtttes'" in the industrialised countries and countless air -supported buildings with spher ical and cylindrical fo rms appeared in the rush to achieve ever -greate r dlmenstcns .P? These air -supported bu ildings were more interesting for their technical c on st ru cti on al aspects than for their formal -aesthetic appeal. The lightness of these constructions seemed to be an absurd contradiction to their monstrous forms .

///

The only excep -

t ions were the sheds and pavilions of Victor Lundy, whose gracefully curving forms demonstrated the architectural potential of pneumatic structures . His exhibition hall, which he built for the United States Atomic Energy Commission in 1960, employed two adjacent domes of different height and width to create a long, cave-like structure which at the " gable" ends terminates in canti levering, barrel-vault canopies. He managed to achieve this stroke of architectural genius through using a hybrid technique. The in -

Tho drowings accompanylnB F. W Lanchests,'s J918 patent lor a pneumatIc shod; the patent document contBlned aU tho essential elements for modern pnoumatic suucrures.

terior is formed according to the overpressure principle of air inflated buildings and the outer envelope, which consists of a I

double -layer membrane of PVC-coated nylon fabric, has additional

I

pneumatic stabilising . A special feature is the canopies made up of rows of air -filled, tube -shaped cushions . Cushion construe t ion ,53 a further development of Carl Koch's theatre roof in Bos ton , was used here for the first time as an enclosing en velope . Koch designed the circular roof to the theatre in the form of an enor mous nylon cushion, 44 m in diameter and up to 7 m deep , st ret c h ed between a c irc umf erent ial steel structure. Originally, the construction was merely intended to serve as formwork for a concrete dome , but after this structure itself withstood the rigours of a hurricane in 1960, a decision was made to abandon the con -

Wallet Bird waves Irom thlt top 01 the/lrst air-supported membrana dome

cretel But for a long time, Victor Lundy's exhibition hall remained

Cornall; Walter Bud . J955

In

an architectural and engineering exception in pneumat ic membrane architecture .

of his geodesiC domes). t he load bearing st ruc t ure of th e dome is for med by stra ight t ubes arranged in tri angles, which are t hread ed ont o wir e ropes lik e pearl s on a necklace to f orm a st abl e sphe rical shape. This principl e is call ed mult ipolar t ensegrit y. 46 Fuller 's stu dents developed a " st andard-of -living package" as a design exerc ise - a detached home fo r six person s, t he room modules of which could be t ransport ed in one conta iner t owed behind a vehicle. 47 The Henschel company designed it s cube-shaped t rade f air hall using a Mero st eel st ruc ture t hat was covered c ompl et ely (walls and roof] with a 0 .2 mm membrane. The barrel- vault exhib it ion hall for t he designs of th e Siemen s compan y consist ed of a mesh- like t imber str uc tu re [a so- called Zollbau timber-rib con struction) th at was also covered wit h a transpa rent membrane (0.25 mm Gutagena sheet] . The recta ngular gastronom y tent at the World Expos ition in Brussel s had a t ent -like suspende d membrane [in double curvatu re) which looked like a prestr essed shell stru cture ; however, the membrane was not loadbea ring, but simply st retc hed over a steel framework of suspe nded fi sh-bell y girders . (Saechtli ng, Schwabe, Bauen


20 ! 21

UTOPIA IS NOW Ut opi an de si gn s and experimental projects - maximal bubbles or min imal she lters - f irst revealed the fascinating appeal of "air structures " . The possib ility of en closing large areas without interven ing co lumn s enc ouraged engineers and architects to produce futu ristic des igns in which transparent pneumatic domes were shown covering whole landscapes and towns . The desire to pro vi de th e needs of human beings coupled with the belief in a better future were the reasons behind these gigantic transparent enclo su res creating env ironments with a controlled climate, and thus pe rmitting human settlements to be established in inhospitab le climates , guaranteeing a Mediterranean li f est yl e worldwide, or favouring the growth of plants .

///

Th roughout the 1950s and

1960s, num erous projects - geodesic domes , cable -net struc tures and pneumatic hu lldlngs - were designed as climate -control env elop es covering large areas .P" The best-known designs stem from the drawing boards of Frei Otto and Buckminster Fuller. The latter 's giant transparent dome over Manhattan was published as a photomontage in 1962. Wind , rain , snow and ice , as well as em issions, were banished from the human living space . The micro climate elaborately and expensively created in each individua l li ving space to protect against a hostile nature was now trans fer red int o the mac roclimate of the t rans parent dome. 55

/ / /

In

that same year, Frei Otto published a design for a pneumatic dome

ExhlbWon PsvHlon lor tho US Atomic EnorBY CommIssIon; vrctor lundy, 1960 Istructural enginesrs : Walter 8/rd and Sovorud 路Efs(ad路f(ruogofJ

that c o ul d be built in the Antarctic to create a habitable Ilvlng spa ce and protect a whole town against the inhospitable exterior climate .56 The background to this design was the frightening sce nario of global overpopulation , a nightmare that had not lost its relevanc e 10 years later: in 1971 Frei Otto returned to th is idea , this t ime together with Kenzo Tange and Dve Arup, and de ve loped

~ ~ ..

..

o

25

50

75'

in deta il a cable -supported pneumatic structu re for a town in the

Longitudinal section; thiS pneumaClc shed combinas two construction prinCiples : the mam

Anta rct ic .

section is an Du路suppotted structure stabilised by overpressuro In the inter/or , whefoDs the cantllevorlng canopies at both ends are Blr.in/lated srructures made from alr./illed tubes .

UA HOME IS NOT A HOUSE" The book Zugbeanspruchte Konstruktionen [Tens il e Structures) appea red in 1962, the first publ ication dea ling in full with pneumatic structures , and was followed in 1967 by an int ern at ion al colloquium on this tcptc ."? This spe cia l form of construction start ed t o make more and more inr oads into arch itecture and s erve d th e young architects on the fringe of the pop scene as a medi um for their architectu ral experiments . The soap bubbles, as an ini t ial starting point of the pub lication , illust rat e impressively t h e w eightlessness of pneumat ic structures made from transpar ent membranes and at the same time form a link between the new building technology and the organic world of nature .

///

The

pa radi gmatic s ignifi can ce of a synthes is between technology and nature for future hous ing forms wa s demonstrated by the British

mit Kunststoffen, pp. 355-97J

48 The pavilion was a joint composition designed by Rolf Gutbrod, Frei Otto and the structural engineer Fritz Leonhardt. 49 Cyrano de Bergerac describes a smokefilled balloon in his fantastic novel L'histoire comique con tenant les etats et empires du soleil [c. 1650J that carries a cabin into space. In 1709 the priest B. L. de Gusmao in Lisbon allowed himself to be transported up into the air in a hot-air balloon. And in 1731 a Russian civil servant floated above the crowns of birch trees dangling from a smoke-filled balloon. The first, spectacular flight in a manned hot-air balloon, which lasted more than 25 minutes, was achieved by the Mongolfier brothers in Paris in 17B3. [Thomas Herzog, Pneumatic Structures, London, 1977, p. 36J 50 Concurrently with this, G.T. Shejldahl, the founder of the Shejldahl company, built his so-called Shejldomes, likewise inflatable domes with which he could enclose swimming pools, warehouses and offices. 51 Tsxalr, Birdair, Shejldahl, Krupp, USRubber and Goodyearare the best-known names from the early years of air-supported buildings. The envelopes consisted mostly of a plastic-coated nylon membrane or a polyester sheet.


A BRIEF HISTOR Y OF PLASTIC BUILDING S

architecture critic Reyner Ban ham with his design for an " Unhouse " , which he presented in 1965 in a paper entitled " A Home is not a House " . Forming a contrast to monumental architecture, Banham devised his "Un -house" as a prehistoric hut in which the ingenious , highly automated infrastructure system becomes the nucleus of the living space , replacing the fireplace of ancient shelters . The infrastructure en miniature , as a mobile " st andardof -living package" , guarantees that the occupants have everything they need (heating , cooling , ventilation , music , telecommu nications, television , cooking , refrigeration). whereas a transpar-

A deslg" for a far8 0 pneumatic dome suppor ted by It network 01 cables for 8 City In tho Antarct;c; Frs;

nue,

Konzo Tan80. Ova Arup. 19 71

ent , inflatable plastic dome protects them from the weather. The house is folded down to the size of a piece of luggage that the nomadic occupant can carry around with him or her ready to reerect at any location . Technical innovations will turn human be ings into the cave dwellers of the new age, livlng in harmony with

nature .P"

III

Two years later, Haus Rucker C0 5S took up the

idea of the inflatable " environment bubb le" in their" Balloon for Two " 60 experiment - something between a performance and an art istic room -sized installation . The transparent plastic sheeting, incl uding " oc cupant s " , was forced through a first-floor window of the studio , like bubblegum , and remained there suspended in the streetscape as an air -inflated room with a diameter of about 3 .5 m. The background to this space experiment was the" ... dream to achieve tangib le contro l of consc iousness through arch itectural devices."61Perhaps like the psychedelic drug experiences of those days , the architecture was intended to act as a " t ransf ormer", influencing the user 's sensual perceptions . For this purpose , coloured, reflective patches and strips were fixed to the outside of the transparent envelope ; thanks to superimposed patterns, reflections and the cu rvature of the facade, but also the climatic and acoustic iso lation from the outside world, the pte ture of the outside world seen from the inside of this cocoon -type

III Similar projects , in which the theme of the flexibility and mobility of living spaces was taken to the extreme and the architecture was trans itory, continued into the 1970s.63 These f ant asies and con cepts in which the architecture is resolved in entropic style, in -

space was presented as a distorted view of reality. 62

evltably capped development in this direction .

Phorom ontllBo: an

onolmous transparont dome COVf"S 8 whole distric t of Now York; InSIde . an

environmen t wit h a con ttolfo d clima te ; Buckm lns tBr FuUer. 1962

52 Air-supported buil dings were used jor storage , exhibiti ons, radar screen ing. rocket assembly and as tem porary rooj s over swi mming pools or greenhouses. Birdair's exhibit ion domes jor t he us Army had already reache d a diameter oj 49 m by 195B . 53 Cushi on const ruc ti ons are pneum ati c st ructures in whic h at least two membranes are joined tog ether alo ng their edges and te nsioned by the air pressure in the cavit y betw een t he membranes. 54 Betwe en 1953 and 1971, Frei Ott o designed numerous large-scal e cl imate-c ontro l envelopes encl osing whol e tow ns or landsc apes. His f irst designs to fo ll ow this princi pl e, dating fr om 1953, include an expansive glasshou se envelope spann ing a compl et e mountain vall ey wit h cab le nets and an inji lli ng oj tran sparent plastic shee ts or corru gated Persp ex panels , and also a clim ate envelope mede jrom a t ransp arent cabl e net jor a town in the Antarctic . 55 This is an idea that Buckminster Fuller had pursued back in 1949 on a smaller sc ale with his " Skybreak Dwell ing" The idea oj a large dome over Manhattan as portraye d in the ja mous phot omont age oj 1962 probably stems j rom an idea he had bac k In 1950 in wh ich he proved t hat his


22 I 23

DECLINE AND RENA ISSANCE OF A " M I RA CLE MATERIAL" The 1970 World Exposition [EXPO) in Osaka marked the zenit h and for the time being the termi nation of plas tics arc hite ct ure. Pavil ions "f loati ng" above the ground , reminisce nt of UFOs, plast ic capsules hanging from loadbearing f rameworks, pn eumati c sheds and tube -like traffic systems reflecte d soc ie ty's f ascin at ion wi th technology. The EXPO was akin to t he c it y of the fut ure t hat had been propagated as the mo de l of the futur e by Mich el Ragon and many others during the 19 6 os, and fo r a s hort t ime t ran sported visitors to an alien pla net. Whereas t he EXPO repr es ented f or Soap bubbl . s oro an Id ••1way of IlIuSlra llng Ih. llghrn. s s and weFBfltl ossnoss 01 pnou mauc cons truc tions ; r:rel Otto's trials with modals 01 t ho/LEI(, Slu llgall

many people the manifestation of t heir c onstructi on vis ion s, oth ers - even at this earl y date - w ere already crit ici sing th e inhumanity of the technoid constructio ns . Ut opi a had become " Dystopia " .64

///

The plastics euphoria ca me to an abrupt end with

the oil crisis of 1973 and wi th t he f irst large-sca le pla stic ca psules . The large resi den tia l and office buildings assemb led from prefabricated room mod ules turn ed out to be an anonymou s and inhuman part of the built environment - th e individual was degrad ed to an unperson in a sync hro nis ed populat ion mass , th e fully f itted capsule homes were sudde nly impe rs onal hou sin g cells that dictated the lifestyles of t heir occupants and left no room f or individual expression and des ign . As a reaction t o th is, new lifestyle conce pts beg an t o emerge in soci ety . In accordance with the ca tchphrase " Back to Nature! " , " nat ural" building materials came t o the fore , the intent ion being that they wou ld allow individual expression and a more human int erior climate. Man and machine , nature and artificiality were now inconcei vable as a synthesis and as a viab le model of urban living in th e f ut ure. By the end of the 1970s at the very latest, plas tics no longer repr esented progress and modernism, bu t ins te ad we re asso c iated with the stigma of ugly, cheap mate rials, and they d isa ppea red t empora rily from the architect ural land s cap e.

///

Almo st unnot ic ed

and very gradually, pl ast ic s starte d t o fin d th eir way bac k int o architecture in the earl y 1990s. Unen cumb ered by id eol ogy, art istically curved memb rane st ruc t ures made from th in pla stic env elopes began to be notice d by the profession as new , t ransparent membranes were in trod uce d. Th e efficie nc y of th e li ghtweight membrane constructions is suc h that in the meantime enclos ures and roofs of synthet ic memb ranes are now among t he st andar d solutions for temporary str uc t ure s; tr anspa rent sheets are increasingly replacing hea vy and expe ns ive gla ss c onstruc tio ns f or biospheres , anim al c ompo u nd s and

c onservato ries .

///

Furthermore , stan dard industr ial produc t s mad e fro m tran sp arent plastic sheets and shells are also becom ing mor e and more attractive as a cheap altern ative t o glass and are readily employed as a building material in t he expe riments of the avant-ga rde . The possibilities for plastics as bu il di ng mate rials are being re-examined and tested , especially in te rms of sus tai nabil it y fr om th e per-

Th o "Un· ho uso" oj Raynor Bonham (J9B5/ consrs ts of a c omple x In!18s truc tufB en minia ture pnoumatlc onvelopo.

and 8 transpa rent

geodesic domes could even be built in such sizes. 56 Frai Otto, Tensile Structures, Cambridge, 1882 57 Victor Lundy ["Architectural and Sculptural Aspects of Pneumatic Structures"], Walter Bird ["The Development of Pneumatic Structures. Past, Present and Future"] and Heinz Isler ["Clear Transparent Roof for a Court"] were among those who gave presentations at the international cotloquturn in Stuttgart. In: Proceedings of the 1st International ColloqUium on Pneumatic Structures, Stuttgart University of Technology, 1867 56 Reyner Banham, "A Home is not a House", in: Art in America, No.2, 1865. The paper was written in conjunction with research carried out for the Graham Foundation in the US; Banham investigated the role of building services in modern architecture. The drawings 59 Klaus Pinter, Laurids and Manfred Ortner and Gunter Zamp Kelp founded the Haus Rucker Co partnership in 1867. accompanying the paper were drawn by the architect and designer Francois Dallegret. 60 The 1872 room bubble can be seen in the form of "Oasis No. 7" at the Documenta art exhibition in Kassel. 61 Gunter Zamp Kelp, in: Heinrich Klotz [ed.], Haus-Rucker-Co 1867 brs 1983, Braunschweig, 1984, p. 71 62 These fundamental cunsiderattrms frumri thpir \A/~\I jntn rn",n",.,f ...h .... ~~ ..... _, , __ ..._ " " , ' 1


A BRIEF HISTORY OF PL ASTI C BUIL DIN GS

spective Of so -called bionic architecture.

///

Plastics were

branded fo r a long t ime as " unmat erials" whose lack of character and undefinableness allegedly made them unsuitable for use as bu ll dlng materials . However, it is now precisely those properties that make them ideal for an architecture that has moved on from the traditional values of durability and standard use of materials and sees the main features as adaptability, flexibility and efficiency. As a materials experiment , the indifference of plastics and their amb igu ity go hand in hand with the tendencies of contemporary arch itecture, which values the atmospheric, the sensual and the irritating. And that heralds the renaissance of plastics .

Tho "BaUoon lor Two", a transpnrent, pnoumatlc minimal space , caUlas Us "occupants路 out rntc rho streetscspe: Hous Rucker Co,

196 7

st ructu res. 63 GUy Rott ler and Denis Garnier designed th e " Maison d' unJour" . The hou se for a day con sisted of a number of bubble -shaped rooms which could be creat ed as required by t he occ upan t s like soap bubbl es. Af ter hardening , they were suit able for habitation and on th e next day th ey could be dissolved again us ing a special solvent ! Guy Rott ier, " Recherches Archit ect ural es", in: Cahier du Centre d 路Etudes Architecturales, No. B, Brussel s, 196B, pp , 3B-39 . 1966: Gernot Nalbach designs a town of pneumat ic bub bles. 1967 : Haus Rucker Co designs the pneumatic , sphe rical housing unit "Pneumac osmic Formation ", which can be docked ont o an urban-type loadbearing structure , for " Int erdesign 20 0 0", an intern ational competi ti on. 196B: David Greene and Michael Webb develop the " Inflatab le Suit House" . 1974 : Arthu r Ouarrnby publi shes his " House and Garden Proj ect " with inf lat ed, t ransparent domes. 64 Takabumi Sasaki, "A passag e throu gh t he oys路topia of EXPO1970 " , In: Jap an Architect , May/Jun e 1970 , pp. 143 - 50


24 / 25

THE DUALITY DF FDRM AND MATERIAL For more than 2,000 years, the relationship between form and material in the Western world was governed by clear rules. The idea behind the form was to express the spirit, and the material had mere ly to se rve; subsidiary to the idea, it was its manifestation.

///

In Roman times, Vitruvius described form-finding as the result

of deliberation and inventinn.' and reduced the choice of materials to economic issues and regional customs plus their constructional properties regarding durability and strength ," the essential criteria. P In the Renaissance, materials grew in importance. but continued to remain subservient to the idea . Even though Alberti basically adhered to the commentaries of Vitruvius and continued to portray durability and strength as the essential criteria when choosing materials , materials now took on the additional role of beautifying the structure." The decoration and hence the specific use of the material served the consummation of architecture and underscored the form as tdea. "

///

The subsidiary importance of the material

becomes particularly evident in sacred stone architecture over the course of the centuries; although it is always the same material, the stone appea rs as a cubicclosed form during the Romanesque, as delicate strutting and tracery in the Gothic, or as organically curving forms in the Baroque. The material is subjecte d to the whims of the designer. It was not until the 19th century, with industrialisation and the

1 VitruYius, Ten Books on Archit ecture, New York, 1960 2 Durability and strength are the features of t he best build ing materials . Ainngsids appropriateness and beauty, durabil ity belong s to th e basic requirement s of arch itecture. Durability will be assured when foundations are carried down to the solid ground and materials Wisely and liberally sele cted. [VitruYius, Ten Books on Archil ecl ure] 3 For Vitruvjus. the underlying aesth eti c concepts of archit ect ure are: order, arrangement , eurhythmy, symmetry, propriety and econom y. Economy desc ribes the proper management of materials; looked at fr om the point of view of cnst-savtngs, regional build ing materials shoul d be employe d. Furthermore, the bu ilding mat erials cho sen should be those that are durabl e and of great strengt h. (Vitru Yius. Ten Books on Archilecl urel 4 The grace and delig htfuln ess, one th inks , stems fro m noth ing oth er th an th e beauty and from the decoration. Therefore, thosewhowishto create somethingdelightful must aimforgreatest beautymore than anvthinc plc:p If t h p\I Ufn, ,Irf h~ ""' ..l_


MATERIAL AND FORM - "FORM FOLLOWS MATERIAL?"

introduction of new building materials such as concrete , gla ss and iron, t hat t he relationship between form and material began to waver.

///

In his writings ,

Gottfried Semper championed so-called material style in which every materi al should take on its appropriate form . Bricks , wood, iron especially, metal and zin c replace ash lar masonry and marble . It wou ld be inappropriate to imitate them still further with false attestations . The material speaks for itself and appears, unveiled in the form, in the relationships that have been tried and tested by experience and science as the most appropriate for that material. Brick appears as brick , wood as wood , iron as iron , each single one according to its own laws of statics ." Elsewhere , he describes form-finding as the resu lt of practica l purpose, the materials used and the methods of production ." He the refore raised the status of the material and relieved it of it s subservient function . At the same time, the latest developments in the architecture of large market halls, palm houses and exhibition buildings made from delicate iron and -g lass assemblies supplied practical evidence to back up Semper 's theory and founded de facto a new style of bu ilding in which it was no longer the idea , but rather the material that determined the form .

///

Architects such as Otto Wagner, Adolf

Loos or Frank Lloyd Wright were [ollnwing Semper 's writings when they advocated a form "to suit the material" . Just like Semper, Adolf Loos opposed the use of imitation and spoke up for the equality of materials. He recommended the development of form depending on materia l : "Every material possesses its own language of forms , and none may lay claim for itself to the forms of another material. For forms have been constituted out of the applicability and the methods of production of materials . They have come into being w ith and through materials . "B Frank Lloyd Wright was of the opinion that each material had its own language and, correspondingly, every new material leads to a new form. 9

/ / /

The art historians Alois Riegl and Adolf von

Hildebrand took up a decidedly opposing position to this technical -material foundation for form . In his paper on the form problem in art , von Hildebrand develops a theory of form genes is from the sp iritual to the material. Consequently, the form concept of the artist leads to a graphic existence form and finds its artistic expression in the materialised effect jorrn; '? the material , as a part of the effect form , must be subordinate to the form concept. In a similar way, Riegl bases form on the " art isti c wishes " or rather the " c reat ive thoughts" of the artist. Both Riegl and von Hildebrand banished the material to tnsign ijtcance aga in. In the 1920s, this dispute about the predominance of form or material led to the development of the cubist architecture of the modern movement , whose protagon ists , under the slogan of " mat erial integrity" , were opposed to traditiona l, ornamented architecture and developed the ir architecture of cubist spatial art on the basis of functional , economic and t echnical raquirernents ." However, rega rdless of the status of the material - whether in a

secondary, subservient function or as a characterising element of the design - form and materia l remained inextricab ly intertwined , dictated by the opposing views of " art ist ic wishes" and "material integrity". In contrast to this , in the same period the visual arts developed approaches that l ed to a disso lution of the duality between materia l and form .

all this without the great expense of decoration and pomp, that would have been a weakly and slightly comical thing! Leon Battista Alberti, The Ten Books of Architecture, London, 1965 5 ForAlberti, decoration is not just ornamentation, but likewise the wall coverings and the material. Decoration could also serve the rarity and beauty of the stone itself, we could say itwas made from a type of marble. [Alberti, The Ten Books of Architecture] 6 Gottfried Semper: "Uber vielfarbige Architektur und Skulptur bei den Alten", 1B34, in: Hans 6 Manfred Semper [eds.I, Gottfried Semper. Kleine SChriften, Mittenwald, 1979, p.219 7 Gottfried Semper, "Keramisches", in: GottfriedSemper. Kleine Schriften, p. 24 B Adolf Loos, "The Principle of Cladding", 1898, in: Adolf Loos, Into the Void. Collected Essays 1897-1900, Cambridge, 1982, p. 66 9 "Each material speaks a language of its own just as line and color speak." lp, 2701 "Every new material means a new form, a new use if used according to its nature." [p. 294J Frank Lloyd Wright, "In the Cause of Architecture: Composition


2& / 27

THE DISSDLUTION OF THE FORM-MATERIAL DUALITY In intro du c ing the term formlessness in 1929 , Bataille proposed the subjugation of form and hence questioned provocatively the interdependence of material and form . Just like the universe can be described as "f orml ess ", the material should not be subjected to any abstract idea . Bataille campaigned for a " mat eriali s m" that was a direct int erp ret at ion of the bare [acts. " This approach was continued in the art of the 1950s . The intention in the works of the Japanese Gutai artists was that the material should be it s elf and the artist was merely a mediator." In the 196os, Robert Morris subsumed the art characterised by chance , transitoriness and process allegiance under the heading of anti -form , an expression that in the following years be came a slogan for liberating the material from the dominance of form; form as an idea ceased to exist: " Arb it rary stacking, loose piling or suspending lend the material a temporary form . Chance is accepted and indeterminacy intended because another arrangement leads to a different formation. Detachment from defined, permanent forms and arrangements is seen as positive. It is part of the denial attitude of these works to continue no longer the aesthetic ising of form as a final measure . " !" The ephemeral and "f orml ess" character of this art found its outlet in utopian designs and experimental plastics architecture . The "chemical architecture " of William Katavolos was produced by the curing process of liquid plastic; in an analogy to organic growth processes, his buildings created their own form.

///

As a

complement to " mat erial art", the Russian constructivists and artists inspired by the Bauhaus movement advocated the subjugation of the material. In 1920 Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner called for the liberation of the sculpted body from the sealed mass ,15 and El Lissitzky described the " amat erial materialness " by means of imaginary spaces and volumes generated by linking space and time - as in "objects forced to move " .16 Laszlo Moholy-Nagy took up this approach in his book The New Vision , from Material to Architecture and developed the idea of architecture as spatial art, which

is essentially founded on movement relationships and "fluctuating force relationships " Y Subjugating the material aims at weightlessness, dynamic and energy, and manifests it s elf in kinetic sculptures, light sculptures , energy spaces and ephemeral structures . Yves Klein and Werner Ruhnau took up a radical position with regard to immaterial architecture in the 1950s with their experiments involving air (or rather energy) spaces , in which the material, in its substantial expression , vanishes completely . The air spaces were intended to be defined by different condensed airflows trying to take advantage of the thermodynamic properties of the air. Here , air as a " bu il ding material " simply represents a "spiritual principle" in which " mat eri als" such as air, gases, fire and water are intended to be used for a dynamic and immaterial architecture. The " cl ass ic " town of tomorrow would be built using the three classic elements fire, water and air, and it would be correspondingly flex ible , sp iritual and lrnrnaterial. P Formlessness and immaterialness as thematic focuses for the art and architecture of the 20th century were united in the 1960s in

as Method in Creation", 192B, in: Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer [ed.], Frank Lloyd Wright. Collected Writings, vel, 1, New York, 1992 10 Adolf von Hildebrand, Das Problem der Form in der bildenden Kunst [IB93], StraBburg, 1913, pp. 134-36 11 Walter Gropius, The New Architecture and The Bauhaus, Cambridge, Mass., 1965 12 Georges Bataille, "Informe" and "Materialisrne", 1929, in: Charles Harrison, Paul Wood [eds.): Art in Theory. An Anthology of Changing Ideas, OXford, 2001 13 "That is illusion in which humans have burdened materials, e.g. paints, fabrics, metals, clay or marble, with false significance fraudulently so that instead of portraying their material self, they have taken on a foreign appearance ... Gutai art does not alter the matarial, it gives it life." Jiro Yoshihara, "Gutai Manifesto", 1956, excerpt in: Oietmar Rubel, Monika Wagner,Vera Wolff [eds.), Materialasthetik. Ouellentexte zu Kunst, Design und Architektur, Berlin, 2005, p. 261 14 Robert Morris, "Anti-Form", Artforum, Apri1196B,reprint in: Materialasthetik, Berlin,2005, p, 269 15 NaumGabo.Antoine


MATERIAL AND FORM - "FORM FOLLOWS MATERIAL?"

THE DIGITAL FDRM The digital form burdened with the immaterial , virtual reality of t he compu t er w orl d is diametrically opposed to the prevailing material fetishism . As CAD pro gram s w ere int ro d uc ed as design tools , the form in the planning process became c ompl et ely divorced from the material, and materialisation was relegated to the backgroun d in the sequence of design and production processes. Thanks to the coupling with new production methods, which enable , and also require , digital continuity from des ign to production , planning the design becomes planning the product. The immaterial product has an inherent virtual form and only during manufacture do we find a reference back to the material.

///

Robbed of its material dimension , the digital

form is deprived of control and restraint by the material. Instead, the processing capacity of the computer and the options of high -end software determine the limits of form, which, however, evades the perception of the designer and presents itself as apparent boundlessness . Detached from the material in the computer world of unlimited opportunities, form as a quantity of data has added the new world of the exactly calculable freely formed surface to the language of architecture . Modelled 3D spaces with continuously curving surfaces , like walk -in sculptures, are cr eated in virtual reality. Every conceivable form can be changed dynamically and at w ill in the three -dimensional , virtual model. The material as a form-giving parameter is replaced by the laws of biological , physical or statical processes, which are emulated in the computer. The dynamic of the processes is simulated and the form generated or modified accordingly - a fact that is reflected in the new terminology : the architectural avant-garde gives its architecture names like "transarch itecture " , "genetic architecture" or "flowing architecture"; the design processes are like a morphogenesis and the concept of form is replaced by the term design . The form material duality seems to have been finally banished to the pages of history. The con temporary architect is an animation designer and "materials artist " at the same t ime .

Pevsner, "Realistic Manifesto", 1820, excerpt in: Ulrich Conrads [ed.], Programs and Manifestoes of 20th Century Architecture, Cambridge, Mass., 1870 16 El Lissitzky, "K.lunst) und Pangeometrie" in: Ulrich Conrads, Peter Neitzke [ads.], ÂŁ1 Ussitzky, 1829. Russland: Architekturfureine Weltrevolution, Bauwelt Fundamente, vol. 14, Braunschweig, 18B8, pp.122-28 17 "Space creation is not primarily a question of building material ... Thus a present-day space creation does not consist in putting together heavy building masses, nor in the formation of hollow bodies, nor in the relative positions of well-arranged volumes. Nor in arranging alongside of one another single cells oj tha same or different volume content. Space creation is today much more an interweaving of parts of spaces, which are anchored for the most part in invisible, but clearly traceable relations, moving in all directions, and in the fluctuating play of forces. The arrangement of this space creation is effected on the measurable plane by limits of bodies, and on the non-measurable by flowing fields afforce.


28 / 29

ext remes , which have established themselves as primary features of contemporary arch itecture with the d ig lt ising of the design and production processes and the rediscovery of the sensual qualities of the material. Form and material become antagonists leading parallel lives in contemporary architecture .

THE MATERIALNESS OF THE MATERIAL The decline of the plastics era and the demand for " nat u ral" materials in the 1970s brought the texture of materials within the architect 's field of vision . Alvar Aalto has used the effect of material surfaces quite deliberately in his deslgns" and comes close to the nature of the material beyond its structural and building performance properties . This way of approaching the material led in the 1990s to a sort of material fetishism in which the effect of the material was paramount . Whereas architects such as Peter Zumthor and Tadao Ando looked to the sensual and atmospheric as well as the constructional character of the material plus its contextual and cultural background, others deliberately opposed precisely these features of the materials : extremely thin layers of stone bonded to a backing material negate the compressive strength property of stone so relevant to building; conventional materials are alienated and placed in a new context; materials from the aerospace industry foreign to architecture - are used playfully in buildings; and new materials such as foams , aerogels , textiles or luminescent concrete are being tried out .

///

The

architect 's willingness to experiment seems to know no bounds . The new profession of " m at erial s consultant " , who works as a " t rend scout " for architects , always seeking new materials , reflects this fashion. The ways of handling materials as described in Peter Weibel 's book of 1966 have become established in contemporary arch itecture : Regardless of whether stones or words , wood or symbols , they are materials with a rigid meaning, with an identified context. Meaning and context may be present consciously or subconsciously . Revealing subconscious contexts and m eanings implies giving the material a new meaning . The materials are placed in new environments , coupled with unusual materials, and they are thereby de -identified , de -conserved . New space -time relationships, new material combinations and new symbol combinations create new meanings , are creatlve. P Facades are turned into complex three-dimensional spatial configurations through curvature and folding, are given an additional level of meaning through printing or lighting , are covered with perforated plates , metal meshes or fabrics to form multi-layer, flexible envelopes, or are re duc ed to textile membranes and sheets . Irrespective of the " int ern al workings " , they claim an independence that exploits the aesthetic effects of the materials arc hit ect ure as a material art becomes an ambiguous information medium.

Thus space creation becomes the nexus of ever changing spatial entities: direct arrangement of space, pulled out of and put back into the great reservoir of all entities - a creative treatment of space, not of building materials. Building material is only an auxiliary, in so far as it can be used as carrier of space-creating

and space-dividing relationships. The principal means of space creation is always the space alone, from whose laws the treatment has to proceed in all respects." Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, The New Vision. Fundamentals of Bauhaus Design, Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, New York, 2005 (reprint], p.184, 186 18 Yves Klein, Werner Ruhnau, Manifest zur allgemeinen Entwicklung der heutigen Kunst zur immateriaiisierung, 1858/58 in: Heiner Stachelhaus [ed.], Yves Klein/Werner Ruhnau. Ookumentation der Zusammenarbeit in den Jahren 1957-1960, R8cklinghausen, 1876, pp. 41-42 19 So if we assume a materiaVform {phusisitekhn, etc.l opposition, must this oonositlon not give way to the cnst-rnodemltv nf tha immatarlal? .IRr.nllF!~ nRrrirl::l rlpfinpc:: thp m:::ltr:>ri'::ll t:lC' rTlQttpr


MATERIA L AND FORM - "F ORM FOLLOWS MATERIAL?"

THE DIGITAL FDRM The digital form burdened with the immaterial, virtual reality of th e c om p ut er world is diametrically opposed to the prevailing material fetishism . As CAD pro gram s w ere introduced as design tools , the form in the planning process became c omplet ely divorced from the material, and materialisation was relegated to the backgrou nd in the sequence of design and production processes. Thanks to the coupling w ith n ew production methods, which enable, and also require , digital continuity from design to production, planning the design becomes planning the product . The immaterial product has an inherent virtua l form and only dur ing manufacture do we find a refere nce back to the mate ria l.

///

Robbed of its material dimension , the digital

form is deprived of control and restraint by the material. Instead , the processing capaclty of the computer and the options of high -end software determine the lim its of form, which, however, evades the perception of the designer and presents it s elf as apparent boundlessness. Detached from the material in the computer world of unlimited opportunities , form as a quantity of data has added the new world of t he exactly calculable freely formed surface to the language of architecture . Mod elled 30 spaces with continuously curving surfaces , like walk -in sculptures , are created in virtual reality. Every conceivable form can be changed dynamically and at w ill in the three -dimensional , virtual model. The material as a form-giVing param eter is replaced by the laws of biological , physical or statical processes , which are emulated in the computer. The dynamic of the processes is simulated and the form generated or modified accordingly - a fact that is reflected in the new terminology : the architectural avant-garde gives its architecture names like "transarchitecture " , "genetic architecture" or "flowing architecture"; the design processes are like a morphogenesis and the concept of form is replaced by the term design . The form material duality seems to have been finally banished to the pages of history. The con temporary architect is an animation designer and " mat erials artist " at the same time .

info rmed by technology, as the substan ce of an instr ument . Jacque s Oerrida, " MaterieUes", 19B5, in: Rubel, Wagner, Wolff [eds.], Materialasth etik, p. 33B . Likewise: "Immaterial ... designates a structurein which the conventional opposition between spirit andmaterial nolongerhas a place." Jacques Oerrida in conversati on wit h Jean-Francois Lyot ard on 27 Oct 19B4 in: Jean-Franc ois Lyot ard et aI., Immaterialitiit und Postmoderne, Berlin , 1985 , p. 23 20 "Les imrnat erlaux" [t he immate rials) is a neol ogism coined by Jean -Francois Lyot ard whic h is made up of the words material s [materiaux) and immat erial (immateriel] . Christ ine Bucl-Gluc ksrnann, " Ent mat eriali sierung" , in: Rubel , Wagner, WOlff [eds.], Materialii sth etik 21 Sabine Kraft , "Werkst off e Eigenschaft en als Variablen", in: Arch+ , No. 172, 2004, p. 25 22 Richard Weston , Materials , Form, and Archit ectu re, London, 2003 23 Pete r Weibel, "Mat erialdenken als Befreiung der Produkte des Menschen von ihrem Oingcharakt er" , 1966, in: Rubel, Wagner, wol ff [eds.l , Materialii st hetik, pp. 26 4--65


3D / 31

u~&~~[짜)&~@ ~u [짜)[S&~uD~~ OO@U W@@ ~

o~U@[S [S@~U ruJ & [SD D~&uD(ill ~

&~[QJ u ~ &~ D=O ~ruJ[SuruJ ~@

Synthetic materials have re-established themselves in t he exper iments of the contemporary architectura l avant-gar de in t he tens ion between spirit and matter, form and materia l. I Digitally generated forms on the one hand and material fetish ism on the other favour the use of transparent plastics , which are charac te rised by immateriality and ambigu it y. Their random formability plus their versatility bind the synthetic material to the digitally ani mat ed arch itectura l form . Flexibility, efficiency and ada ptabi lity - the ess enti al features of synthetic materials - are ideal for so-c alled bionic architecture . Their indifferent prope rties pred ispo se them for an architecture that rega rds metaphor as ext reme ly important, relies on sensuality , ambience and irrita t ion , and takes " removal of barriers " as its key theme - specifi cally, the removal of barriers between inside and outside, matter and spac e, loadbearing structure and enclosing envelope , t wo dimens ionality and three -dimensionality , static and dynamic , an d between space and t ime .

PLASTIC IS SPIRIT, PLASTIC IS FORM

III

Free ly

fo rme d, digital arc hit ec t ures and transparent plastics form a c onge ni al symbi os is in many ways . In an ana logy to the immateriality of digital forms , transparent plastics are a synonym for t he su bj ugati on of th e material. As transparent and at the same time almost w eightless materials , they seem closer t o the spiritual w orl d than th e material world. Moulded into bubble -like shapes or

BMW Bubble. ABB Archi tects

I Bernherd 'renken. 19 9 9

1 The renaissance of plastiCS - and especially transparent plastics - in architecture is based on the dissolution of the form-material relationship and the associated paradigm change in design approaches and concepts. Detached from the material, form is generated digitally, or the architecture is understood as a material art. 2 Roland Barthes, "Plastic", 1857, in: Roland Barthes, Mythologies, London, 1872

3 "Shape is buoyant. The hollowness of shape also produces [and requires] an effect of buoyancy. While massive, the projects seem to be made of Styrofoam, sponge, or aero-gel. .. ". Robert E. Somal,


TRANSPARENT PLASTICS BETWEEN INTELLECTUALISATIDN AND TRASH CULTURE

designed as cushions of air , they take on spherical dimensions . ///

The spir itual content , as an intrinsic characteristic of syn -

thetic materials , has from time to time been a theme in the writings of artists and intellectuals over the course of the 20th cen tury. Roland Barthes characterised the new material as the very " sp ect acl e of its end -products " and defined the spiritual con tent of plastics by means of their "quick -change artistry ". Plas tic is " mor e than a substance , plastic is the very idea of its infi nite t ransformation [... ] Plastic , sublimated as movement , ha rdly exists as substance . " 2 The versatility (in terms of both chemistry and form) and the resulting infinite configuration optio ns, which lead to the invention of forms , are features of the computer-gen erated forms and the artificial mate ria l alike. /// Robert E. Somol has given us a link between digital f orm s and synthetic materials based on associations . Responsib le for this is "hol lowness" as a property of the computer-gene rated form, mak ing a project appear as if made f rom polystyrene, sponges or ae ro-

gels ." Dig itally shaped architecture can obv ious ly express it sel f adequately in formal terms in the we ightless world of plastics , an association that is helped by the form of the mostly "anti -ar chitectural " morphogenetic architecture .

///

Beyond the

metaphorical , new production techniques tie synthetic materi als to the opulent world of digital forms. In the case of additive production techniques such as 30 printing, laser sintering and stereolithography' , the products or their pa rts are produced in layers drop by drop so that formwork or negative mou lds are un necessary for forming curved bu ilding components. These pro duction methods only work with materials in liquid or powder form , e .g. plastiCS or metals, that assume their f inal form after hardening. The low weight and the possibility of combining them with metals or organic substances to form composites, or equip ping them with various prope rties depending on the chem ical composition , is what distinguishes synthetic materia ls from metals and has already made them the unrivalled material of choice for many unconventional applications in aviation , the au tomotive industry and shipbuilding. As the bui lding industry does not yet have such production tec hniques at its disposal, digita l, curving architecture is restricted to the much more involved and hence more costly subtractive production techruquas" , or mou ld ing in negative moulds . However, studies of production processes using variable moulds, thermally mou ldable plastics and computer-controlled printing methods for multi -component materi als are among the key areas of current research . We will have t o wait and see whether the architecture of the future with plastics and the ir composites - furnished with the necessary butldlng performance properties - really can be simply "printed out " on a 30 printer and assembled! Un ti l then , form remains dormant in the virtual world of the computer. ephemera/MATTER. f-u 路r

"12 Reasons to Get Back into Shape", in: Rem Koolhaas, Content, Cologne, 2004, pp. 86-B7 4 3D printing, stereo lithography and laser sintering are rapid prototyping production techniques. In 3D printing the raw material in powder form is solidified by the selective addition of an adhesive. Stereolithography involves curing resins [photopolymersJ in ultraviolet light. And laser sintering uses materials in powder form [plastics or metals) that are melted down by a powerful laser and thereby solidify. 5 In subtractive production techniques, the final shapes are cut from a larger block. Another way of


32 / 33

PLASTICS AND BIDNICS

III

One possible design and

form -f inding method for " self- generat ing" , digital forms consists of th e imi t at ion of biological processes , phenomena and structures , which results in a marriage between digital architecture and bionics . Transferring the complex structures and geometries of nature to arch itecture calls for a building material that can be moulded into any shape , is extremely efficie nt and adaptable in terms of statics , and can also provide numerous properties . Plastics are suitable for this , not only because of their "program-

Kitch on monument . fsumlabor berlin , '2006

mab ility " - the possibility of an almost infinite chemical composition and adaptation to natural materials - but also in the form of so -called bion ic building materia ls . Designed as composites or provided with functions , the spectrum of potential material properties is almost inexhaustible and, in addition, the favour able ratio of weight to stability is similar to the optimised con structions of nature . As both the new generation of plastics and the dig ital production techniques are still undergoing development , the complicated geometries in architecture are frequently implemented in the form of ultra -thin synthetic membranes. In doing so , these lightweight, tensile membrane structures come close to the efficient, minimal constructions of nature in terms of both form and construction . Seemingly effortlessly, they are used to span great distances and remind us of the building principles of insect Wings , soap bubbles or spiders ' webs ."

III

Young architectural practices such as raumlabor_berli n have taken up the idea of pneumatic minimal construction with their " mob il e kitchen monument" in order to redefine the relationship between public and private . Within the scope of the arts festival " Akzent e", which was he ld in Oulsburg and Mi..i l hei m in 2006, the architects realised a project that was situated somew here between a performance and an experiment, and created an in flatable room made from transparent plastic which ca n protrude from a metal sculpture as required , not unlike a soap bubble . Depend ing on its surroundings, the transparent enclosure can take on different forms : whereas on a " green- f ield site " it can develop unconstrained into a regularly shaped air bubble, in an urban context it tends to cling to its surroundings and becomes de formed . This temporary space can be used as a kitchen and di ning room , or as a dance hall for social communication, and be comes a place in which public and private are fused together.

III

Nichola s Grimshaw's Eden Project, a group of nested domes made from transparent air cushions covering a large part of the landscape , is a reference to the geodesic domes of Buckminster Fuller, wh ich he devised based on his search for " nat ure's geom etry " , and wh ich in forma l-constructional terms find t hei r coun terparts in the miniature lifeforms of the diatomes and radlo la rla .? Werner Nachtigall sees in the hexagonal honeycomb st ructure of the Eden Project an analogy to the honeycomb str ucture of foams in which the competit ion for space leads t o a hexagonal flattening of the sides and creates an opt imised lightwe ight

Eden PtoJect . Grimsha w 6 PaHn a, s, 2001

shaping panels in doub le curvature is t o produce a negative mould using a subt ract ive method . 6 This is a development that started in the 1950s. Frei Otto was inspire d by soap bubble s, spiders' webs Dr insect wings when tr ying to opt imise th e load bearing structures of eff icient minimal const ruct ions. 7 Joachim Krausse, Claude Lichte nstein [eds.], YourPrivate Sk y, Baden, 1999 , p . 442. Diatome s are sili ce ous unicellular algae whose shell s c onsis t of hexagonal element s of silic on dio xide; radiol aria are single-celled marine creatures with a perforated , shell -like skelet on of silicon dio xide wit h a


TRANSPAREN T PLAS T ICS BETW EEN INTELLECTUA L ISAT IDN AN D TRA SH CULTUR E

structure ." Mo STUDIO ' s " Curved Building " - their design for a

sports centre for extreme sports - also makes use of the con struction pr inciples of foams or sponges . The project , which is simila r to an oversized , snltdlj tad foam, consists of a shell or cave -like 30 loadbearing structure with surfaces in double cur vature . Inside , the outcome is a continuous , endless surface and complex spatial relationships , which are fu rther enhanced by the use of transparent plastics and become obvious to the users of the building . Borrowed from boat-bui lding, the space forming load bearing structure is made from prefab ricated, vac u -

Curved SUildln8, MO STUDIO. 2 0 0 1

um-formed, fibre-reinforced plastic compos ites wit h var ying cores . Mo STUD IO has used the optimised cons truct ions of n ature for the des ign of a comp lex, spectacu la r in terior lay out which can only be attributed to the spirit of the age and a soc iety craving for entertainment.

III

Besides formal -constructiona l

borrowings from nature, there are more and more attempts to transfer the structures of biological systems to architecture . So called " int ell igent" facade systems and bulldtng structures is the fashion here . Looked at from the point of view of sustain ab ility, the " resp on sive" architecture of Thomas Herzog relates pr imarily to the way biological systems can adapt to their envi-

ronrnent .? The adaptive envelope, like human skin, should acclimatise ideally to the climatic conditions . Besides providing the usual protective functions expected of an enclosing ele ment , the envelope should control the light and air permeability autonomously and regulate the energy balance through storing heat and absorbing or reflecting solar radiation . As a media fa cade or energy provider, the facade takes on fu nction s alie n t o its or iginal purpose and becomes a complex " mac hin e" . Mu l t i-

Cycle Bowl, Atelier BfUcknor, 2000

layer and movable envelope constructio ns in wh ic h t he indivi duallayers are ass igned specific tasks, equipped with functions , printing or high -tech coatings turn the facade into an adaptive skin . So-called ecc -tntetugent'? architecture is li ke a living or ganism. " Cycle Bowl " , the EXPO 2000 pavilion designed by Ate li er Bruckner, illustrated this type of approach with its cooling, vent ilation and solar-control system . The use of synthetic mate rials fo r such adaptive facade systems is based on the low w eight , the thin materials and the possibility of equipping them with any properties . Experiments such as Srnartwrap!" or the co c oon " Paul " exploit the versatile options of synthetic materials and pose rad ical questions regarding conventional wall con st ruc ti ons and assemblies . III SmartWrap TM, developed by Kieran Timberlake Associates, is an " int elli gent" plastic com pos ite wh ich was tested and presented for the first time on an outdoor pavilion within the scope of the SOLOS exhibttinn !' in New York . This synthetic material, w ith transpa rent polyethyle ne terephthalate (PET) as the backing for different functional la yer s , ill u st rat es the potential of an electronic building enve lope . Ultra -th in coat ings act as photovoltaic cells , thin -film batte ries , c ondu ct ing c ircu its and thin -film transistors, organic LEOs and

Sm sttWfap ''' , Kieran Tlmborlak o Assoclar es, 2003

honeycomb struc ture. B Werner Nachtigall , Kurt BlOchel, Oas groBe Buch der Bionik. Stuttga rt . 2001 9 Thomas Herzog in an interview wit h Petra Hagen Hodgson and RolfToy ka, Archith ese, No. 2, 2002 10 The headin g " ec o-intell igenc e" embodies concep ts such as responsive, functional. easy-to- repair, resources-sparing. long .lasti ng and recy clab le . 11 SOLOS too k place in August 20 03 in the Cooper Hewett National Design Museum, New York. 12 A phase change materia l (PCM] is a sub st anc e in which heat is st ored by means of a phase tr ansition (e.g. solid to liqu id], The temper ature of the


34 / 35

electrochromic solar control. They supply , store and c o n du c t energy, act as sensors , light sources and screens , and control the entry of heat and light. Designed as a multi-layer envelope, w ith the " int elli gent" layer of plastic providing protection from the weather, a hermetically sealed air cavity as insulation and an inner lining of quilted aerogel pockets with integra l PCM (ph as e change rnatar tall '" as additional thermal insulation and lat en t heat store , the thin , energy-giving media facade ex hibits the storage and insulation values of a masonry w al l. 13 Its appea rance changes with the incoming sunlight li ke a c ha meleon . Sim ilar storage and insulation va lues are achieved by the mu lti-la yer membrane construction that was developed at t he ILEKI4 at t h e University of Stuttgart, which is just a f ew mi llimetres t hick and was tested on the cocoon "Paul ", a cave -like enclosure ." The construction of the wall is similar to t hat of real skin: se veral lay ers of PTFE sheeting f or m a system of several t ie rs each w it h a specific function. From outside to inside, t he shee ts take on t h e following functions : weather protec tio n , li ghti n g, ins ulation and heat storage . Depend ing on t heir f un c t ion , t h ey are equipped

Cocoon "Pau l", MBlkus Hollbach , IlEK Stuttgart, 2004

w ith fibre -optic lighting, which is responsible for the colour changes , highly insulating ceram ics or PCMs . In contrast to con ventional solid wall construction , the "sk in" is charac terised not only by its thinness and low weight , but also by its t ran slu c en cy . The conventional so lid wa ll has been replaced by a mo vable , thin membrane which reacts to it s environment.

///

Projects

by Kas Oosterhuis or f -u -r, with their dynamic architect ure, are aimed at a different form of " int elli gen c e" . Kas Oost erhu is de veloped the concept of the trans-ports pa vilio ns as data -initi ated spaces that take on the real , substantia l part of a hybrid " hyp er bodies " consisting of virtual and real spaces. Linked dig itally, the virtual and rea l spaces communicate an d interact wi th each other and react to the influences of thei r surro undings (ac cess by Internet users or the actions of passe rs -by) by cha ng ing their form and content . The pav ilions consist of pneuma t ic str ips arranged in groups like human muscles ; their elonga t ion and contraction converts the digita l in f or mat ion into mo tion and changes the form of the pa vilion . The syn thetic membrane form ing the outer layer and the electronic inner layer must be flexible enough to be able to follow the movements of the pneumat ic

constructton ."

///

The TechnoClouds from f -u -r are likewise

intended to be artificial , movable super -organisms . The TechnoClouds are spatial structures that can be installed in existing build ings to house concerts or similar events . Designed as pne umat ic plastic constructions, t he spatial structure consists of several parallel , endless strips which form loop -like f ormati o ns . The strips are d ivided into segments like links in a chain in t h e longitudinal and transverse dire ctions , and are connected to a computer by means of sensors . Controlled by computer, the in dividual segments can be moved so that each st rip can take on many d ifferent forms and in doing so also influence t h e f or ms of

trans -ports pavilIon . ONL Oost8rhufs_LdnSfd. 2000

material remains constant until the phase transition has been completed. The stored heat [or cold] ;s invisible, but present in a latent state. This reduces summertime temperature peaks and improves the interior climate; paraffins and salt hydrates are currently used as PCMs. 13 See Arch+, No. 172, 2004, pp. 75-76 and www.kierantimberlake.com14 lnstttut jur Leichtbau Entwerfen 6 Konstruieren [Institute of Lightweight Design 6 Construction] 15 The cocoon "Paul" is result of research into adaptive, textile building envelopes; see the dissertation by Markus Holzbach at ILEK Stuttgart


TRANSPARENT PLASTICS BETWEEN I NT EL L ECT UA L ISAT ID N AND TRASH CULTURE

its neighbours . Depending on the particular event , a multitude of plan layouts is therefore poss ible which can be carried out on several levels .

III

These examples symbolise the growing

convergence between biology and architecture and show the potential for using synthetic materials in building . Delicate membrane constructions , free forms and interconnected spac es , three -dimensional walls, unstable , movable spaces and en velopes that react to their environment, set new standards and distance themselves from a traditional and per se static archi tecture .

PLASTIC , THE SENSUAL t.4ATERIAL

III

Other archi -

tects are more interested in plastics for their visible features such as structure , texture and facture, aimed at achieving a sensual effect, than for their data -initiated contents of the chemical composition with the function potential. Japanese architects such as Shigeru Ban or the SANAA practice use the

TechneCleuds . f-u 路,. 2002

sensual qualities of synthetic materials for their architecture, the prime features of which are the playing with transparency and translucency , specific lighting effects and visual refer ences , the removal of barriers between inside and outside, or their versatile and changeable relationships. Totally in keeping w ith Peter Sloterdijk, they use the lightness, movability and versatility of the plastics to define mankind 's relationship with the world. "

III

At the same time, the effects and possibili -

ties of synthetic materials go hand in hand with the l at es t trends in contemporary architecture , the main idea of which is the unconventional use or alienation of materials . Herzog S de Meuron consider form , structure and materials as variables to be developed independently. Sensua lity is the crucial aspect of their architecture , which is conveyed by the materiality and the int erest in the surfaces, among other things. Printed or il luminated plastic envelopes lend their architecture the desired sensual character. In doing so , the experimentation with mate rial is intended to break with traditions and lead to " sub tl e ir ritations " . By using materials alien to architecture, or by con verting and alienating traditional building materials , and by in clu d ing immat erial elements such as photography and light, the envelope becomes a medium for a direct architectural lan gu age not dependent on context ." This design approach is remi ni sc ent of minimalist architecture ; Donald Judd was advo cating the autonomy of form , substance , colour and surface in 196B . He cla imed that forms and materials may not be changed by the ir c ont ext. The removal of context is emphasized by the u se of unusual materials (plastics, chromium , electric light], which have no reference to the past but do not point to the fu ture either. " The material becomes an information medium with the appearance of the surface acting as the focus. This can lead to form being banished to the marginality of the subservi -

Noked Heuse . ShjgelU Bon . 2000

Museum of Pope, All , ShlgolU Ban, 2001

16 Kas Oosterhuis and Ilona t.enard presented their t rans-ports project for the f irst ti me at the Biennale 20 0 0 in Venice; therr idea of a netw ork of virtua l and real spaces was inco rporate d into the "Real Time Evolut ion Game" in whic h the public could t ake part via t he inte rnet and t hus alt er th e str uct ures of the rooms; a prototype wit h a pneumati c, movable envelope was erecte d at th e Cent re Pompidou in Paris in 2003. 17 From the philosophic al viewpoint , the mate rial determ ines t he relat ionship betwee n being out side and being insi de - the ecstatic and the enstatic . The architect philosophises


36 / 37

ent funct ion - relegated to a support for the envelope, which can be replaced on a wh im as times and fashio ns change and in terms of the effects and statements desired. 20 Or, alterna tely , material and form can be fused toget her as an apparently inseparable comb ination , as is imp ressively demonstra ted by the Allianz Arena in Munich - a design approac h that occu rs mo re frequently as the form concept is introduced in arch itecture. The form -material relationship has replace d t he for m- fu nctio n relationship and places architecture close r to the vis ual arts

Catholic Church In Radebeul . StaIb Archu ecl s wah Gunter Oehnlsch, 2003

and design . Just like artists and des igners, arch itects are seeking a materia l adequate for the form , an d vic e versa. It is not constructional considerations and cultural co ntexts th at are deciding the cho ice of material , but rat h er th e coherence of form and material.

///

Besides t he se ns ual effec t, ot her ar -

chitects are using the image of plastics as c hea p mat eri als quite deliberately f or their arc hitec ture , trying o ut unc onven tional design approaches with new concepts. Here , t he cheap indust ri al product, as an experiment in aesthetics, reflec ts t he expe rimental nature of the design concepts . Proj ec t s by Rem Koolhaas or Lacaton S Vassal demo nstrate t h e cost -effecti ve but nevertheless highly effective possib ili t ies of syn thet ic ma -

Rlco lo warehouso , Herlog 6 do Mouron, J993

ter ials that result from clever and unexpected applications . Lacaton S Vassa l employ inexpensive, untrea ted industria l products for their houses , which question tra di t ional Europea n housing forms and resemb le the notion of th e t err it ori al , no madic lifestyle . Transparent plastic panels offe r not only t he chance of enclos ing spacious hvlng accommoda ti on on a low budget , but at the same time also create int ermed iat e cli matic zones that can be closed off from the outside world , or pro vide an un interrupted transition between interior and exte rior.

///

At his art gallery in Rotterdam, Rem Koo lhaas uses the indiffer ence and ambiguity of translucent and transparent plastic pan els for a room setting whose surp ris ing spa tial and vis ua l ref erences make demands on the visitor. A tour of the museum is not unlike a theatrical experience in w hich the seque nce of rooms resembles the scenes in a play wh ich , h ow ever, are repeatedly interrupted by retrospect ive views whe re the res pective other wor ld seen t hrough t he plastic panels appears eithe r

AUlanz Arena, Harzog 8 de Mauron . 2005

accordingly in the material. "Speaking and building normally create so much security in human relationships that one can occasionally allow a little ecstasy. Therefore, in my opinion the architect is actually someone who philosophises in the material. He who builds a house or a building for institution makes a statement about the relationship between the ecstatic and the enstatic, the being outside and the being inside." Peter Sloterdijk in conversation with Sabine Kraft and Nikolaus Kuhnert, Arch+, No. 169/170, 2004, pp.16-23 lB Jacques Herzog in an interview with H. Adam, M. Heuser and C. Burkle,


T RA N S PA RENT PLASTIC S BET WEE N I NTELLEC T UALISATIO N AN D TR ASH CULTURE

clear and unm istakable or distorted and ambiguous . Different , contrasting mater ials meet unexpectedly, rooms and walls are like material collages , and standard industrial products contra dict the conventional qualities of a museum .

III

Visual

customs are put to the test , emotions are awakened, the effect governs : synthetic materials are used in shocking , provocative and surprising ways - fitting for a society in which only extreme stimuli gain attention. Trash culture becomes part of civilised culture ; plastics , and primarily plastic panels , cultivate "bad taste " - a method art has been using for many years . In thls sense, plastics architecture is approaching the visual arts and in the form of material collage or architectura l experiment is itself becoming art.

Cild MDnJ/DsID, t.acaron 6 Vassal, 2005

HauslnS Projects In london . Ash Sakula 2004

Art Gallery

In

Rott srdam, Rom Koolhaas . J9 9 2

Archithese , No. 5, 199B, and in: Marianne Brausch , Marc Emery led s.], L'Architecture en Question, Paris, 1995 , pp. 2B-43 19 Richard West on descr ibes this relat ionship between form and mater ial as fOllOWS: Very much cl earer tha n at that moment when Gottfried Semper published his the ses, t he building envelop e can toda y be underst ood as 'cl ot hing' , as a sort of [ abric we choose at random and change acc ording to need s. Rich ard Westo n, Mater ials, Form, and Archit ec ture


38 / 39


EXHIBITION 40

III

RESIDENCES

64

III

CULTURE AND SPORTS 104

III

RESEARCH 130


40 / 41

ABB ARCHITECTS

I BERNHARD

FRANKEN

MATERIAL _ TRANSPAREN T ACR YLIC SHEETS IN DO UBLE CU RVATURE USE _ EX HI BITI ONS , TE MP ORARY

LOCATIO"

The building of the BMW Pavilion at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt represented a new direction in architecture. This relatively minor construction project enabled the architects to approach one step closer to the architectural visions of the new age , the so -called mass custom isation [the mass production of one -off articles) .

III

The starting point for the design was

the concept of " cl ean energy ". BMW uses this slogan for its development of vehicles powered by renewable energies , a.g. hydrogen -powered engines . In order to imprint th is complex theme on the minds of visitors as an intellectual and visual experience , the architects developed an exhibition consist ing of a circular water tank and a solar cloud (an amorphous cable net with LED solar panels) housed in a pav ilion shaped like a drop of water. FORM-FINDING

III

FACADE TYPL SIN GL E路L EAF

FRA NKF U RT AM MAIN , GERMANY

The pavilion had to have the

form of a real drop of water and express the condition of the unstable equilibrium between internal pressure and surface tension . So instead of simply sketching the form of a drop of water and transferring this to the com puter, the architects simulated the merger of two drops of water us ing an animation program normally found in the film industry. The starting point and parent substanc e of the simulation was the ideal form of one drop of water, which in reality can only exist in a vacuum and assumes the form of a perfect sphere . The laws of phys ics mean that the force of attraction of a second drop of water, the force of gravity of the Earth itself and the sur face tension of the water cause force fields to act on the parent substance . which lead to changes in its shape . These force fields were simulated on the computer and thus generated the f inal shape .

III

The

f inal shape therefore emerged int eract ively from the parent substance , the form -form ing princ iple , the boun dary cond itions and the applied forces through sp ecific changes to the parameters selected . Through the interaction of desi gners and computers , data became form .

COMPLETED

ISSS


ABB A RCH ITECTS

002

001 . As a metaphor for the use of low -resources energy forms , t he pavil ion is shaped like two drops of wat er.

III

002 _ Plan

I BERNHARD

FRANKEN

III

BMW BUBBLE


ABB ARCHITECTS

I BERNHARD

FRANKEN

III

BMW BUBBLE

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012_ FEM generation with shell elements ------------- - - ----

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44 / 45

tention was to build the Bubble in separate parts , glue th em to gether and then transport it to it s f inal location by he licopter. However, time constraints forced the arc hi tec t s to abandon the idea of a self-supporting con struction . Instead , the drop of water became a single leaf transparent acrylic envelope supported by a grid of alum in ium ribs . Some 305 differently shaped transparent acrylic panels - everyone unique - were required . The plastic panels were moulded on CNC-milled rigid PU foam blocks and afterwards trimmed to size with CNC machinery.

The almos t dimensionless pane ls

III

B mm thick were attached to the loadbearing construction with t iny ind ividual fixings to form a single -leaf en velope ; jo ints were sealed with silicone . No addit ional components (e.g. sunshades , thermal insulation , gutters , etc .] disturb the perfectly shaped enclosure . To prevent solar gains overheating the interior, a diecast alum in ium floor similar to those used in industry was inst alled. Perforations in the floor plates enable cold air to flow int o the Bubble . (The same principle could be used to heat the int erior as well.]

The pavil-

III

ion was developed and bu ilt in a continuous digital de sign and manufacturing process - a method that has long since been standard in the aircraft and yacht indus tries . If this design and production method was to be come established in the building industry, it would mean a stupendous change . Buildings could then be prefabri cated individually and would then only need to be sim ply erected on the building site .

013-015 _ The double-curvatur e t rans par ent ac rylic sheets were mould ed on CNC-milled rigid PUfoam blocks.

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MCA - MARIO CUCINELLA ARCHITECTS

MATERIAL

FACADE TYPE

TRANSPARENT ACRYLIC TUBES WITH INTEGR L LEO LIGHTS

TEMPORARY

LDCATlDH

BOLOGNA iTALY

COMPLETED

MULTI-LEAF

USI

XHIBITIONS

2003

Th eir min imalist, glass pavilion enabled Mario Cucinella

the results of these planning activities have been on

Arch itects to set an unambiguous sign and establish a

show in an exhibition in the subterranean passageways

c ount erp oi nt to the historic c ity backdrop . With its

of a former pedestrian precinct , which as a relic of the

multi-layer facade built from a hardly perceptible all -

misguided urban planning of the past, was for a long

glas s c ons t ruc t ion and rows of transparent acrylic tubes

time a hotbed of criminal activities. The architects re -

form ing a sec ond leaf the pavtllon forms a sublime out-

designed this uninviting space Into an exhibition area

doo r sculpture whose play with light and transparency

and covered It with a glass pavilion to act as temporary

sugg ests a juturlsttc quality.

access and a communication platform .

CD NeE PT / / /

Whereas the historic heart of Bologna

gether at one point by a small glazed entrance zone .

///

The pa -

vilion is made up of two elliptical cylinders joined to fo c al po int fo r activities and attention , the out -

DUring the hours of daylight the enclosure appears

skirts of th e ci t y are showing signs of dilapidation [ol -

insubstantial, [Iuld . When the circular acryLIc tubes

towi n g years of neglect

reflect the sunlight plavjullv, the facade IS reminiscent

is

B

In order to rectify this

dejlc lencv, th e lo cal authortty gathered Ideas and initi-

of a shimmering layer of water, an assoclatlcn that IS

at ed num erou s reports and competitions. Since 2003

deliberate because the plan s hap e IS Intended to


MeA

001_ At night-time, the pavilion becomes an illuminated sculpture. - .. _ - - - -

II!

III

EBO BOLOGNA

002_ The modern, minimalist pavilion forms a contrast to its historic surroundings.

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48 / 49

represent two water droplets splashed from the fa -

able at a service desk before visitors disappear under-

mou s Neptune Fountain nearby. In this way the mod -

ground to visit the exhib ition itself.

ern , minimalist structure gains a poetic link to it s his toric surroundings .

III

The interior of the pav ilion,

CONSTRUCTION III

The fluid-looking envelope is

continuing the theme of the externa l appearance, is

designed as a double -leaf facade . The outer leaf con -

also minimalist and unambiguous . White surfaces and

sists of a se lf-supporting all -glass construction made

glass fittings dominate the aesthetic of the interior, re-

from bent laminat ed glass panes that are fastened at

minding the observer of a futuristic scene from a Stan-

the top and bottom only . They form a weatherproof en -

The pavilion forms the starting

clos ure but remain almost invisible . However, the exter-

point for the underground exhibition in terms of both

ley Kubrick film .

III

na l appearance is characterised much more by the inner

access and information . A f ilm informs visitors about

leaf of t ransparent acrylic tubes. These 120 mm diam -

the city 's activities concerning the most important

eter tubes , which were specially developed and manu -

aspects of the planned, sustainable urban redeve lop-

f ac t ured for this project , are lined up in a row jnllowtng

ment. Further information and publications are avail-

the plan shape . They are joined together by satin-finish

••

0 03

003_ Plan


MeA

III

EBO BOLOGNA


50 I 51

acrylic glass caps fitted into the ends of the tubes . Despite the ir transparency , they offer only a distorted view through the facade , an intentional effect due to the

-

e-IoCO _ _ _ -

curved geometry of the tubes . At the same time , this

-

curvature refracts and redirects the incoming solar ra diation and thus prevents the pavilion from overheating

along the facade . The rising warmth also helps to com bat condensation . / / / At night, the glass pav illnn

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during extreme temperatures . During the winter the pa vilion is heated with warm air via floor inlets positioned

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in summer. A mechanical cooling system is used only

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white LED lights installed at the base of the tubes . The em

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riality of the pavilion and lends the scene a degree of ///

IT

.II

becomes an il luminated scu lpture , t ha nks to blue and

unreality.

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"pIuIgIooo GU*>_ .._

blue and white lighting effect accentuates the immate -

,-

I

I

In this play of light and transparency,

the plastic , in contrast to its reputation as a cheap ma ter ial , turns the pavilion into an urban jewel, a conspicu ous , staged interface between city and citizens , be tween the worlds above and below ground.

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EBO BOLOGNA

ATELIER KEMPE THILL

DD [S 0@G=O u

~mJooD[s~ MATERIAL LOCATIO"

00 M0[S [OJ 0[h1 @crcr [?J&WD[SDmJ[h1

TRANSLUCE NT BEER CRATES M OBI L E

COMPLETED

FACADE TYPE

SIN GLE LEA F

USE

EXHIB ITIO NS. TE MPO RARY

200 1

The ephemeral, mobile pavilion belonging to the Dutch

dard beer crates out of colourless , translucent plastic

travelling theatre troupe " De Parade" is a successful

exclusively for the pavilinn . More than objets trouves.

example of the architectural use of a standard plastic product . The young architects Oliver Thill and Andre

these mundane items were presented in a new light w ith

Kempe simply stacked empty beer crates on top of each

but at the same time stable plastic crates could be re-

other to create the walls , laid trapezoidal profile metal

garded as a LEGO system for adults , turning building

sheeting on top and the mobile pavilion was finished!

into child's play!

CON C E PT III

The motivation for this charming " mis-

be simply stacked and bonded together to form an unadorned, rectangular room measuring 15 x 4 x 6 m. The

th eir own aesthetic

The modular, lightweight

III

The ind ividual crates were to

III

use " of an everyday product was a competition organised

jury liked the idea and awarded th e arch itects second

by the BNA [Royal Dutch Institute of Architects] . The pur -

prize and an order for one pavlliun

pose of the competition was to find solutions for tempo rary exhib ition butldings that could be built for just

CON STRUC TION 11/

25 ,000 guilders [about EUR 11,350). This was a task that

A buyer for the pavlhnn wa s

could not be solved using conventional methods and

found in the shape of the Dutch travelling theatre t roup e " De Parade" , which visits Dutch towns and cities every

therefore was rife for experimentation . The parameters

summer with a new theatre programme . The beer crate

low-budget and ephemeral gave the arch itects the idea

pavilion has become a regular attraction in their activi-

for an unusual but consequential answer. They devised a

ties since 2001. They use it as an art gallery, as a bar or

pavilion built from existing , standard products that are obtained by pay ing a deposit, i.e. they can be returned to

for jazz concerts . The temporary pavilion has become a multifunctional mobile building that can be erected or

the supplier if the building is dismantled I Walls made

dismantled within a day - a requirement that could not

from stacks of beer crates and a floor of wooden boards were the result of these deliberations . IllSchoeller

have been met if adhesive had been used as originally

Wavin Systems agreed to cooperate with the architects .

dismantling, the arch itects dev eloped a standard mod-

The company produced a special batch of their stan -

ule consisting of 18 beer crates [6 crates long x 3 crates

envisaged.

III

To enable fast and easy erection and

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52 / 53

ATELIER KEMPE THILL

DD ~ 0@[XJ

u [ID 0-1J 0~ [QJ 0[f\J @<r<r

~(QJ[IDD~~ ~&WD~D(QJ[f\J MATERIAL LOCATIO"

TRANSLUCENT BEER CRATES ~OBILE

COMPLETED

FACADE TYPE

SINGLE LEAF

USE

EXHIB ITIONS

TE ~PORARY

2001

The ephemeral , mobile pavilion belonging to the Dutch

dard beer crates out of colourless , translucent plastic

travelling theatre troupe " De Parade" is a successful

exclusively for the pavilion . More than objets trouves .

example of the arch itectural use of a standard plastic product . The young architects Oliver Thill and Andre

their own aesthetic .

Kempe simply stacked empty beer crates on top of each

but at the same time stable plastic crates could be re -

other to create the walls , laid trapezoidal profile metal

garded as a LEGO system for adults , turning building

sheeting on top and the mobile pavilion was finished!

into child's play!

C O N C EP T I II

these mundane items were presented in a new light w ith

III

III

The modular, lightweight

The individual crates were to

The motivation for this charming "mis -

be simply stacked and bonded together to form an unadorned , rectangular room measuring 15 x 4 x 6 m The

use " of an everyday product was a competition organised

jury liked the idea and awarded the architects second

by the BNA [Royal Dutch Institute of Architects) . The pur -

prize and an order for one pavilion .

pose of the competition was to find solutions for tempo rary exhibition burtdrngs that could be built for just

CO N S TRUC T I O N III

25 ,000 guilders [about EUR 11,350) . Thrs was a task that

A buyer for the pavilion was

could not be solved using conventional methods and

found in the shape of the Dutch travelling theatre troupe "De Parade" , which visits Dutch towns and cities every

therefore was Fife for experimentation. The parameters

summer with a new theatre programme . The beer crate

low-budget and ephemeral gave the architects the idea

pavilion has become a regular attraction in their activt-

for an unusual but consequential answer. They devised a

ties since 2001. They use it as an art gallery, as a bar or

pavilion built from existing , standard products that are

for jazz concerts . The temporary pavilion has become a

obtained by paying a deposit, i.e . they can be returned to

multifunctional mobile building that can be erected or

the suppller if the building is dismantled I Walls made

dismantled within a day - a requirement that could not

from stacks of beer crates and a floor of wooden boards were the result of these deliberations. I I ISchoeller

have been met if adhesive had been used as originally

Wavin Systems agreed to cooperate with the architects .

dismantling, the architects developed a standard mod-

The company produced a special batch of their stan -

ule consisting of 18 beer crates [6 crates long x 3 crates

./

/'

~--_/

001

rJ

envisaged.

III

To enable fast and easy erection and


ATELIER KEMPE THILL

III

"LIGHT BUILDING" MOBILE PAVILION

001-002_ The simple box-like enclosure consists exclusively of standard, rented elements that can be assembled by two persons in a few hours.


S4 I 5 5

high ) whic h are joined togethe r with steel plates and

the pavilion does not satisfy any thermal or sound insula-

threaded rod s to form a stab le " wall panel " . The mod-

tion requirements and is also not entirely rainproof. In-

ules, some with electric cables already pre -installed, are

stead , the pavtlion is a "light building" in the truest sense

stacked loose according to an erection drawing. A steel

of the word : a room of light in a light(weight) enclosure .

channel at the base of the wall prescribes the positions

///

of the walls and at the same time acts as a ring beam . It s

scatter the light in different ways, depending on the

counte rpa rt at roof level is a steel angle . Tying the two

weather conditions . As the cloud formations move

The translucent, semi -permeable walls filter and

ring beams together with vertical threaded rods and the

across the sky, so the sunlight creates ever-changing

plate effe ct of the trapezoidal projlle metal roof stabilise

patterns of colour, light and shade inside the pavlllon .

the beer crate construction . ReinforCing bars, driven into

///

the ground like tent pegs , anchor the pavilion to the

wall that is at the same t ime light-permeable has result -

The construction of a 300 mm thick loadbearing

ground to res ist the effects of wind forces . Spring f orc e

ed in an ambiguity that uni tes traditi onal and modern ar-

measurements - a tent erection method f amili ar to t he

ch itectural think ing . The space is both enclosed and

theatre troupe - are used to check the tensile strength of

permeable, the construction both substantial and light-

the anchorage.

weight.

///

Like any other mobile structure ,

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004

003 _ Th_,,-baS iC mo~~le of th e pa vilio n is a s ta nd a rd beer c rat e.

III

004 _ Pla n

III

005 _ Eleva t io n

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- 1


ATELIER KEMPE THILL

007-009

"LIGHT BUILDING" MOBILE PAVILION

009

006_ An even, diffuse light fills the mobile pavilion, which can be used as a bar, museum or housing for various events. --

assembly module consists of 18 beer crates.

III

III

bars anchor this lightweight building to the ground.

----

---------

---

------

III

o07-ooB_ Plan and longitudinal section; the master

--------

---

-----

--------

----

009. Section through wall; the beer crates are tensioned between ring beams at the top and bottom of the wall, and reinforcing


56 / 5 7

ATELIER BRUCKNER

MATERIAL

EHE MEMBRANE TRANSPARENT AND PRINTED . THREE LAYERS

PRETENSIONEO , SINGLE 路LEAF , INTEGRAL SUNSHAOING CDMPLET ED

FA CA DE AH D RDD F FDRM

U S E EXHIBITIONS , TEMPORARY

PN EUMATICALLY

LDCATIDH

HANNOVER GERMANY

2000

The exhibition pavilion of t he "Dua les System Deutsch-

CDNCEPT III

land" (a nationwide recycling scheme for packaging ma-

- Nature - Technology", can be seen as a concise expres -

The theme of EXPO 2000, "Humankind

terials) at EXPO 2000 in Hannover was a futuristic struc-

sion of the ecological and economic relationships that

ture in more ways than one. The pneumatic membrane

culminate in a cradle-to-grave economy The cradle-to -

construction of the external envelope could adapt "intelligently" to different requirements and situations, and

grave economy is not just the raison ti'eu禄 of the ouales System; instead, it is primarily a vtsronarv economic sys-

the internal climate concept centred around natural pro-

tem . Just like in nature. there are no waste products in

cesses. The role models for the design team were liVing

this system, only benejlctat materials, The pnncrple of the

organisms which could adapt to their environment and react to changing situations, and thus exist in a dialogue

cycle was the starting point for the design of the pavilion It dictated the architectural language, the staging and the

with their habitats. This interaction between inside and

internal climate concept .

outside followed a defined dramatic plot which was in-

in the three-dirnenstonal spiral form, which at the same

trinsic to the staging of the exhibition.

III

III

The cycle was reflected

"Form fol-

time can be seen as a type of Weltanschauung in which

lows content ." This, a reformulation of the maxim of

the return, the movement and the development constitute

the Modern Movement, was the guiding principle f or t he

constants in the framework. The spiral also represented

planners - a multidisciplinary team of architects. stage

t he three-dimensional translation of the logo of the oua-

designers and scene ry specialists. They therefore paid

les System - two Yin-Yang-style intertwined arrows. Ac -

homage to the transformation of "content" into tangi-

cordingly, the planners presented the theme of the exhlbl

ble settings which were generated by the interaction of

lion on spiralling ramps , an organised tour telling a story

exhibiti on scenes and architectu re.

whi ch at t he end returns to its starting point. A maze of

",.,u j-{t,4." 4

~ I I'A- f 1, I w(fjhA-"'l-t... '-


ATEL IER BRUCKNER

DOl . Conceptual skt ech III OO:L The spi ralli ng exhibition t our is a symbol for th e cradl e-to -grave econom y. _._-air-fill ed ETFE membrane cu sh ion s on it s st orey-hi gh plinth.

III

III

00 3 _ The funn el -sh aped pavil ion made f rom

C Y C L E BD W L


S8 I 59

hedges as the springboard and the spiral stairs as the

III

conclusion of the tour also made references to the spiral

fect . The vertical enclosure cons ist ed of th ree-layer,

form and pointed out it s symbolic significance.

transparent , pneumatic ETFEmembrane cushions mea-

Simple physical law s were resp on sibl e f or this ef-

suring 1B x 3 m which were welded together along the ir CONSTRUCTION III

Enclosed in transparent ETFE

edges and stretched between aluminium frames . Two of

membrane cushions , the spiral appeared from the out-

the layers were printed with a leaf motif, but one layer

side as a funnel -shaped pavilion standing on a square

was a reverse of the other. Controlled pressure changes

plinth . Both the three -dimensional , spira lling tour and

in the two chambers of the air -filled cushions altered

the setting of the exhibition itself were evident in the

the position of the centre membrane, which either

transparent membrane construction. As part of the

merged with the upper membrane and darkened the in-

staging , the transparency of the enve lope could be

terior or was pressed against the lower membrane to al-

changed, at the click of a mouse as it were, to transform

low more day light to enter.

the pavilion - according to a structured, recurring se -

effect, the printing on the membrane also acted as a

III

Besides this staged

quence - from a brightly lit room to a black box. This al-

sunshade and therefore prevented excessive tempera -

lowed the entire spectrum of multimedia presentation

tures inside the building.

forms to be exploited - display panels , installations for

cular roof measuring 25 m in diameter consisted of

III

The transparent , cir-

all the senses , films , etc. The envelope mirrored the

one single, three -layer ETFEmembrane cushion . In addi-

drama and the architecture was part of the production .

tion to the internal air pressure , two radial cable nets

__._._._._. DD4_ The exhi bi t i(]n was sta_ged on a _~ ~ i r a ll i n g ramp ; the li ght-permeable e nv e~ e c h ~nges in_~J!redetermin':d_cycle .

_-_.. .

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ATELIER BRUCKNER

11/

CYCLE BOWL

005

OOB

007

006

010

009

005_ Section

III

006_ Plan of entrance and level 1

III

-------

cushion closed

III

011_ Facade open

III

007_ Plan of level 2 - - - - - - ~ -

012_ Facade closed

-------~

~ - - - - - -

-----

_._---

III

OOB_ Plan of level 3

III

009_ Membrane cushion open

III

010~

Membrane


60 / 61

- between which the membrane roof was stretched -

when it came to using plastics . Indeed , a who le range of

helped to stab ilise the giant cush ion . Another, central

plastics was used in and on the pav lllon for effectiv e

cab le net prevented the upper membrane from sagging

advertising . Besides the membrane facade , th e outer

- and possib ly leading to a huge pond of incalculable

layer of the square plinth made use of multi -w eb acrylic

weight - should the air supply fail. Textile , louvre-t ype

sheets [f ill ed with transparent paper). The double -leaf

air -filled tubes int egrat ed into the transparent mem-

facade of the Blue Box [the rigid special part of the pa -

brane cushions were used to contro l the light. When

vilion from which the membrane funnel projects] was

inflated , the air-f illed louvres spread out and prevented

treated to a cladding of multi -web polycarbonate sheets

daylight entering through the roof. Once the air was ex-

filled with fragments of blue glass , and in the exh ib it ion

tracted , the louvres collapsed and the roo f became

areas transparent plastics were used generously and in

transparent again.

many forms.

III

The centre of the membrane

roof was marked by an oversized fan some 4 m in diamAnother special feature of

eter. It was this fan that was primarily responsib le for

CLIMAT E CDNCEPT III

generating the artificial tornado - the once -an -hour

this pavlllnn was its air-conditioning system . All tempo -

highlight of the exhibition.

rary and transparent structures that do not possess any

III

Plastics, or rather the

recycling of plastics , is one of the princ ipal lines of

storage mass always present a cha llenge for the internal

business of the Ouales System . It was therefore no sur -

climate . The planners solved the problem by taking na -

pr ise to discover that the company had no problem

ture as their example and by using various cycles .

013_ At the end of the tour, visitors could relax in transparent plastic shell armchairs.

III


ATELIER BRUC KNER

014 _ Cabl e-supported membr ane cus hi on roof wit h in tegra l pneumat ic suns hadi ng l ouvres

/11

015 _ Roof op en

1/1

016 _ Roof clos ed

III

CYCLEBDWL


62 / 63

cycle ensured circulation of the air for the night-tim e

Like the leaves of plants, the cooling system functioned by exploiting evaporation . During the day, cooled water

cooling of the interior. During the day , sensor-con -

fed from huge underground tanks circulated through a

trolled louvre openings, which were enlarged Dr re -

fine network of pipes fitted to the underside of the ramps . As the water evaporated , so the cooling effect

duced depending on the internal temperature , the hu midity of the air and the carbon dioxide content of the

led to a local drop in the temperature and to an improve -

air, regulated the circulation of the air. Thanks to this

ment in the microclimate . Another cycle ensured that

approach, which was based on the three factors air cir -

the heated water cooled down during the night. The wa -

culation , sunshading and water cooling , no mechani -

ter was sprayed via fine nozzles into open , vertical,

cal air -conditioning systems were requited in the pavil-

channel -like acrylic shells which we re fixed to the out-

ion .

side of the membrane facade . The water coole d as it

economic form by exploiti ng nat ur al effects while lnta -

ran into the collecting tank and was then fed back into

grating innovative technologies . It therefore united

///

The Cycle bowl told the story of a visionary

the underground tanks . At the start of the next day, the

economy. ecology and technology and became a sym -

daily cycle of cooling the air started again . The third

bol of EXPO 2000 .

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ATELIER BRUCKNER

01B _ Night-time photo III 019 _ Open t rans parent acryli c channeL s on the fac ade for wat er cooling at night _ . ._ - -- -- _ . .._- - _ . .--------- -- - . und ersi de of th e ramp s ensured cooling by evaporation to Low er the interior temperature.

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III

CYCLEBDWL

020 _ A net wor k of wat er-f ill ed "c apilLaries " f ixed to the __III . ---


64 / 65

86 K+

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O[t8 MATERIAL

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~©J[s©J@[t8~ TRANSLUCENT GLASS FIBRE REINFORCED PLASTIC SHEETS , PIGMEN TED

DOUBLE LEAF

USE

RESIDENTIAl/COMMERCIAL

LDCA TlD"

COLOGNE

FACADE TYPE

GERMANY

MUL T I lAYER INSUL ATEO OR

CDMPLET

D

20 0 0

att ic-type living quarte rs and studios - in other words,

of 140 m 2 , and form an L shape both on plan and on el evation. So this results In two -storey maisonettes with

transforming characteristic features of 19th-century industrial archi tecture int o con tempora ry architecture, via

w ith two-thirds of the total area as single -storey accom

an indirect rout e by using a module. For the ir design ,

modation, and one-third as two-storey

In this project the architects so lved the task of creating

dissimilar floor areas on their lower and upper floors,

1/1

Although

Messrs Brandlhube r and Kniess chose a modular, ab -

the 12 modules are Identical, the rotations and mirroring

stract framework as an information medium which in re-

give rise to different layouts, which are further enhanced

ality is transformed into the spatia l quali t ies of a factory

by the different access arrangements Seven different

floor whose benefits are spaciousness [b ot h horizon-

types of apartment have therefore been created from

tally and vertically] plus good illumination and flexibility.

one single module Optional hnnznntal or vertical combi nations of several units result in further layout and room

CD,.. C E PT / / /

The arch itects devised complex L-

sh aped modules to reali se the specified spatial quali-

variations . To achieve thrs , parts of the loadbaanng rein forced concrete walls were omitted and these areas

ties. Each module is made up of two rectangular blocks

closed off with lightweight materials which can be re -

tha t are jo ined together at a right-angle. Through mirror-

moved at any time in the future . To avoid restncung the

ing and rotat ion about all three axes in space plus hori -

combination options unnecessarily, the architects placed

zontal an d vertic al offsets, 12 of these modules have

the access arrangements on one Side of the butldrng as

been fit ted together like bull dlng bricks to form a straight-

an open, cantilevering remforced concrete structure

forward, block-like construction.

In use, the ab-

The spacious, open stairs are conceived rn such a way

strac t modules become room modules with a floor space

that they also offer space for external activities . Further

., +

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+

001

///

=


B 6 K+

III

APARTMENTS AND STUDIOS IN COLOGNE

002

DD1~ A

total of 12 L-shaped basic modules, each made up of two rectangular volumes, are rotated and mirrored about all three axes in space - according to the modular principle ~ to --

----

--

-

produce a rectangular structure.

-------

III -

------- -----

DD2~

-------

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.. _ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - _ . _ . _ - - _ . _ - -

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Possible arrangements and combination options of the room modules within a rectangular volume

-------------

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III

DD3~

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View of road side

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66 / 6 7

ODS

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APARTMENTS AND STUDIOS IN COLOGNE

010

.1

011

DDB. Plan of 3rd floor

III

009. Plan of roof

two-storey interior space relationships.

III

DID. Section

/I/

011. The three-dimensional realisation of the L-shaped module results in a large variety of open-plan,


68 / 69

The architects used plain glass fibre -reinforced plastic

Clamped into the post-and -rail facade construct ion ,

sheets with a yellow-green shimmer as the weather pro -

these panels alternate with transparent glass panes . The

tection to var ious facade assemblies . The gable ends of

translucent bays indicate the bathrooms . These pan els

the building consist of a multi -layer facade : thermally

consist of double glazing with an outer layer of plastic to

insulated concrete walls on the inside , an air cavity and

guarantee privacy. Depending on the construction , the

Scobalit sheets as the outer leaf. The facade is broken

facade panels were glued, screwed or clamped to the

up only by the rectangular grid of the framework which

supporting structure .

III

The architects deliberately

can be discerned through the translucent sheets . The

restricted the choice of materials to concrete and plas-

int erl ac ing and stacking of the various apartment mod -

tic ; even the safety barriers and floor finishes outside are

ules can be seen on the longitudinal sides of the build -

made from glass f ibre-reinf orc ed plastic gratings . One

ing: irregular bays filled with transparent, translucent

special feature is the yellow-green colouring of the plas-

and opaque panels . The opaque bays are made from va-

tic sheets, which was achieved by mixing in fluorescent

pourtight panels of glass fibre -reinforced plastic with a t imber inner lining , spec ially devised for this project.

pigments during manu facture, and allows the hulldlng to "g low " at dusk .

~~:L ::r~~_s m o~t h s c ~~a lit ~ ~e t s a r~ in s~ m_e_ c a s~=-s~mpLr glLJed :'o t ~~.LJpp~t ~g c~ n ~ u ct~~_ / /~ . _-

glass-fibre reinforced plastic .

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01 4 _ The Irregularit y of the facade panels reflects th e int erw oven arra ngement of the room modules. -

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APARTMENTS AND STUDIOS IN COLOGNE

I i :1

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015 _ Elevat ion of ro ad side

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70 / 71

SHIGERU BAN

Io4ATERIA~

E

FACADE TYPE

RI'AL G~ASS FIBRE REII'FORCEO P~ASTIC SHEETS. CORRUGAT 0 HiT RI'A~ NY L ON MEM ORAN E MU~TI ~AYER II'SU~

TEO

USE

R SID I'T1A~

~DCATIDII

KA WAGO

J AP A N

CDIo4P~ETED

2000

Again and ag in , Shlgaru Ban awakens the interest of

ate an additional "physical transparency " , an openness

t he publi c with his experlmant al houses . The experi

that encompasses more than just the visual sense . Def

ment anon with spac es and layouts, their movability

lnltinns and boundaries are blurred . Naked House

fl exibility and delimitation run s like a thread through his

10th Case Study House. which can be interpreted as the

wo rk Very of t en th e re Inte rpret at ion of these themes

latest variation of these architectural themes .

IS

hls

Involve s a new definition of bulldlng components and ele me nts In Shl eru Ban s houses , the movable fur -

CDttCEPT III

The house unites three generations

nishings eke on a s at lcally relevant junctinn , or they

grandmother, parents and two children - under one

f orm c ompartme nt s Mat erials are used apparently in

roof. The family wanted a house in which they could live

c ont radic t on 0 hair phy slc I prope rti s; for example , lig ht w eight, un stable water soluble paper, which in the

as a group nstead of separately. Each should be able to carry out his or her activities but without being isolated.

fo rm of c ardboard s used for the tuadbeartng structure,

The house was built some 20 km north of Tokyo near the

or c urt ain ing materlats which are transformed Into a fa -

Shingashi River, In an area surrounded by paddy fields

cade. The del mltatlon of th e spac e I.e. the spatial fu sl on of rnt error and ext erior, a dominant theme in his

and greenhouses.

III

like the nearby greenhouses,

Naked House is a single, large. two -storey encl os ure.

arc h tecture. has Its roots both in Japanese tradition

Four cardboard boxes mounted on rollers an Idea akin

and the Modern Movement. Whereas the architecture of

to the paper-covered sliding walls {shOJi] of traditional

the Mod ern Mov ement ach ieves a suggestion of inter -

Japanese architecture , form the family 'S private ac -

co nnected spaces by mean s of full -h eight glazing Shlg eru Ban goes beyond the VIsual delimitation to ere -

es can be moved around and combined. which leads to

commodation . Depending on needs and usage the box -

o 00


SHIGERU BAN

DDi Plan

III

DD2_ The mobile bedrooms can be positioned anywhere within the interior, and the children can even play on top.

III

NAKED HOUSE


72 / 73

a multitude of layout options. When placed against the

play areas . In order that the flexibility of the plan layout

walls of the house, they can be connected to radiators,

and the movability of the rooms does not just remain a

air conditioning and power sockets . Sliding doors are

grand theory, the weight of the boxes was reduced to a

provided on two sides of each box; these can be closed

minimum. This resulted in somewhat compact dimen -

or left open or even removed completely to determine

sions: the children have a little under 5 rn?and the par-

the visual interaction of the room units with the overall

ents just over 7 m 2 . The loadbearing timber frame was

layout and guarantee the occupants a degree of privacy.

covered with lightweight honeycomb cardboard panels

Removing the sliding doors and joining the boxes to-

and the occupants restricted the furnishings and fit-

gether creates one large room of 24 m 2 which can be

tings to essentials. The only permanent installations in

positioned anywhere within the two-storey volume.

the house are the kitchen, the wardrobes and the bath-

Large openings in the facade enable the boxes to be

room, which are separated from the open-plan layout by

rolled out onto the terrace if required, enabling the oc-

half-height walls or white curtains.

cupants to use the full floor space of the house or to

Naked House with its room boxes mounted on rollers is

extend their living space to the outside. The roofs of the boxes can also be used by the children as additional

with its sliding paper walls.

III

In essence,

a radical continuation of the traditional Japanese house

I

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III

NAKED HOUSE

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005 _ Inte rio r lay out va riati ons

III

006 _ The war drob e and th e bath ro om ar e sepa rat ed f rom t he op e n -s p a ce living acc om mo dation by ha lf -h e ight wall s . - -- - --

- - -

- - --

-


-----

74 I 75

The unusualness of the plan

into more than 500 transparent pla st ic bags whi c h

layout is matched by the multi-layer, translucent plas -

were divided into individual compartm ents t o pr ev ent

CDNSTRUCTIDN III

ti c facade . The weatherproof outer layer consists of

the filling dropping to the bottom . The plastic bags are

c orrugat ed, glass fibre -reinforced plastic panels . The

fixed to the frame with another synthetic film to provide

inner layer, wh ich forms the interior wall surface, is

fire protection .

formed by a nylon membrane which is attached to the

tion refracts the sunlight and bathes the interior in a

This translucent wall con struc -

l oadbearing t imber construction by means of touch -

low-level, even glow - a way of controlling light that is

and -close fasteners and can therefore be taken down at any time for washing . In between these two layers

anchored in Japanese culture and has been employed for many centuries in the traditional paper walls . Small,

there is a layer of translucent plastic thermal insula -

square , transparent windows accentuate the long ,

III

t ion , wh ich was developed by the architect himself and

milky external walls and permit discrete , specific views

actually put together by members of his team . When

to the outside world. However, their primary function is

searching for suitable thermal insulation , the archi -

ventilation. The necessary reference to the exterior is

tects tested various materials , such as wood chips ,

provided by the fully glazed gable walls . At the west

paper cuttings , glass fibres and eggboxes, until they

end the glass facade is made up of sliding elements

finally decided in favour of extruded polyester fibres ,

that can be stored in a housing in the wall. The interior

which are normally used for packaging. They stuffed

and the covered terrace therefore merge into one space

the synthetic fibres , impregnated with a fire retardant ,

that continues into the greenery of the surroundings .

[_- Woo Q( ,.. P'!..AN..:

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III

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III

DDB_ Section - _... _ - - - - - - -

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III

SHIGER U BAN

0 10 _ The s mall square windows permit limited, but spectj rc view s of the su rrou n ding countrys ide . - - - - _ _ - - _ .. - - - _. - -- -- -- -- _ . _- - - _. _ - ._ - - --...

---- ---

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NAKED HDUSE

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76 / 77

TEKUTo ARCHITECTURE STUDIO

MATERIAL

FACADE TYPE

EXTERNAL TRANSLUCENT, GLASS FIBRE REI NFORCED PLASTIC SHEETS; IN TE RN A L ' PLASTIC FIL M

LAYER, INSULATED

USE

RES IDENTIAL

LOCATIOIt

SETAGYA路K U, TOKYO, J A PAN

COMPLETED

MULTI

2005

A new land survey in a suburb of Tokyo revealed a long,

room widths varying from BOO mm to 2.2 m. The struc -

th in piece of no man 's land in the shape of a trapezium ,

ture that rises from this unusual plan form has the shape

Just 700 mm wide at one end and 3 .2 m at the other, a

of a pointed arch ; its slender, high proportions remind

total of a little under 60 m 2 . Placing a house on this cu -

the observer of a Gothic church window. This long. thin

rious remnant of land posed a challenge even for Japa nes e architects , who are used to dealing w ith small

house has a sloping ridge which rises from the single -

plots . esp ec ially in view of the regulation requiring a

narrow entrance end .

house to be pos it ioned at least 500 mm from the bound -

plan area is compensated for by a generously propor -

storey garden end to a height equal to two st oreys at the III

The extremely confined

ary of the plot! The architects took on this challenge and

tioned volume, an open -plan layout and the bright , even

attempted to turn the peculiar characteristics of this

illumination of the whole interior thanks to a translucent

plot to the ir advantage . In a setting dominated by the

envelope. The living area including the kitchen ameni -

st ruct ures so typ ical of Japanese city suburbs , the re-

ties and dining area is located underground in the base -

sult was a highly unu sual family home .

ment. The floors in the two/three -storey volum e above this area make use of metal open -grid floor ing . a deli -

Above ground . the house tracks the

cate form of construction that saves space and also al -

boundaries of the plot at the legally required distance.

lows the daylight shining through the translucent ,

Below ground , in the basement, the architects were able

curved external walls to reach the basement. There is

CONCEPT III

to use the full width of the plot. Th is led to a tube -like ,

no acoustic or visual disruption to the op en -plan layout.

trapezoida l plan shape with a length of about 17 m and

The bathroom at the narrow end of the bas ement is the


TEKUTO A RCHITECTUR E STUDIO

CC1 _ The st ruc t ure in the shape of a po inted arch is co ver ed in a translucent, th in plast ic membrane.

III

III

L UC K Y DROPS

CC2 _ Thi s narro w, t all build ing is onl y 2_2 m wi de at the entr ance end!


78 I 7 9

The

construction consists of 3 mm thick glass f ib re-r ein -

ent rance zone raised above ground level is constructed

forced plastic panels as the outer layer, a translucent

as a small gallery From here, a narrow single flight of

high -tech therma l insulation layer, an air cavity and a

sole enclosed room within the entire house .

III

sta irs descends int o the ltvtng area and a steep ship's

plastic film on the inside for fire protection . Fixed to the

ladder provides access to the sleeping gallery on the

steel structure in vertical, narrow strips , the facade em-

upper floor. This sleeping gallery is connected to the

phasizes the verticality of the construction and lend s

rear door at the garden end via a sloping platform run-

the building a rhythmic impulse . As the house has no

ning the full length of the house . Following the line of

windows , the plastic facade conveys the impression of

the ridge , the platform slopes over virtually a comp lete

a calm, homogeneous surface . Mechanical fans ensure

storey height and thus reinforces the linear structure of

adequate ventilation of the interior and the reference to

the house ThiS narrow, sloping passageway is used by

the outside world is created exclusively via the doors at

the occupants as additional storage space.

each end.

III

The plastic envelope fulfils three es -

sential requirements . Firstly, it allows daylight to enter One condition for building on

and illuminate the interior of this windowless building,

this sliver of land was that the wall construction had to

distributing the indirect diffuse light evenly throughout

have practically zero thicknessl The architects designed

the house . Roller blinds fitted inside can be used to

an extremely thin external envelope of high -tech materi -

regulate the amount of incoming light. Secondly, it

als no more than 69 mm th ick to cover the entire build -

screens the interior from the inquisitive looks of the

Ing from ground level to ridge . The multi -layer facade

neighbours , which - considering the closeness of the

CONSTRUCTION III

m

second Floor

'/

First Floor

1 ) Uving

Kitchen

\

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Groundnoor

.- ........ '

003 005

003 _ Plan oj upper j lo or

III

004_ Pla n oj e nt ra nce lev el

III

005 _ Pla n oj se mi-base ment level

lOCO


TEK UT D ARC HI T ECTU RE STUD IO

III

LUCKY DROPS

T

I

006

006 _ Longitudinal section I II 007_ View from the entrance galle ry into the li ving area in the sem i- base ment ; the la dder leads up to a gall ery that serves as a bedroom . I I I --- --- .- -_. -- - _ .- - - -- - -- - - - " - - . _ - - _... . --- - - -- - - - - ". .. _ -- _ .,. -_. 008 _ The semi-basement contains liVing area , kitchen and bath room; services and cu pb oard s are hous ed in the niches behind the steel columns . I I I 009 _ Light can penetrate -_. ---- - - - - - -- ._- -. - - ,. ... _-- - - _.. .- -- -- - - - _. t he open-grid floor ing used in the house . ~

__


Bo /

81

surrounding buildings - is not as trivial as it sounds . Thirdly, its minimal thickness helped make a house fea sible in the first place on this narrow building plot and thus gain valuable floor space .

///

/

At night, the sim-

-S1(~.ÂŁm: 'up J - -

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ple , introvert building looks like a paper lantern with the

r

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r

shadows of its occupants vaguely discernible . However, this tiny house is much more than just an interim solu tion to an apparently insoluble task . Instead , the archi tects have given the confined interior spaciousness and character and transformed it into a home that has earned the name "Lucky Drops "l ("Lucky Drops " is the translation of an old Japanese proverb which means, more or less , " And the last shall be first .") 010

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TEK UT O A RC HIT ECT URE STUD IO

D13 _ At n ight , th e trans luc e nt wa lls of the hous e a llow t he b uild ing t o s h in e like a lan tern .

III

LUCKY DROPS


82 / 83

ASH SAKULA

D=G[gJlliJ~D~@ ~m[gJc1J~~u D~ [S[gJ~[QJ[gJ~ MATERIAL

GL A SS FI BRE REINF ORCED CORRU GATED PLASTIC SHEETS , TRAN SLU CENT OR PALE Y ELLOW

INSULATED

USE

RES ID EN TI A L

LOCATI O N

LONDON . UNITED KINGDOM

COMPLETED

FACADE TYPE

MULTI LAYER

20 0 4

Always on the lookout for new, experimental housing so-

also be used as a guest room or study. The social hub is

iunon s, the Peabody Trust Housing Association has

the generously Sized , brightly lit kitchen . It provides

been organising competitions regularly for a number of years . The housing project in Silvertown, a development

enough space for a large table and chairs , but also for comfortab le armchairs and a television . Thanks to the

area in East London , called for low -budget housing units

bulge in the plan shape , the hall widens towards the en -

each with 65 m 2 floor space for a four-person house-

trance to form a space equipped with a number of built -

hold . Peabody Trust specified the price per square metre

in cupboards . The cupboards can be used for clothing ,

and also the target group - young families with two chi lo

food or genera l storage and also include a fold -out ta -

dren who were looking for a low-cost first home.

III

ble , which can turn the hall into a temporary utility room

Based on these clear but restrictive conditions , which

or Office . In summer the family on the ground floor can make use of a te rrace outside the kitchen , and the fam -

left little leeway, the architects responded by reorganis ing the typical apartment layout and by us ing unconven tional building materials. CON C E PT I I I

Ash Sakula designed two small blocks

ily on the upper f loor a large platform between the ac cess stairs and the entrance . CONSTRUCTION III

The special character of the

each with two apartments . By Shifting the space and

interior of the apartments is reflected in the unconven -

function priorities, the architects redefined living in a

tional external appearance . The two small blocks look

small space . The apartments are characterised by vari -

like they have been packaged in wrapping paper! A re-

ance and a number of " communal spaces" ideal for fam -

flective , crinkly aluminium foil shimmers , sometimes

ily life . The arrangement of kitchen , dining and llvlng

golden, sometimes silvery, behind the glass fibre -rein -

areas plus the hall and an external terrace provide am-

forced polyester corrugated sheets wh ich rise beyond

ple "meet ing points " with varying qualities . By reducing

roof level. These varying nuances of colour are gener -

the size of the bedrooms to a minimum (they are hardly larger than sleep ing berths], the architects were able to

ated by the corrugated plastic sheeting. which is eith er transparent or pale yellow . I I I The plastic env e-

allocate more floor space to the other rooms . The llvlng

lope , with the corrugations runn ing either vertical or

room is no longer the foca l point of family life , but rather

horizontal, is the outermost layer of a multi -layer exter-

has been redefined as a sort of quiet corner, which may

nal wall construction . The unconventional env elope

_._-

r 001

002

1


ASH SAKULA

001_ Plan

III

002_ Section

III

003_ Access to the upper apartments takes the form of spacious timber terraces.

III

HOUSING PRO.JECT IN LONDON


84 I 85

conceals a timber building which was completely pre fabricated and merely assembled on site , a choice of construction dictated by cost and time savings . The external walls consist of prefabricated , insulated, alumin ium- laminat ed timber panels with plasterboard on the inside and , separated via a ventilation cavity, glass fi bre -reinforced polyester corrugated sheets to provide protection from the weather. The facade was given a final artistic touch by Vinita Hassard , who installed twisted , recycled electric wires behind the po lyes ter sheeting.

///

The facade with its contemporary,

youthful -look ing approach is not the only reason why these apartments appeal spactjlcatty to young first -time buyers . A house is no longer just a house , bu t instead joins the ranks of the design world and challenges t he perceptions of the man in the street.

00 4

/

rec ycled el ectr ic wires - an a rti s ti c touch by the artist Vinita Hassard - decorate th e elevatio ns. -_.

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007

007_ Section through facade

III

008_ The open-plan living roomlkitchen at ground-floor level opens out onto a small terrace.

III

HOUSlttG PROJECT Itt LOttOOtt


86 / 8 7

LACATON 6 VASSAL

ATEAIA~

RANSPAREI'fT CORRUGATE D POLYCA RBONATE SHEETS

RESID N IAL

U

LDCATIDH MULHOUS

FRANC E

FACADE TYPE

S I N G ~E

L EAF OR MULTI LAY ER IN SULATED

COM PLETE D 2 0 05

The realisation of the Cite Manifes e project in Mulhouse

very tight budget based on publicly assisted housing

- an expenmental housing dev lopment - celebrated the

norms were the only conditions With which the architects

150th anniversary of SOG/ete mulhousienne des cites

had to comply. One of the rows of houses was designed

auv rteres (SOMCD), a housebullding company. The be-

by Lacaton S Vassal.

ginn ings of the company can still be s en on the adjolnIng s ite where SDMCD built France 's first hous ng estate

BACKGROUND III

for factory workers In the company s founding year of 1853 Architect Jean Nouvel drew up the masterplan for

t.acatcn S Vassal IS well-known for its expenmentallow-

The architectural practice of

budget houses In which half of the floor space usually

Clttl Man it s e and In c luded references to the urban p enning can ours of the former workers housing estate

consist of an unheated conservatory These two French

He conce ved four rows of terrace houses based on a strict orthogonal grid wh ich are linked by one transverse

tions for more than 10 years . Insp red by their many years

block

//1

Bes des Jean Nouvel, four young French

arch In

cts have been searchln

for new housing solu -

Africa, the architects have redefined llvlng accomrno -

dattcn to ult their own ideas In some regions of Africa

arc hi tect ural pract ces worked on he desl ns for the In-

[and hi

div idual rows of errace houses SDMCD allowed the ar-

In qu rters

c hit ect s considerable freedom The masterplan and

the dominating possession and reconjlguration - of a

IS

particularly true of the nornadlc peoples), liv IS

synonymous with appropr atron - and not

r-ueu PQlTEVIN ARCHITECTURE

DUNCAN lEWIS LEWIS POn BLOCK

SHGERUBAN

JEAN DE GASTlNES

PLAN MASSE IN r - L - J - - - - -- - -----,I

DOl

o

5

10

50


LACATON 6 VASSAL

III

CI T E t.lA " I FES T E

002

00 1 _ Locat ion pla n

III

002 _ Sect ion

III

003 _ The reinforced concrete st ruc t ure form s a storey-high plinth for the li ghtwe ight pLast ic construction of the uppe r fLOO r.


88 / 89

territory. The living quarters is the undefined space in the

fix the room numbers and sizes, their utilisation and even

lee of the tent, under the shade of the trees or around

the internal furnishings (stipulations based on traditional,

the warmth-giving open fire. The location of househo ld

conventional values and concepts], the architects

activities is determined by the respective time of day and

strived to redefine these values and create living accom-

time of year.

modation characterised by unencumbered, open layouts

///

Transferred to the climatic condi-

tions of Europe, this becomes an approach that ca lls for

and references, flexible, bright interiors and a "permea-

the occupied "territory" to be enclosed in an envelope

bil ity" from inside to outside - akin to the idea of the ap-

that can react to the changing climate. The house be-

propriation of a "territory".

comes a multifunctiona l group of spaces cons isting of a

were conceived according to this definition of livlng

loadbearing structure and several layers [some of which

space. They occupy almost the entire depth of the build-

1/1

The terrace houses

enclose the spaces) that -like clothing - can be changed

ing plot, which has reduced the front gardens so typical

to suit the weather and the needs of the occupants. This

of terrace houses to room-size, asphalt-paved external

definition of living accommodation overturns the con-

seating areas. The row of houses comprises 14 two-

ventional, European concept of housing and its relation-

storey, 20 m deep units with eight different plan layouts,

ship with the outside wor ld. Whereas housing in Europe

all of which, however, adhere to the same principles.

normally entai ls the screening-off from a "threatening"

Each house is essentially just one single room. Only the

outside world [thermal insulation, doub le glazing, airtight

bathroom and the garage, which at the same time serves

assemblies and the avoidance of therma l bridges are

as an entrance zone, are separated from the layout and

given maximum priority], the architecture of Lacaton 6

divide the house into functional areas, but with uninter-

Vassal is determined by the absence of boundaries and

rupted, open transitions. However, this one-room-house

the opening-up of the space through the layer-by-layer dissolution of the house. The architects took as their role

princip le on ly works because of the unequal division of floor space between ground floor and upper floor. Vary-

models the intelligent systems of glasshouses, which

ing the widths of the houses results in different room

guarantee an opt imum environmen t for plants at all

sizes to suit the different internal functions. In addition,

times - an obvious transfer of technology and typology.

positioning the party walls at an angle on plan explores the possibilities between the prescribed minimum room

CON C E PT / / /

The theoretical approach described

size and the desirable maximum room size.

above also forms the conceptua l foundation for the terrace houses of the Cite Manifeste project. Laying aside

CONSTRUC T ION III

the normal standards for publicly assisted housing that

a large extent dictated by the desire to achieve the

The construction, too, was to

II

-

004_ ---

Larg=-fayad-"-,,pe~_n~s,un~reate~ fai~face concrete -----

- - - - - - - - - - _ .. _ -

---

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"urfa"es a-"d~"licate,~eenhouse-type conservatories inJJlas~c

-

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determ~ne t~e

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character__ofth"se terrace houses


LACATON 6 VASSAL

III

CITE htAltlFESTE

FI.E A

FI.E@-

,."

- - - - - - - -

005_ Plan of upper floor

III

00&_ Plan of ground floor

III

----------

glazing and glass doors link interior and exterior.

III

--------~~~

007 _ The open-plan layouts of the houses are interrupted only by the stairs and the sanitary blocks; large areas of ~ - - - ~

OOB_ In the summer, the outside becomes part of the living area.

-=======-========-==='=------===----------

-----

====~------~-~--~-~


90 / 9 1

maximum volume. The architects selected mainly prefab-

tions with their air cavity were given an additional double

ricated, standardised elements for the construction and

layer of insulation and finished internally with a lining of

left the surfaces untreated. Precast concrete elements

plasterboard. Special, highly reflective curtains on the in-

form the loadbearing framework for the ground floor and

side or sliding panels of corrugated polycarbonate sheets

punctuate the generous transparency of the facade. The

on the outside form an integral part of the facade concept

upper floor on top of this 3 m high, table-like concrete

and protect against overheating in summer. These mov-

plinth is formed by a lightweight glasshouse structure

able elements can be deployed as required .

made from steel sections clad in corrugated transparent

architects remained loyal to their material concept in the

III

The

polycarbonate sheets. These plastic walls consist of

interior as well. They used the plastic sheeting for the in-

multi-leaf insulated or single-leaf uninsulated assemblies depending on the internal uses. The spacious, uninsu lat-

ternal partitions too and left the concrete wall and floor surfaces exposed. This mixture of materials, untreated

ed area functions like a conservatory. During spring and

surfaces, open-p lan layout and unusual wall construc-

autumn it supplements the accommodation and in sum-

tions resulted in housing units that are nearly twice the

mer it is almost transformed into an external area. Large

size of those normally found in publicly assisted housing.

openings in roof and facade can be opened up to 50 %. A fabric sunblind can be extended horizontally if re-

The quality of the accommodation benefits from this gain in space, but at the same time requires the tenants to re-

In order to guarantee permeability between

think their llvtng habits. Functions are no longer tied to

quired.

III

inside and outside, the boundary between conservatory

confined internal spaces; they start to migrate and the

and living quarters is characterised by large areas of glaz-

house itself becomes a territory which is not screened off

ing and glass doors. Multi-leaf plastic external walls were

from its environment, but rather remains permeated by it

used on the north side. The lightweight facade construe-

and enters into an intensive dialogue with it .

L

_

COUPE

14 T2 02 TS

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LACATON 6 VASSAL

III

CITE IiIAtllFESTE

EXTERIEUR (fa~adc Nord )

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INTERIEUR (Espace isole)

Plan d~ la~ sur elolso n peripMnque • R+1 012

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92 / 93

ARCONIKO

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D~ &[1~~~~ MATERIAL _ TRANSLUCENT M ULTI 路W EB PDLYC ARB D r-lATE SHEETS LDCATIDH _ ALMERE , THE NETHERLANDS

COMPLETED

III

19 9 B

The house and studio project in Almere demonstrates that low -budget building and high aesthetic demands is not necessarily a contradiction in terms . The successfu l collaboration between the clients [two artists) and the architects resulted in a house with a special charac ter based on an unpretentious loadbearing structure , a stra ightforward plan layout and the use of "cheap mate rials " such as corrugated sheet metal and plastic . High ce ilings , an open -plan arrangement and , above all, the treatment of light have resulted in high-quality accom modation . CONCEP T III

The choice of materials and form of

construction can be understood from the architectural context. Located on the boundary between industrial and housing districts , this house is surrounded by, from the architectural viewpoint , simplistic , everyday com merc ial structures . The arch itects " borrowed" the cheap materials and the standardised bulldlng components from the nearby greenhouses and industrial sheds and turned them into a more sophisticated but nevertheless clear-cut design .

III

Corrugated sheet metal and

plastic dominate the external appearance of the simple , rectangular building. The corrugated sheet metal, which is actually a thermally insulated sandwich panel, is placed over the steel structure like a wide , upturned "U " to fo rm the roof and the gable ends of the house . How ever, the corrugated sheet metal has been placed at an angl e to form a monopitch roof, which results in a different number of storeys inside . On the southern side, fac ing the garden , the house has two storeys, whereas the northern side , which incl udes the entrance , is just one tall single storey. Opaque plastic panels form the longi tud inal elevations spann ing between the gable ends . III

Just like the building envelope , the plan layout

also employs an uncomplicated approach . There are es sentially just two rooms separated by a zone containing t he sta irs and anc illary rooms . On one side an open gal le ry and built -in cupboards divide the llvtng area into

FACADE TYPL SING LE路 LEA F

If

USE _ RESIDENTIAL I ST UDI O


AR CONIK O

DD1 _ At night , the "inte rna l workings " of the bu ilding are dis cernible through the tran slu cent facade . ..,-- - - - --- - - - - .- - -- - -

. ._ -

III

HOUSE AND STUDIO IN ALMERE


94 I

95

funct ional zones; cooking, eating, relaxing and sleeping

jo ints were subsequent ly filled with sili con e. There are

tak e place in an open -plan arrangement. On the other

therefore virtually no details on thls hou se. Even th e

side , the sculptor has set up his workshop with a sepa -

junctions between the plastic sheets and the wo od en

rate room for dust-free working and a gallery to present

frames to the double -glazed windows and between th e

a view of his works . The interior atmosphere is domi -

frames and the primary st ructure make use of adhes ive

nated by the expos ed steel frame , which reminds t he

tape and si licone . This unusual form of construction

observer of an old industrial bullding , and the un treated

created a new aes thetic with a remarkab le appearance

surfaces of the materials employed.

utterly free fro m any distu rbing f ixings . The facade is a flat skin, which is accentuated by the reddish brown

CONSTRUCTION III

The sea rch for the zero po int ,

th e absolute minimum in architecture , led t he archi tects to devise an unconventional facade construct ion :

wooden fr ames of the wi ndows .

III

Another special

feature of the facade constructi on is the way it controls the incoming light, or rather provides the interior with

a sing le lay er of multi -web po lycarbonate shee ts was

daylight. The opaque plastic sheets bathe the interior in

bonded directly to the steel structure using a specia l

a low -l evel , even li ght without creating a link between

double -sided adhesive tape . This amaz ingly sim ple

in t erior and exterior, a function rese rved for the trans -

method of erection was tested for the f irst time on this

parent glass windows wh ich are pos it ioned to provide

project in conjunction with the manu facturers . The butt

spac ljlc view s int o and out of t he house . The use of

002

IIII II II

004

002_ Section

III

-

..

---

I I

II II II II

003_ There is a seamless transition between the corrugated sheet metal forming the roof and the end walls of the butldtng. ----

through [acade

---j

II I

004_ Horizontal section


ARCONIKO

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005_ The flush [acade is accentuated by the dark wooden frames around the openings.

III

OOS_ Plan of ground floor

III

007 _ Plan of gallery

-----------------------


96 / 97

plastic sheets over most of the facade alters the sig nificance of the windows.

III

for the concreting works, the steel structure and the

Standard elements

metal roof and gable ends . The plastic facade was

from builder merchants ' catalogues add detail to the

erected and the interior fitting -out completed by the

house without disrupting its clarity and strictness . For

artists themselves .

example , a standard garage door was used to provide

plastic facade are not just limited to the fact that it em-

access to the studio , and the steel stairs as well as the

ploys a low -cost, easy -to -handle material. During the

III

The mer its of the simple

sliding doors on the elevation facing the garden are like-

daytime the special character of the plastic sheets

III Owing to the simplicity of the construction and the details, the clients were able to carry out some of the work themselves and thus keep the costs down . Contractors were brought in only

means that the interior is lit by an even glow, which is

wise standard products .

important for the studio but also lends the living areas a special quality. And conversely, the house is turned into an illuminated sculpture at night when lit from within .

DDB. Standard Industrial products and the unpretentlous_s~r~ural steelwork determine the atmosphere of the studio. --------------_ .. _-

///

DDB_ Location plan ---~--

===-

----------._---------------------

--_.

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///

D1D_ Night-time photo


ARCONIKO

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HOUSE AND STUDIO IN ALt.lERE

,

,

I

III

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III

012_ Windows and glazed facade elements are integrated into the external envelope very sparingly and specifically. -------

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98 / 99

PFEIFER . KUHN

MATERIAL

USE

TRANSLUCENT MULTI WEB POLYCARBO NATE S HEETS

RESIOENTIAL

LOCATIOIt

M UL L H EIM . GERM A N Y

FACA O CDMP L E T

At j trst stght this house looks just like any other in this

0

TYPE

SING LE LEAF OR MU LTI LAYER

2 0 05

tentions. The house provides a volume in which the in-

area ; the local design guidelines prescribe the form of

dividual rooms are stacked like boxes , grouped around

such a single -storey bulld lng with a duopitch roof. How -

a large atrium -like centra l hall to form clos ed . serm -

ever , in this case appearances are deceptive . It is not

open and open spaces like galleries . At any time the oc -

only the synthetic envelope , but also the plan layout

cupants can therefore choose to withdraw into one of

and the en ergy concept that bear witness to the uncon -

the closed rooms or remain available for communica -

ventional building culture behind this design .

///

tion in one of the open spaces . In order that both parties

a tent on

her many research expeditions and therefore wanted a

prnjlt from the sunshine . the storeys of the housing units are turned through 90 This approach resulted In

house with

tent -like character " , one that would be

a layout that spirals around the central hall. Straight

light and airy. At the same time, it should provide more

stair flights facing in oppo site direction s in th e rnultl -

The client , a biologist , was used to sleeping 8 '

In

D.

than Just a small family home and instead should be de -

storey hall create independent acc ess to the respectiv e

signed for two parties who want to live together under

housing units but at the same time create an area for

one roof Without sacrificing any of their Independence .

communication .

CD" C E PT 1// The architects turned thls brief int o an unusual plan layout that is not readily apparent in the form of a standard two -dimensional drawing and re qu ires the third dimension to reveal the architects ' in -

form of a duopitch -roofed house is bullt from multi -web polycarbonate sheets. Fnllowing the house -within -a-

CD"STRUCTID" /1/

The enclos ing volume in the

house principle . the facade to the central hall con si sts


PFEIF ER. K UH N

DD1 _ Location plan

III

III

SEMI路DETACHED HOUSES IN MULLHEIM

DD2 _ At night-time . when the building is lit from within . the d ifferent wall constructions beco me visi ble .


100 I 101

exclusively of a single -leaf, uninsulated wall assembly , whereas the cubes of the living accommodation have a

reduced and solar gains exploited . Th ese pr emi ses re-

multi-layer facade . This enabled the more costly, multi -

the building services are inextricably linked .

layer wall construction to be used spectjtcallv for the heated rooms only . The facade to the living quarters con -

open hall and the facade construction are int rinsic to the internal climate concept . The hall , around which the

sists of translucent , airtight , waterproof plastic sheets ,

rooms spiral, takes on the function of a conservatory . It

sulted in a design concept in which the plan layout and III

The

an air cavity and a solid leaf of edge -fixed timber ele-

exploits solar gains for heating and reduces heat losses .

ments as the inner lining. Owing to the relatively good

In winter it forms a buffer zone between the cold outside

U-value of the plastic sheets and the adjoining air cavltv,

air and the heated habitable rooms , in spring and autumn

the facade construction achieves a level of thermal insu -

the heat stored in the hall reaches the adjoining liVing

lation that satisjies the strict regulations without any

quarters via open doors, and in summer roof vents help

additional thermal insulation. Their low weight -per -unit

to prevent overheating of the interior. Just like the hall

area , the simple construction details and the low capita l

changes its function through the seasons , the multi -

outlay mean that the polycarbonate sheets have many

layer facade also behaves differently depending on the external climatic conditions . During spring and autumn

advantages over conventional glazing .

///

During

spr ing and autumn , the ingenious facade system

the multi -layer external walls function as air collectors

changes to a functional facade - a supplier of energy

and supply additional heat to the interior: the solar radia -

wh ich forms a substantial component in the building's

tion heats up the air behind the translucent outer leaf

energy concept .

and convection currents drive this air into the roof space from where it can be channelled via a duct into the cen The fundamental idea be -

tra l hall. In summer the heated air escapes to the outside

hind the energy concept is to use a low-tech approach:

via roof vents and in winter the "stationary " layer of air

heat losses are to be minimised , energy requirements

acts as thermal insulation . Vents at ground level and

CL IMAT E CONCEPT //1

003. The accommodation is grouped around a three-storey circulation and communication atrium.

- - - - - - - - - - ------------------

----------------------

functions as a conservatory.

III

005. Straight stair flights

- - - -------------

--------------------

------ ----------------------

-

III

004. The spacious, open atrium, with its Single-leaf polycarbonate walls, ----_ .._--------------

---------

[actng in opposite directions provide independent access to the two houses under one roof. ----

------------

---------------

~~~~

- -----------------


PFEIFER.KUHN

III

SEMI·DETACHED HOUSES I" MULLHEIM

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006_ Plan of roof

III

007_ Plan of upper floor

surfaces denote the three-storey atrium.

III

OOB_ Plan of ground floor

III

009_ Section

III

010_ Longitudinal section

III

011_ Brightly illuminated roof


102 / 103

ridge are responsible for the functionality of the facade .

"energy garden" and the collectors reduce the heating

In winter the vents remain closed so there is no flow of

requirement to such an extent that heating in a form of

air. During the rest of the year the roof windows can be

activating the components in the concrete floors is

opened to create a negative pressure in the facade

sufficient.

cavity , which automatically opens the vent at ground

demonstration of contemporary housing. Instead of tra-

level and thus generates a convection current. This is a

ditional semi-detached houses, the architects created a

form of construction that the architects have already

form of accommodation with a complex interlacing of

employed in a number of variations.

///

The zoning

of the house into rooms with different temperatures, the

///

Thls new building is an impressive

common and private zones which benefits from new materials and innovative energy concepts.

Incoming air

ÂąODO

013

012

012 _ The pt~t.i C sheets f orm .~ th in o ~~ r le af u~l' 0n t of the SOlid. timb e r walls .

///

013 . Det ail of base of wall in liVing a re a ._... ---


PFEIFER. KUHN

014

SEMI路DETACHED HDUSES IN MULLHEIM

015

014-015_ Schematic diagram of climate concept: left energy scheme, winter; right energy scheme, summer

external walls.

III

III

01&_ The plastic panels form a thin covering to the roof and


104 / 10 5

SHIGERU BAN

MAT USE

RIAL

TRANSLUCENT GLASS FIBRE REI NF ORCEO PL ASTIC SHEETS

XH IBITIO NS

LOCATIO"

SHIZ UOKA JAPA N

COMPLETED

FACAOI TYPE

2001

In Japan , paper production and paper art are based on traditions stretching back thousands of years, and en joy worldwide acclaim. Just recently, a museum of pa pe r art , of which there are only a handful in Japan, opened in Shizuoka, not far from Tokyo . This private mu seum , set up by one of Japan 's leading papar manufacturers , contains a comprehensive collection of traditlonat paper art and In the adjoining gallery, a converted old factory building. shows examples of contemporary , avant-garde tendencies in Japanese paper art . Tradition and event-gards. the themat c foundations of the exhi bltlon , also enjov a congenial relationship

In

the muse -

um design by Shlgeru Ban The architect used new ma -

001

terlals to create contemporary modern spaces, but at the same time he creates a reference to the traditional architecture of Japan with his re-interpretation of and varlattnn on the shitom,do, a vertical window shutter

common in traditional Japanese architecture, or the thematic treatment of the space continuum . CONCEPT III

In climatic terms, the new museum

structure - a square, three -storey block with a glass pavlllnn on the roof - follows the building -within -a bulldlng prlnclple. A steel frame provides the loadbear Ing structure and weatherproof Simple double -web sheets made from glass fibre -reinforced plastlc form the outer bu ldlng Inside thls three -storey building there are two more three -storey blocks each of which covers one-third of the plan area . The two blocks are separated by a three-storey multifunctional atrium in the middle Narrow bridges span this void and link the two nternal blocks The southern block houses the museum ojjtces , archives and a lecture t eatre , the northern block IS reserved for the museum 's exhibits . Only those rooms that require air cond itioning e.g . off ices and exhibition areas, have a second , Inner leaf to the facade . The atrium and circulation areas , on the other hand , are separated from the outside merely by the Single -leaf plastic facade.

0 02

SINGLE LEA F OR t.4ULTI LE AF


SHIGERU BAN

001 _ Section

III

MUSEUM OF PAPER ART

OO:L Isome t ric expl oded view III 003_ The exhibit ion and administration area s are climati c all y separat e ent it ies located wit hi n a three -storey vol ume -- - - _.. - - - - - - - -- -- --- - - ---- - - - - - - - _ ._- --- - - "- ac c ordi ng to th e bu ilding-with in-a -bu ild ing princ ip le ; lar ge sec t ions of the fa c ade c an be op en ed up to the outside .

III

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106 ! 10 7

Atfirst sight the museum ap-

doors. In the three -storey atr ium the pla st ic pane ls can

pears to be hermetically sealed and introvert. But a

be opened over their full height of nearly 10 m. The sole

closer inspection reveals that the building is a trans -

rigid facade is located on the north side of the exhib ition

formable organism with many facets . The idea of a flow ing , unmarked transition between inside and outside

both thermal insulation and , at the same time , a surface

CDtlSTRUCTIDti III

area . Calcium silicate panels as the inner leaf provid e

governed the design and construction . The re-interpre -

for exhibits .

tation of the traditional shitomido helped the architects

factory building adheres to the same principle : it was

to realise their idea. The lightweight plastic facade can

given a single-leaf facade comprising six -part , translu-

III

The adjoining gallery in the converted

be easily opened, rolled aside or lifted up in different

cent, glass fibre -reinforced plastic panels . With the

ways . For example , the storey-high facade panels to the

panels closed , the wall reminds the observer of shoji

offices on the southern side can be raised to the hori -

screens, the traditiona l Japanese sliding paper walls .

zontal position so that they also act as sunshades . Fur-

The 5 m high facade elements are opened by rolling

thermore , the inner leaf [storey-high single glazing] can

them upwards onto cantilevering horizontal external

be slid sideways almost completely so that on mild sum -

steel beams , where they form a generous sunshade .

mer days the museum staff are virtually working out-

This feature enables the facade to be opened over the

005

004

004_ Sect ion thro ugh facade , museum .. ..

_ - - - - - - -~

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005 _ Section t hroug h facade , gallery .. _ - - - -

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III

SHI GERU BAN

/'

MUSEUM OF PAPER ART

I

c 007

006

006 _ Plan of roof

III

007 _ Plan of 2nd floor

006

006

III

OOS _ Plan of ground floor

III

009 _ location plan

s torey can be swung upwar ds to link interior and exterior as well as to provide generous sunshading .

III

010 _ la rge s ect ions of the lightwe ight plastic facade in each


lOB / 109

full height and length of the building. The interior of the gallery can thus be extended into its surroundings and becomes embraced by the landscape.

///

The mov-

ability and large openings of the lightweight plastic facade leads to a transformation of the interior spaces and creates a spatial continuity that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior.

~I I

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011_ Plan of 1st floor

-_ ... - -

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SHIGERU BAN

012 _ When clo sed , the plastic f acad e form s an un int errupted , plain surfa ce . ; ~ --

-

cont inuou s space.

III

I II

MUSEUM OF PAPER ART

013 _ The at rium facade can be opened over it s full height, turning interior and exter ior int o one


110 / 111

STAIB ARCHITECTS WITH GUNTER BEHNISCH

~&If [J:{] (ill [S 0~ ~ [J:{] [ill ~~ [J:{] (ill [? c:D B ~ [ill ~

~[J:{]~D~lf MATERIAL

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TRANSLUCENT ....U LTI WEB POLYCAR BO NATE SHEETS WI TH COL OURE O GLAS S OR T RA NSP A RE NT A CR YLI C INS ERTS

FACADE TYPE

S INGLE LEAF

CON C E PT I I I

USE

WORSH IP, TE ....P ORA RY

LDCATlDIt

Surrounded by a park -like landscape

and impressive villas dating from the late 19th century, this simple , triangular glass edifice that forms the Catholic place of worship in Radebeul could be mistaken for a garden pavilion. However, this new building does not try to curry favour with the exis t ing built environ ment, but rather aims - through it s stri ct , lucid architectural language - to evade any comparison. I I I

The

rigid, triangular plan shape is relieved somewhat at ground floor level by a curving fair -face concrete wall. The completely random line of the wall separates the entrance area and the vestry from the place of worship it self and at one end includes th e confessional box - on plan

In

the shape of an ear. The wall supports the choir,

which protrudes through the [acade to form a canopy over the entrance . III

Insp ired by the nearby vine -

yards and the surrounding large residences , the architects pursued the idea of an open -air church enclosed within a bower overgrown with dense , wild vines - an idea reminiscent of Laugier 's primitive hut. It is not the facades that demarcate the place of worship, but rather the internal curving wall and the foliage of the trees and vines in front of the [acade . (However, the external planting has not yet been realised .) The facade itself offers protect ion against the weather and is also responsible for the look and feel of the interior - through specific li ght ing and visual effects achieved through the multi faceted construction of the facade, which includes the whole range of nuances from transparency to translucency. CON S T RU CTI O N III

Like a patchwork quilt, the

panels of the [acade alternate between customary, t ransparent insulat ing glass units and cellular plastic she et s in var ious colours with different cell widths and different degrees of transparency. The arrangement and types of facade infill panels are a response to the surround ings . The presence of the outside world and the at mosph ere and colouring within the church depend

RA D BEUL , GER....AN Y

COMPLETED

20 0 1


STAIB ARCHITECTS WITH GUNTER BEHNISCH

III

CATHOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST THE KING, RAOEBEUL

001_ The coloured plastic and glass inserts in the facade lead to a colourful play of light in the interior.

surrounding landscape.

11/

002 _ The fully glazed facade permits an uninterrupted view of the


112 I 113

on the choice of panel - transparent, translucent or

by employing transparent insulating glass units and

coloured . / / /

The effect of this facade design is es-

translucent plastic sheets, thus allowing the exterior to

pecially evident on the two-storey main facade facing south-east, which is divided in two horizontally. The up-

be spectjlcallv included in or excluded from the church

per section consists of polycarbonate sheets intended

principle. But this time the selection of colours - from

as a modern interpretation of mediaeval church windows

yellow to green - matches the yellow sunlight and the

with their hand-blown glass in clear, illuminating, primary colours . The sunlight generates zones of coloured light

green foliage covering the pergolas and trellises that will be added later. To reduce the costs, coloured acrylic

in the interior of the church and brings to life the struc-

strips were integrated into the cellular plastic sheets.

ture of the facade. The lower section contrasts with this

///

service . / / /

The entrance facade follows the same

Again and again, the churchgoers encounter this

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ST A IB ARC HITE CT S W ITH GU NTE R BEH NISC H

III

CATHOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST THE KING, RAOEBEUL

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D10 _ Vertical sec ti on th rough f ac ade


114 / 11 5

play of light and colour. For example, the architects have

church which, as the position of the sun changes, mo-

incorporated a rooflight between the rooftop planting on

ves across the wall behind the altar. / / /

the flat roof. On the outside, the rooflight comprises

moves across the sky, so the colouring and hence also

transparent polycarbonate sheets but on the inside it

the atmosphere within the church alters . The architects

As the sun

takes the form of a narrow slit in the suspended ceiling

have used the versatility of the polycarbonate sheets to

with an infill of yellow acrylic sheets. This allows a ray of

generate a bright, friendly atmosphere in the interior

bright , yellow, overhead light to reach the interior of the

through the play of light, shadows and colours .

011_ The fa cade , wi t h it s multitude of different colo ured inserts , resemble s a pat chw ork quilt.

- - - - "- '--- - - - _._- - _ .. ... --- - --- - - -- - -- - --- ----- -- ---- --- .-.. _.-_- .". -_----_..-_------- - ----- -- _ .-- -- ---_._._._" ----_._ ------ -- ~ - - - - --

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ST AIB AR CHI T ECT S WITH GUNTER BEHNISCH

012_ Close -up of pews - ._-

-- - -

III ---

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III

CATHOLIC CHURCH OF .JESUS CHRIST THE KIHG, RADEBEUL

013_ Confe ss ional box in the sha pe of an ear w it h backli t plastic ceili ng - --- - - ._ - - - - - - - ---- - - - -- - -- -.._ - -- -.- -... .-

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116 I 117

HERZOG + PARTNER

[QJOOM

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ETFE F IL M , T RA NS PARENT ON E L AYE R

EXH IBIT IONS/OFFICES

ROOF FORM

LOCATIO" OS N A B RUC K , GERMA N Y

When the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU - German Environmental Foundation) undertakes a bu ilding

SINGL - LEA F OR MUL TI 路LAY ER, M ECHANICALLY PRETEN SION EO

COMPLETE D 200 2

had to be adaptable for future, changing needs . The new bul lding was initially designed to accommodate an

project, then you can expect the end result to be innova -

exhibi tion area and foyer, conference rooms and of -

tive and environmentally compatible. Accordingly, when planning Its new conference and exhibition pavilion, the

fices - three different forms of utilisation that place different demands on the des ign . III The archi -

DBU specified an environmentally friendly but at the

tects provided a modular framework in the form of a

same time low-budget solution which should take into

rec t angular, two -storey load bearing t imber structure

account technical innovations and allow for the exem-

on a 10 x B.l m grid, wh ich resu lted in 21 identical mod -

plary use of new materials. Energy -efficient and recy-

ules on plan. Each individua l two-storey bay can ac-

cling -compatible forms of construction plus the use of natural building materials had to be coupled with engi -

commodate d ifferent usages as required and can be closed off horizonta lly and vertically, or left open as an

neer ing innovat ions and new materials to create a per -

exposed loadbearing structure , linking interior and ex -

manent, simple and flexible building satisfying high ar-

terior. For example, the exhibition area comprises four

The architects responded

bays extending the full height of the building. inter -

to th is apparently contradictory and all-embracing brief

chitectural demands .

with a multifunctional, two-storey structure with a roof

rupted in one bay by a gallery at first -floor level. The offices zone extends over f ive bays and two l evel s. De -

comprising one layer of transparent ETFEfilm to provide

pending on the ut ilisat ion required, the modules can

III

protection from the weather.

be closed off w ith lightwe ight partit ions or facades,

Basldes the constructional and tech -

floors or roofs . The roof was designed in such a way that the individual bays are independent in terms of

nical requirements outlined above , maximum flex ibility

layou t and construction, wh ich means that the roof

CD HC E PT I I I

of the Interior was another factor that dictated the de -

construction can be varied from transparent to opaque

sign . Both the plan layout and the size of the bui lding

separately for each bay .

~ rrenerucent

Closed _

001

Br cln g


HERZOG

+

PARTNER

III

DBU CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION PAVILION

001_ The bays between the members of the two-storey-high timber framework result in 21 identical modules which can be fitted with different roof forms. III ---------- ---------------,--

002_ One layer of ---

transparent ETFE film forms the weather-resistant roof covering. ----------


118 I

lHJ

Irrespective of the interna l

rior . In the exhib ition area, on the other hand , the therma l

ut ilisation , the bays were provided with a single layer of

insulat ion was omitted . Here, the roof bays were closed

t ransparent ETFE film as the outermost , weatherproof

off with matt -fin ish obscured double glazing. Over the

CONSTRUCTION III

roof. Beneath th is weatherproof membrane, numerous

Offices and storage areas the inner roof layer consists of

mu lti -laye r roof c onst ruc t ions are conceivable , which

lam inated venee r lumber panels which help to brace the

can be match ed to the respective uses of the interior

roof and are covered with temporary waterproofing mate -

space s below. Four different types of construction we re

rial and th erma l insul at ion . The simplest f orm of roof

imp leme nt ed. The conference rooms required high ther-

construction can be found over the terraces, whe re the

mal and sound insulation values and so were given trans -

single layer of fi lm forms a transparent canopy.

luc ent roof pan els made from horizonta l double glazing

The film is not on ly the water run -off layer for the roof ; it also carries the snow and wind loads. Consequently, the

with int egral translucent thermal in sulation and incorpo rating adjustable sunbli n ds in the cavity . The overhead

III

li ght, wh ich provides a high er level of illumination than

roof constructions below the plastic outer membrane could be constructed considerab ly simpler than is usu -

lighting f rom the side , is exploited to illuminate the inte -

all y th e c ase. The panes of doub le glaz ing were able to

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PAR T NE R

III

DBU CDrtFERErtCE ArtD EXHIBITIDrt PAVILIDrt

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007

006 _ Confe rencoeroom III -use of the room s belo w . I I I

OOB

007 _ Secti on I I I 008 _ Construction principle of roof bay I I I 009 _ The multi -la yer con struction of the roof bays can be ad apt ed to suit the -- _ ._. - -- -- - -_._ - - - - - - - -- -- - - - - - -- -- --- - - --- - - -- 010 _ The roof is divided int o individual bays . each one of which can have a different construction .


120 / 121

be installed horizontally without falls and did not have to

that exceed the serviceability cond it ions . The memb rane

satisfy the usual safety standards . The sunblinds are vir -

c onst ruction as built with its curving saddle -shap ed , me-

tually zero-maintenance and the thermal insulation to

chanically prestressed plastic film was the outcom e of these studies and experiment s.

the closed roof bays is protected aga inst rain .

III

Look ing beyond the concept itself. the sing le-layer plasResource -sparing and en -

ti c membrane roof curving about both axes is also a

C LI MATE CD to! CEPT I I I

techn ical and constructional innovation . Whereas pneu -

ergy-savlng concepts were realised under the heading of

matic film assemblies have been sufficiently researched

energy efficiency. The provision of light-permeable roof

to date , the behaviour of single-layer, prestressed plas -

surfaces reduced the cost of heating and artificial light-

t ic membrane roofs under normal loadings was unknown

ing because the windowless conference rooms and the

The transparent ETFE film is stretched

deep exhibition and foyer area can be lit by daylight

over arched beams made from steel hollow sections

throughout the year. In winter solar gains via the roof

spaced 1.5 m apart and supported on the primary timber

glazlng and the preheated incoming air back up the un-

up to now .

III

structure . To provide stability, the individual pieces of

derfloor heating .

film were prestressed along the edges and fixed to the

roof, which are controlled depending on the light, protect

III

In the summer, louvres in the

steel arches and along the longitudinal edges with spe -

against excessive temperatures in the rooms below.

cially designed clamp fasteners . The saddle shape that

However, if the interior does have to be cooled on hot

ensues in the membrane as it spans between each pair

summer days . the incoming air can be precoo led or the

of arches is due to the prestress . Special tensioning ar-

underfloor heating used as a cooling system . The circu -

rangements. which tighten the membrane at certain

lat ing water required for this is cooled in underground

po ints , were devised for the end pieces making up the

collectors . Another special feature is the combined

transverse sides of the bays .

fresh - and exhaust-air duct which functions as a heat

The design of the

III

clamp fasteners and the calculation of the prestress,

exchanger and utilises the heat in the outgo ing air to pre -

which may not decrease even in the case of long-t erm or

condition the incoming air in summer and winter. Solar

frequent loading by snow and wind , had to be determined emp irically. Numerous experiments were carried out es -

cells and vacuum -tube collectors on the roof supply further energy . Thanks to these comprehensive and dive rse

pecially for this project at the former Essen Polytechn ic

measu res, the new pavilion achieves a specific annual

(since 2003 known as the University of nutsburg-assenl

heating energy requirement of 29 kWh/m 2 '3. which is sub -

in order to discover the creep and relaxation behav iour .

stantially lower than the low-energy house standard .

the behaviour of the film when subjected to repeated

II I

loads and the deformation progression as the load is re-

ion , innovation and envtrnnrnentally compatible building

lieved . In addition , the fi lm was investigated for its be-

are f used into one by the new type of membrane roof construction .

haviour when subjected to biaxia l actions with strains

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D11_ Schematic diagram of ventilation in winter

Alf-condlt loning uni t

wlndow l l!IIs required

32·C

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In the DBU's new conference and exhibition pavil-

D12_ Schematic diagram of ventilation in summer

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HERZOG

+ PARTNER

III

OBU CONFERENCE ANO EXHIBITION PAVILION

014 -015

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OS3_ In the end beys, the ETFEfilm Is stebillsed vie a special tensioning arrangement.

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OSA-OUL Detail of tensioning apparatus

~----~-------

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OSB_ Schematic diagram of the

loading cases for determining the pretension in the film. ===--=-=------~~------------

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----'---.--------------_._--_.-

~.

__. _ - - - - - - - -

====

---------------------------------------------------------------------~--

==----=----------------------------~--~-

--------------------------------------_.-


122 / 123


HERZOG G DE MEURON

- - - --

001_ The stadium looks like a monolithic air-filled cushion floating above the ground.

III

III

ALLIANZ ARENA

- - - ---

002_ Section through entire area

---

-

---

------

--

-----

---------

- . - - _ . ---

---_.~---_.~-

---------


124 ! 125

003_ Overall view

!!!

004_ Location plan


HERZOG 6 DE MEURON

00 5

The introve rted Interior with the ste ep ly rising terra ces creates a compact three 路 d ime ns iona l space that focuses attent ion on the football pitch

Es planad e s t e e rs the football fans tow a rds the s ta dium a nd. with its curv ing network

01 pathways . is

the ide a l platform for the com ing foo tball even t.

III

11/

ALL IANZ ARENA

DDB

The 600 m_lo_n.:.g

_


126 / 127

Diamond-shaped Cushions ETFE-Foil, two-part Stadi um (22 7m / 2S8m1 SOm)

-::-;:-;;;::~~~~...,

_ _ .....=-

. .;:".

~

U..:....:pper Tiers (22,000 seats)

::;~~:~~!1~~~'ji_~~~~~~4~~:;:;;::===:::::;t:.=~M~iddle Tiers (24.000 seats) Lower Tiers ( 20.000 seats)

""".....,.-...".~~':-,...::;-----

Northern Ramp Access Esplanade / Parking

Esplanade E7 • Mechanical E6 - Small Promenade. Kiosks, Fan Shops, Access Upper Tiefs E5 · Boxes, Event Boxes, Foyers, Catenng E4 · Business Club, Guests of Honour, Catering E3· Sponsor Lounges, Restaurants, Fan Meeting Points. Leisure Areas , Daycare, Offices E2 · Large Promenade. VIP Access. KIosks, Fan Shops. Access Lower Tiers. Access Middle Tlers El • VIP Access . Parking Garage EO- Media Facilities, VIP Access, Security, Police, Ambulance, Lawn Maintenance, Mechanocal , Parking Garage

007

DD7. Iso met r ic v iew

(134m/600m)


HERZ OG 6 DE ME URo N

' ''''''''''''''' ETFE-lool ~

ALLIAttZ AREttA

(

,,' ( I

' pmwy _ _ UJo

r.J

1./

...._'-It

III

_ EJ

.-

010

OOB _ Sec tion

III

air -f illed cu shions

009 _ Depend in g on direction , th e cush ion s are either transparent or tr anslucent

III

010 _ Detail section through faca de

III

0 11 -0 13 _ Erecting the


128 I 129

014_ Entrance 'evel2

III

015_ Level 5 with VIP loggias

III

016_ Level6 with kiosk zone

III

017_ Plan of roof


HERZOG 6 DE MEURoN

01B-019_ As a dramatic but at the same time an alluring gesture, the envelope can be illuminated in the colours of the football club.

III

ALLIANZ ARENA


130 / 131

O. J . SIEGERT

MATERIAL

ET FE FI LM . T RA N SPA RE N T ONE LAYER

CIRCULA TlON

LOCATIOH

B AD TOLZ GER M A NY

FACADE TYPE COMPLETED

SI N GLE LEAF. M ECHANI CAL LY PR TE NSI ON ED

USE

RESEAR CH /

2004

The Gerontology Technology Centre [GTZ) in Bad Tolz is

self, reflecting the work of the centre, which aims to pro-

the first building in the world to use a single layer of

mote interdisciplinary scienttjtc projects in the relatively

transparent film for its facade. It is not only the physical

new field of gerontology. For this purpose, the GRP [Gen -

properties of this extremely thin material that make this

eration Research Program) Institute, an Off-campus sec -

a highly unusual facade design; the double curvature of

tion of Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University, was

the facade lends the building a new aesthetic and pres-

housed in the centre of the spiral , forming in terms of

ents a challenge to conventional perceptions of archi -

both content and location the nucleus from where new

tecture At the same time. the planning and production

impulses will radiate . In order to promote synergy ef-

process of this complex configuration called for a re -

fects , the offices and retail premises in the ensuing spi -

think In the building Industry.

ral are reserved for companies whose activ ities are di-

CDNCEPT III

To create a focal point for and at the

geometrically complex building evolves like a ramp from

rectly linked to the areas of research .

III

This

same time also a contrast to the rigid. box -like arrange -

the three storeys at the start of the sp iral to the four sto -

ment of the former American army barracks , the archi -

reys at the [provlstnnal] end of the spiral. In add it ion, be -

tects designed a spiral-shaped building to house the

hind the facade each storey is stepped back and in -

new Innovations Centre . The spiral can be seen as a sym-

cludes an open walkway at each level. The walkways link

bol of renewal , of development, or as a symbol of life it-

the individual officelretail units and can also be used by


D. J. SIEGERT

III

GERONTOLOGY TECHNOLOGY CENTRE, BAO TDLZ

001_ The ETFE film in double curvature forms the external envelope and spans the complete building from top to bottom. ---

--

gives the facade its structure.

-

III

002_ The transition from flat to curved columns


132 I 133

the businesses for exhibitions and presentations, or for

The stack effec t in t he multistorey void between walk -

add itional seating areas , thus encouraging informal com -

ways and facade is responsib le for the airflow wh ich

mun ication between the var ious companies .

rep laces the warm interior air with cold night air. Furthermore , the storage capacity of the solid f loor slabs

The externa l enve lope in

is exp lo ited to reduc e daytime temperature peaks . An -

front of these open walkways is formed by a transpa rent ETFEf ilm curving in two directions . A new develop -

facade ; daylight can be exploited to the full and energy

ment at the time of its erection , the film spans the

costs for artificial lighting min imised.

CLIMATE CONCEPT III

othe r advantage is the generous t ransparency of the

complete he ight of the build ing . It prnv ldes protection against the weather and at the same time controls the

CONSTRUCTION III

int ern al climat e. Although the facade consists of just

facade gives it a natural look, like a row of bird feathers .

one laye r of thi s thin f ilm , the open access zone be -

The single layer of ETFE film forms a complex, twisted

hind , act ing as a kind of conservatory, forms a climate

surface geometry due to the spiral-shaped, te rraced

The curve of the membrane

buffer between the build ing itself and the exterior, just

and, at the same t ime , ramp -like arrangement of th e

li ke its glazed predecessor. In Winter, spring and au -

bul ldlng . However, this unusual shap ing of the mem -

tumn , the intermediate zone stores the solar radiat ion

brane facade is not just the resu lt of the building's geome try ; it is more the resu lt of the two -way spann ing ,

and the refore reduces the heating requirements and hen ce the heating costs - a factor that is becoming

which is necessary in order to stabilise the si ngl e layer

more and more relevant as energy costs rise. Contrast-

of materia l. Consequently, the loadbearing structure

ingl y, during the summer the pr inting on the film and

over which the f il m is stretched is not simply a support-

scr eens on the inside serve as protection aga inst ex-

ing f ramework , but rather determines the very shape of

c es si v e solar gains. In addition , sensor -cont rolled

the facade . The architects chose steel Circular hollow

vents open in the night to ensure an exchange of air.

sections f or t he facade structure . The ci rcular steel

00 4

003. The bulldtng has a spiral form on plan and rises like a ramp.

-

------

------

----- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - _ .. _ - -

III

004. Location plan

_

- - - - ----------------- ----- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - _ ... _ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .... _._--_. ... _ - - - _ .._ - - - - -

---

-----

-------------

- _... _-----


D. J. SIEGERT

III

GEROttTOLOGY TECHttOLOGY CEttTRE, BAD TDLZ

"

005

DD5~

Plan of ground floor

III

DD6~

Plan of 3rd floor

III

DD7~

Section; the passages are circulation and climatic intermediate zones between offices and external envelope.


134 I 13 5

columns follow the spiral shape of the plan layout. In -

manufacturer of the f ilm to cut the material pieces ex-

clined in two directions , they form trapezo idal bays on

actly to size and weld them togethe r.

elevation and in section follow the terrace -like outline

the planning and production process did not proceed in

III

The ref ore ,

of the building. Owing to the ramp -like increase in

the usual sequence from the accurate , detailed plan -

height, every column is positioned at a different angle to

ning and then to production , but instead the drawings

the buildlng. In add ition , every trapezoidal bay includes

were first produced after erection and served only for

a diagonal member which curves outwards . This frame -

the computer-aided determination of the [acade mate-

work , alternating between straight and curved members

rial. This meant that there were no drawlngs , as design

inclined in different directions , forms the geometry and

aids , with which to check, fine -tune and adjust the con -

dictates the curvature of the [acade film .

figuration . The laws of statics and physics replaced the drawings and , in t he end, the as -built structure deter-

FABRICATIDN III

The [acade planning and pro -

mined the final form .

III

Another specia l feature of

duction process was remarkable . Inst ead of the con -

the construction result s from the relaxation angle of

ventional detailed draft design, sketches and technical

the film . This property requires the cutting of the mate-

detail considerations formed the basis for the fabrica -

rial to be adjuste d (compensation) and the installation

tion of the loadbearing structure . Only after erecting the

of a (re )tensioning [acl llty. Unknown in conventional

loadbearing structure and with the help of special com-

membrane construction , the (re)tensioning facility

puter programs was it possible to draw the actual dou -

necessary was devised in empirical trials on a 1:1 model

ble-curvature membrane geometry and hence the eleva -

- a world first . Finally, the circular aluminium bars with

tion . A three -d imensional laser survey of the most

adjustable screws responsible for the final tension in

important fixed points provided the necessary input

the film were mounted on the curved diagonal

data for th is. The expans ion parameters of the film ,

members .

wh ich were determined from trials, had to be taken into

self as a centre for innovations , the double -curvature

Not unlike the use of the building it-

III

account for the conversion into an exact two-dimen-

membrane jacade itself represents an innovation in fa -

sional geometry. Only in this way was it possible for the

cade engineering .

4' 1) Ven tilation flap With pneumatic drivo con trolled hom cen tral location 2) Sheet metal capping 3) Membrane clamping eecncn 4) Membrane 5) Steet atructure 6} Stiffener 7) Gra ting

009

OOB_ Film tensio ning , end bay I II 009 _ Det ail section thro ugh membrane fa cade - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - .-- -- ----- -

--

-

---- _.- ---

--' -- ---

----

~ --

.-

-

- - - - --- - - - -- - ---_ ._- - -

-

--

-

-- -

--

--

_-

- -- _. .- - - - ----_ . - - ._ - - - --

--

--

-

_

- -.. - --- - - - - -- _

- -- -

.

-_ .. -----

----- --- -- --- -

-

-

- - - - .- - -- - - -- -- ._ -- - --- - - - --


D. J . SI EGERT

0 10 _ The cu rving diag onal st ruct ural members ten sion t he si ngle layer of ETFE fil m.

III

III

GERONTOLOGY TECHNOLOGY CENTRE , BAD TOLZ

0 11_ The underlying f ramew ork determine s th e geometry of th e f ilm .


136 / 13 7

NICHOLAS GRIMSHAW 6 PARTNERS

IolATIRIAL USE

TRANSPARENT ETFE FILM THREE LAYERS

RESEARCH/EXHIBITIONS

LDCATID"

FACADE TYP

SINGLE LEAF PNEUMATICALLY PRETENSIONEO

LEICESTER . UNITED KINGDOM

Since 2001 British rocket and space scientists have

CDIolPLET D

2001

scaped roof. Next to the main building IS the Challenger

had a new meeting point. Their new research centre,

Learning Centre, accommodated

the National Space Centre [NSC) designed by Nicholas

gle storey temporary building which prevtouslv stood

In

a rectangular, Sin

Grimshaw 6 Partners, is located on the north bank of

on the university campus .

the River Soar in Leicester, in the disused stormwater

In

tanks of the histone Abbey Pumping Station. The NSC

called Rocket Tower, situated at the south east corner

III

Forming the highlight

terms of both content and architecture IS the so-

brings together university Institutes for teaching and

of the main butldlng The tower houses the most spec

research in the field of rocket technology and combines

tacular exhibits of the space travel exhibition: two 35 m

them With a planetarium, the Challenger Learning Cen-

high rockets, looking as though they are standing on

tre and a museum of space travel.

A conspicu-

the launchpad ready to blast Off! Two lifts which travel

ous local landmark and the spectacular symbol of the

up and down the outside of a steel mast reminiscent of

III

centre is the transparent 10-storey tower situated at

a rocket launch tower. take VISitors to the [on plan)

the entrance to the complex and made from air-filled

trapezoidal steel platforms at various levels Within the

cushions

convex. circular tower. Here VISitors can see smaller exhibits of satellite and space stations and also gain a

CD" C E PT I I I

The various different uses of the

close-up view of the rockets .

centre are accommodated in a group of three buildings framed by the rectangular stormwater tank. The main bullding is a square, two-storey shed-type building

CD"STRU C TID " III The technical achievements of space travel are presented in an airy exhibition tower

housing the untverstty institutes, Offices, generous ex-

made from triple-layer air-filled ETFE film cushions

hibition areas and the planetarium. The planetarium

These storey-height, transparent "tyres" are stacked

forms a special circular element within the building

like rings, but each ring has a different diameter The

whose position is revealed by the dome on the land-

effect of thrs IS to create an organic bulging effect,

001

}


NICHOL AS GRI MSH AW 6 PARTNERS

001 _ Eleva tion of National Space Centre with e xhibition to wer - --- -

III

- -

III

002 _ The s pa c ious rocket towe r is the symbol a nd arch itectural highlig ht of the NSC. --- - ---- -- - - - _. _._ - - - - - ._ - - ._ - - - - - ._-- -- ----- -

---.-

..

ROCKET TOWER

__

...._ - - - -- ----- ---

- -- - - -- - - ._ -


138 / 139

of the air-filled cushions , and are fixed to the primary

larger in the middle than at the top and bottom . Owing to this " nat ural" tower geometry curving in two directions

structure . The primary st ruct ure of the tower consists of

(a geometry that would have been extremely complicated

a rigid reinforced concrete staircase tower, which acts as

and expensive in glass] , the cutting of the film for the

a stiffening vertical " backbone" , and two curved columns

facade had to be calculated exactly by means of three -

made from steel Circular hollow sections , which span the

dimensional computer simulations before the material

full height of the tower and bend back over the roof to link

could be fabricated and attached to the loadbearing

up with the staircase tower.

structure .

the control systems for the air -filled cushions are

///

Thirteen horizontal, concentric , ap-

///

The air supply and

proxtrnatelv circular (on plan) steel beams form the load -

housed in the staircase tower and are visible by way of

bearing structure for the plastic envelope . These are po -

the large metai pipes on the outside of the staircase

sitioned 3 m apart, corresponding to the maximum span

tower. Only minimal measures are taken to control the

003

00 4

0.03 _ Oetail se ction th~oughJaca de ~// ._~~_ Section __ .

-~--

_.

--_.

---

--

-_.

._-

- --" -

._-

._ -

-

_ .-

--

.__

__ .-- -

.

. _

.-

..

. _ . '_

----

_

_.

.

-

__ .

.

_-

-

._

._ -

0 __ '

__

-

_

--

_ ...

.-

---

- - - --

._-- - -

-_., " . - -- -

-_ .

-

--

--

. _ ., _.

-

--_. ---

--

-

_ .----_...-

._.

.-

._ .-

-


NICHOLAS GRIMSHAW 6 PARTNERS

006

005

005_ Plan of entrance level

III

006_ Plan of upper floor

III

007_ Interior view during assembly of the exhibits

III

ROCKET TOWER


140 / 141

panels guarantee a minimum temperature of 10 DC in

interior climate . The sole protection against solar radia tion is provided by the silver dots printed on the film on

the winter and prevent condensation forming on the

the east and west sides of the tower. Vents are provided

facade .

///

Thanks to the use of innovative tech -

at the top and bottom of the tower for ventilating and

nologies. the almost weightless , airy facade construc -

cooling the interior. Rectangular heating panels , which

tion and, of course , also its appearance make the

loo k like solar panels , are distributed over the full

Rocket Tower a symbol of space technology in more

he ight, attached to the horizontal facade beams. These

ways than one .

00 9

DDB_ Storey-height , ring-sh~ped air-fi~led cushi~_ns m_ade from ETFE)orm the ~bui~ng" tow

-_ . .._

-_ .. -- -

-_.

- _. -

---

.-

._--

-- --

._ -

- -

-- --- -."__ ...- --- --_ -._- -_. -- --- --._. - --._.-

- -

._-

-

--

-

'-

-

-- -

er -_

.__

,._

.

- -_

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..

__. -- --- -- .._- .---- - - - .- -- -.-._- -- -.._- - _ ._ .... - -- - -- -- _- --. _ -. - - - -- ..- -- - ._ - , .-.--... . _ - - . -. _ _ - -..

. .._ .

-- -- -

_

_DD9-=-_~so"2etri~_Vle", of ~a d be a r i n g structu~e

.

__

_

- -.. ---_ -

-- _-- .. - _ .

. --

.

_ _-

---- .

.

-.-

- - ._ -

._ . ._.


NICHOLAS GRIMSHAW 6 PARTNERS

D1D~ ThB ruckets look llke they are ready for

take-ojjt

III

ROCKET TOWER


142 / 143

JASCHEK 6 PARTNER

[2~~u[gJ

&@

U~~[gJ[KJ[gJ[S[gJ@ V ~ ~ [KJ u ~~ MATERIAL _ PRINTE D ETFE F IL M, THR EE LAY ERS

SU NSH A DING

//1

USE _ RESEARCH /A TR IUM

//1

III

R O O F FORM _ SINGLE 路L EAF , PN EUMATICALLY PRETENSION EO, INTEGRAL

LOCATlO" _ ESSLING EN , GERMANY

/1/

COMPLETEO _ 2002

The new Technology Centre of the Festo company in

14 to 28 m. Each tube consists of three layers of plastic

Esslingen near Stuttgart features spacious atria w ith

fi lm which are welded together airtight along the edges

roofs of pneumatic membrane constructions. The plas-

and stretched between an aluminium frame . The tubes

tic membranes enc lose non -air-conditioned conserva -

are filled wi th ai r to give them thei r f orm; a fan maintains

tories which act as buffer zones and are intrinsic to the

a margina l overpressure inside the tubes so the syn-

energy concept .

thetic fi lm remains permanently taut.

III

Originally, the s ix four -storey

I II

The spec ial

glazed office blocks, which spread out like a fan, we re

featu re of th is construc tion is the int egral , pneumati -

to be enclosed in one shell-type , transparent synthetic

cally adjustable sunshading. The centre and upper lay -

membrane envelope. At least that is what the competi-

ers of plastic film are printed with a chessboa rd -type

t ion drawings showed . However, dur ing the course of fu rther planning , the impressive , large -format pneu-

pattern, but with the black squa res offset . A fu lly automatic contro l mechanism regulates the pressures in the

matic structure shrunk to three separate atria .

two chambe rs of the cush ions depending on the posi-

CONSTRUCTION III

the central layer of synthetic mate rial which thus regu -

t ion of the sun and in doing so changes the posit ion of The use of ai r as a structura l

material was an important aspect for this compan y,

lates the amount of in c oming light. Depending on the

whose main line of business is the produc t ion of pneu -

position of the central laye r, it is possible to vary the de -

matic drives for all forms of indust rial automation. With-

gree of sunshading f rom 50 % to 93 %. It takes about 15-20 minu tes to move the film from it s low est to its h ighest position . I I I In contrast t o air -supported buildings in which the compressed air plays a loadb earing ro le , the air supp ly in this ai r- inflated building is sub sidia ry in structu ral terms and therefore does not require elaborate emergency ba ck -up arrangements. The geom etry of the roof is such that minor snow loads can be ca rried by empty cushions , i.e . by the plastic film itse lf, for a limited period . Theref ore , the layer of air is in the first inst anc e rel evant for the insu la tion properties of

in the company, air is regarded as a sixth building material alongside stone , timber, meta l, glass and membranes. Festo puts this belief to the test in it s research work as well. Consequently , the roofs to the three atria w ere built from air -filled ETFE membrane cush ions . The t ransparent cushions measuring 2 .5 m wide are placed t ransverse to the office blocks on a grid of steel m emb er s arranged like a barrel vault spann ing from ea ves to eaves . The trapezoidal p lan shape of each at rium results in a roof of plastic tubes with lengths rang ing f rom


JASCHEK 6 PARTNER

DOL sc hernanc diagram of s uns hading: left , op en ; right, closed

s uns hade .

III

III

FESTO AG TECHNO LOGY CENTRE

002 _ The ches sboard -type pattern of the a ir-filled ETFE cu sh ions functions as a pneumatically controlled ------- ._- -_ . --_ _ - --_ ._ -- - - - --

-_ .

.

.


144 I 145

The advantages of the pneu -

Large fabric " sails" In front of the atrium facades can be

matic cushion assembly compared to a glazed roof con -

unfurled by a hydraulic mechan ism to provide shade

struction are readily apparent: the air -filled cushion is

from the sun as required .

the construction .

III

very light in weight so the long-span roof st ructure can employ a much more delicate const ruction than wou ld

Cli MATE CONCEPT III

otherwise be the case . A gently curving, orthogonal grid

the spacious atria provide internal circulation routes

of slender steel sections - secured against wind uplift

and areas for relaxation during break periods, but can

by a network of thin steel cables - spans over the four -

also be used temporarily for events or customer infor-

storey void . The stee l cables form an arch from the edge

mation displays.

of the roof on the north side to the base of the atrium

atria with their membrane roofs function like fully glazed

III

In terms of the energy audit , the

glazing on the south side and therefore act as a truss for

conservatories , which create a Mediterranean climate in

the roof, which also stabilises the all-glass facade and,

winter. Even when the outside temperature is low, the

in addition , carries walkways that are suspended elasti-

temperature in the atria remains stable at about + 12 路C.

cally from the cables . The gable end of each atrium is

This effect is due to the so lar heat gains and the layer of

formed by an all -glass facade which slopes inwards ; the

air in the plastic cushions , which achieve a U-value of

panes of glass are held in place by discrete f ixings.

about 2.5 W/m 2K .

EYFE

I

memb ran e cushion!

: :

~I

7"~/"1 /~> ~'><)<)<

I I "r ; ~ 禄<"'yl-

A"(/ ' I /);>,. ~:" ~~v{:' /< 'r

S'e el grid

The open walkways with in

I

I

~

1'1'/1',,"-:

II;;,

~l

Ce ble net

1Y1 ,~m路;v:.r

lolerna !

003_ View at night

Fat;&de ca blel+ glazing

walkway .

00 4

III

004_ Atrium construction

III

005_ Plan of standard floor

III

Like with all conservatory


JASCHEK 6 PARTNER

III

FESTO AG TECHNOLOGY CENTRE

00&_ Delicate walkways are suspended from the cable trussing to the atrium roof; hydraulically controlled fabric "sails" form sunshades. -- ----------------


146 / 147

designs , the real problem is the undesirable overheating

atria is about 5 掳C lower than that of the outsid e air.

effect in summer. To avo id overheating in the atria , the

//I

fab ric " sails " described above are used as sunshades ;

air plus so lar energy , the use of daylight contro l sys -

in add ition , air can be pumped through the roof cushions

tems , component cooling , int elli gent bulld tng automa -

to prevent a build -up of heat. Permanent ventilation and

tion , triple glazing , extensive planting on th e roofs and,

Thanks to the use of heat from the soil and exhaust

night-t ime cooling of the atria are ensured by the louvre

last but not least, t he spacious , airy atria , the new Tech -

openings above the edges of the roofs to the adjoi ning

nology Centre ob tains 70 % of t he energy required to

office blocks ; this system is backed up by mechanica l

heat and cool the build ings fr om regenerative sources

venti lation . The water-filled solid components of the ad -

and t heref ore counts as a lo w -ene rgy building .

j oi ni ng concrete walls and gallery f loors provide addi -

Eco log y, economy and techno log y, the three most im -

tional cooling . These comprehensive measures mean

po rtant crite ria in the planning, reflect the principles of

that even on hot summer days the temperature in the

th is high -tech compan y.

I

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61

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Walkways link the spacious glazed offices and serve as meeting points for employees. -

-

-

--

-

---

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--

//1

DDB_ Section -

--

11/

DD9_ Longitudinal section -

I II I


J A S CH EK 6 PAR TN ER

D1D _ The - on plan - trapezoidal form of t he four- storey atrium creates a buffer zone between interior an d e xterior.

III

FESTO AG TECHNOLOGY CENTRE


148 / 149

VOLKER GIENCKE

h4ATERIAL US!!

CURVED TRA NSPARENT A CRY LI C EL EM ENT S

RESEARCH/EX HIB I T IONS

FACADE TYPE

LOCATIOH GRA Z AUSTRIA

DOUBLE L EAF

COh4PLETEO 1995

Glasshouses have graced the Botanical Gardens in Graz

exhibition rooms and plant nurseries . Only a long pitch ed

since the 19th century. Attached to the university, they have been used for research and teaching purposes and

glass roof for lighting purposes reveals the presence of the subterranean functions . This approach allows the

have also acted as "showcases" to attract the general

glasshouses to become exhibits themselves, which ap -

public . After 100 years of continuous use, the dejtcten -

pear to spread out uncontrolled across the plateau .

cies of the old glasshouses could no longer be disputed :

III

old-fashioned methods , dilapidated exteriors and

plant species in four separate climatic zones . Ramps ,

c ramped interiors were the prime -movers behind the

bridges and winding pathways allow visitors to explore

The glasshouses contain exotic or threatened

construction of new glasshouses just a few hundred

the tropical house, Mediterranean cold house , palm

metres away from their predecessors .

Totally in

house and the desert -like succulents house . The path-

keeping with the tradition of glasshouse design, which

ways link together the glasshouses in which the plants

agam and again has produced pioneering architectural

are placed in landscaped settings designed to match

III

rnasterpreces , Volker Giencke's glasshouses represent

their natural habitats . The route through the exhibition ,

technological and constructional innovations.

which illustrates the ecological relationships between

CON C E PT III

the different types of vegetation, is backed up by video installations and information stands.

The architect placed three transpar -

ent , sloping , parabolic cylinders at acute angles to each other on a plateau-type base. Incorporated into the pla-

CLIMATE CONCEPT III

teau. which merges imperceptibly into the landscape of

ternal climatic conditions is crucial to the breed ing of

the Botanical Gardens, are the offices , seminar rooms,

exotic plants . Temperature , air humidity, brightness and

Precise control of the in -


VOLKER GIENCKE

001_ The parabolic cylinders are laid out at acute angles to each other on a plateau-type base.

III

002_ Night-time photo

III

GLASSHDUSES, GRAZ


150 / 151

air ci rculation must correspond exactly with the climatic

system creates a fine mist of microscopic water drop -

conditions of the original habitats of the plants, and

lets which instantly lowers the internal temperature by

must be constantly adjusted to suit the prevailing exte -

5 路 C. At the time of the planning , NASA was the only or-

rior climate .

ganisation using such a "f og system" . With such an ef -

III

The internal temperatures neces -

sary in winter are achieved by means of solar gains and

fective cooling system , sunblinds are

a system of hot-water pipes . Invisible to visitors, the

unnecessary.

hollow sections of the aluminium loadbearing structure

ity are import ant factors for plant growth, it is the inten -

simultaneously serve as hot-water pipes which distrib-

sity of the light that is crucial. The light permeability of

ute the heat evenly over the full height of the building.

the glasshouse construction was therefore a key issue

rendered

Although temperature and humid -

II/

Hydraulic , sensor-controlled vents at the top and bot-

and d ictated both the form as well as the structure and

tom of each structure control air circu lation in the inte -

facade .

rior . During the summer these vents can be used to cool the air and counteract the greenhouse effect. Addit ional

CONSTRUCTION III

cooling is achieved with the two -component nozzle sys-

tu re of each glasshouse is a structu rally optimised arch

tem developed specially for thls project, which simu lta-

form, which enables the loadbearing members to be mi-

neously regulates the humidity of the air. ThiS pressurised

nimised and in turn maximises the area for the incoming

The parabo lic primary struc-

DD3. The delicate hollow sections of the parabolic aluminium loadbearing structure simultaneously serve as hot-water pipes. -

-

-

-

- -

---

-

-

---

-

----

-

---


VOLKER GIENCKE

004

cz:

I

005

004_ Plan

III

005_ Elevation

III

GLASSHOUSES, GRAZ


152 / 153

daylight. A parabola is virtually Ident ic al with the so called catenary curve, the shape of a hanging chain , and

structure. The transparent facade c onsis t s of c onvex rectangular plastic shells reminiscent of conventional

is therefore a natural structural form. The lightweight

rooflights . Despite the curving geometry of the bu ild-

loadbearing members were specia lly developed for the

ings , the facade elements were able to be standardised

project from high -quality aluminium alloys - an innovation in structural engineering that would have been im-

bolic curve . The transparent elements also take into ac -

because the three glasshouses follow the same para -

possible without suitable computer programs. Although

count the minimal structure and the optimisation of the

standard these days , this method of analys is represent -

light gains . These lightweight acrylic units reduce the

ed completely new ground at the time of the design work

load on the structure and exhibit a better spectral

back in 1982. The nodes in the loadbearing structure are

ana lysis behaviour than conventional soda-lime-silica

des igned as "plug-in " elements ; the horizontal purlins

glasses .

are connected to these and compressed -air lines plus

construction and the use of a plastic facade has resulted

III

The minimisation of the load bearing

bridge and ramp constructions are "p lugged" into

in a light t ransmission of almost 98 %- a value that rep -

place .

resents an unbeaten record in the history of modern

III

The transparent enve lope of double -leaf

acrylic elements was fixed directly to the loadbearing

glasshouse construction .

DDB_ The inclination of the structure corresponds to the height of the plants_.

_


VOLKER GIENCKE

III

GLASSHOUSES, GRAZ

OOB

007

The glasshouse envelope consists of two leaves of transparent acrylic shells.

again provides visitors with new, surprising perspectives.

III

OOB_ Detail of facade

III

009_ The layout of the glasshouse complex again and


154 / 155

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in 14B5 under the title De re aedificatDria libri X.

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Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart, 199B

ARS ELECTRDNICA [eti.}, PhilDsDphien der neuen TechnDlogie, Merve Verlag, Berlin, 19B9 Bogner, Dieter [ed.): Friedrich Kiesler 1890-1965, Locker Verlag, Vienna, 19BB

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McHale, .Jnhn: R. Buckminster Fuller, George Braziller, New York, 1962 McQuaid, Matilda: Shigeru 8an, Phaidon, t.ondon, 2005

Brausch, Marianne; Emery, Marc [eds.): L 'Architecture

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Meller, James [ed.): The Buckminster Fuller Reader,

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title Die neue Architektur und das Bauhaus.

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Muholy-Nagv, Laszlo: The New VisiDn. Fundamentals Df

AnthDIDgy Df Changing ideas, Blackwell, Oxford, 2001

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Klotz, Heinrich [ed.): Haus-Rucker-CD 1967 bis 19B3, Vieweg, Braunschweig, 19B4 Koolhaas, Rem: CDntent, Taschen Verlag, Cologne, 2004 Koolhaas, Rem; Mau, Bruce: S,M,L,XL, The Monacelli Press, New York, 1995 Krausse, Joachim; Lichtenstein, Claude [eds.): YDur Private Sky. R. Buckminster Fuller. The Art of Design Science, Lars Muller, Baden, 1999

Exhibition catalogue, IKA 1972, Ludenschetd Feireiss, Kristin [ed.): KazuyD Sejima

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156 / 157

3D printing

31

Emmerich, David Georges Energy efficiency

Aalto, Alvar

2B

ABB Architects

ETFE film 40-45

11,15

Katavolos, William

102,116,120,146

116-121,122-129,130-135,136-141,

142-147

Kawazoe, Nobru

Kieran Timberlake Associates Kiesler, Frederick Klein, Yves

Adapt~efacade

Aerogel

Feierbach, Wolfgang

33,56-63,142

2B, 31, 34

Air cushion

Alberti, Leon Battista Ando, Tadao

24,25

26-27 15,16

Kuhne, Gunther

33,56-63 52-55

35,70-75,104-109

17

23

Lanchester, F. W.

18, 19

Geodesic dome

12,15,lB,20-21,32

Laser sintering

Giencke, Volker

14B-153

LED light

Gilkie, R. C.

14

Lenard, Ilona

Goff, Bruce

9,10,11

Leonhardt, Fritz

35

Graefe, Rainer

lB

Light effect

Barthes, Roland

30,31

Greene, David

16,17,23

Liquid plastics

Bataille, Georges

26

Grimshaw, Nicholas

Behnisch, Gunter

36,110-115

Groupe d'Etudes d'Architecture Mobile

20

[GEAM)

12,15

[G.I.A.P.]

19,20,22 9

15,20-23,27,30,32,40-45 27

15

Lissitzky, El

26, 27

Loos, Adolf

25

Lundy, Victor

lB,20

11

Gusmao, B. L. de

20

Magnant

20

27,29

10

Makowski, Z. S.

Hamilton and Goody

Candela, Felix

13

Haus Rucker Co

Chalk, Warren

17

Hiiusermann, Pascal

Chateau, Stephana du CNC

Herron, Ron

15

Composites

31-33

Conservatory Cook, Peter Coulon

11, 12

14

22,90,100,133,142-147

Herzog, Thomas

10

Holzbach, Markus

Cushion construction [see also air cushion]

19

Oerrida, Jacques Design method

29

Digital production

Megastructure

26

Metabolists

15-16 9,12-13,15-16,21,72

Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo 9B-99,104

Moller, Georg

26, 28

17

Mongolfier, Joseph and Etienne lB, 26-30, 35, 50

22

Morris, Robert Mo STUDIO

29,31 26,27

33

30-32,134,136-141, 13B 27,30,32,134, 13B

Ooernach, Rudolph

11 15,16

Dynamic architecture

9,13,16,26,29,34

Jaschek 6 Partner

142-147

lB-23,34-35,

15,16

Mobile architecture

34,35

15

Isler, Heinz

116-121, 130-135

56-63,122-129,136-141,142-147

11

Immaterial architecture

27, 32

B-9, 14, 17-19, 22, 34

pneumatically pretensioned

Morphogenesis

27,29,30-32

Doring, Wolfgang

116-121

22

Digital architecture Digital form

35,36,122-129

House-within-a-house principle Huybers, P.

Oallegret, Francois

15

Membrane construction

20,33

Hofmann, Hubert 17

46-51

40

mechanically pretensioned

Hildebrand, Adolf von

Crompton, Dennis,

Maymont, Paul

15

17

Herzog + Partner

17

Mass customisation

21,22,23,27

Herzog 6 de Meuron

44

12B

19,20,22

Mario Cucinella Architects Cable-net structure

ao, 94,

11,16-17,26

Lyotard, .Jean-Franctiis

Gunschel, Gunter Gutbrod, Rolf

20

35,50,54,74,

Luckhardt, Wassili 11

Groupe International d' Architecture Prospective

23,30,32-35,56-63

Buci-Glucksmann, Christine

32,136-141

31

46,50

20-22,27

Bergerac, Cyrano de

36,37, B6-81

Laffaille, Bernard

Banham, Reyner

Bubble

15,16

26,27

Garnier, Denis

64-69

Bottcher, Karl

36

Kurokawa, Kisho

31,35

Gabo, Naum

Atelier Kempe Thill

Bird, Walter

B, 9, 32 11

Lacaton 6 Vassal

B2-B5

Atelier Bruckner

Bionics

31,36,37 29,36

Kuhnert, Nikolaus 33

lB,2o

Ban, Shigeru

Koolhaas, Rem

Krausse, Joachim B, 9, 10, 12, 15, lB,

20,21,32 f-u-r

19

Kraft, Sabine

11,15,16

Functional layers

92-97

Ash Sakula

B 6 K+

B, 11, 14-15

33,34

B, 9, 13

26,2B

Koch, Carl

30,40-45

Fuller, Richard Buckminster

Anti-form

Arup,ove

Franken, Bernhard Friedman, Yona

2B

Archigram Arconiko

13,14

Folded-plate structure

31, 5B-63, 122-129, 136-141, 142-147

15,16,17,26 16

Nachtigall, Werner

Jonas, Walter

15

Nalbach, Gernot

Judd, Donald

35

Nervi, Luigi

13

Niemeyer, Oscar Nylon fabric

32, 33 23 13

19,70-75

20


34,35

Oosterhuis, Kas Ortner, Laurids

SANAA

22

Ortner, Manfred Otto, Frei

35

Scharoun, Hans

11,15,17,18,20,21,22,25,32 15

PCM (Phase Change Material]

33-34

11

Pea, Cesare

33

17 130-135 Sloterdijk, Peter 35,36 Shukhov, Vladimir Siegert, O. J.

Plastic capsule [see also room module]

22

18-19,32,34-35 8,10-12,14,18,21-22

Plastic membrane Plastic sheet

31

Somol, Robert

36,110-115

Stereolithography

Acrylic sheet, multi-web

60

Stewart, James

46-51

Acrylic tube

11

Staib Architects

15

Surface

70-75,82-85

Fibre-reinforced corrugated sheet Fibre-reinforced plastic grating

31 17, 18

28-29,35-36,48,66,90 12,13

Suuronen, Matti

68

Fibre-reinforced plastic sheet, smooth

64-69,

76-81

Tange, Kenzo

18, 20

Polycarbonate sheet, multi-web

86-91 60,92-97,

98-103,104-109,110-115 Plastic sheeting [see also ETFE film)

Thermal insulation, translucent Time-space architecture Trapman, Jan Vitruvius

24

12-15,60,152

plastic shell

plastic shell, curved

12-14,22,148-153

Pneumatic dome

18,20

Pneumatic shed

19, 142 74

Polyester, extruded

Prefabricated house PTFE sheeting

11

34

27, 3D

Wagner, Monika Wagner, Otto

25

17,23 28, 29 Weston, Richard 29,37 Webb, Michael Weibel, Peter

World Exposition Wright, Frank Lloyd

ouarmby, Arthur

12,15,18-19,21-22 25,26

8,12,14-17,23 Yoshihara, Jiro

12,15,16,17,22 raumlabor_berlin 32

27

Ragon, Michel

25

Riegl, Alois

9

11

12,14,18,

21-22,32

8,10-12,13-15,16 15,23

Ruhnau, Werner

Zamp Kelp, Gunter Zumthor, Peter

14

Room module Rottier, Guy

76-81 74,78,118

Tekuto Architecture Studio

Polycarbonate sheet, corrugated

Robak, O.

11

Smithson, Alison and Peter Soltan, Jerzy

63

Acrylic channel Acrylic panel

18

20

Shejldahl, G. T.

98-103 15 22

Pinter, Klaus

17 15

25,37 Severud-Elstad-Krueger 20

26,27

Pevsner, Antoine Piano, Renzo

Schnirch, Friedrich

schojjar, Nicholas Semper, Gottfried

PET [Polyethylene terephthalate] Pfeifer. Kuhn

14

10,11,12,15,16

Schwedler, Johann Wilhelm

11

Pecquet, Jean

9

Scheichenbauer, Mario Schein,lonel

Patrix, Georges

14

Saarinen, Eero

22

15,26,28

28

22


158 / 159

I would like to extend my gratitude to the architects who provided illustrative material to me and who contributed information to my research. Further, I would like to thank the Collection FRAC Centre, Elke Genzel, Pamela Voigt, Wolfgang Feierbach, Werner Doring, Bernd Ducke and Werner Gotz of Allianz Arena, Angelika Schnell, Michael Dittrich of Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Covertex GmbH and Tim Begler of the municipality of t.udenschetd. My final thanks go to Ria Stein for her editorial work and to my siblings Jean-Marc and Kerstin for their support.


o[b[bill] @5u~&U0(Q) [fJ ~~~[QJDu~

Department of Special Collections and University

Bastiaan Ingenhouzs, Oordrecht: p. 53-55

Archives, Stanford University Libraries .p. B, 15 centre,

Michael Rasche, Dortmund: p. 65

lB centre, 21 bottom

Marc Raeder, Berlin: p. 66

Kiesler Foundation, Vienna: p. 9

Simone Jeska, Berlin: p. 6B

Monsanto Company Archives: p. 12 top and centre

Michael Reisch, Dusseldorf: p. 69

Collection FRAC Centre, Orleans, Philippe Magnon/

Makoto Yoshida, Tokio: p. 76,77,79-81

Francois Lauginie: p.12 bottom, p. 16 top

Nick Gutteridge, London: p. 37 centre, 83-85

Elke Genzel and Pamela VoigtiFOMEKK: p. 13 top

Luuk Kramer, Amsterdam: p. 93-97

and bottom

Ruedi Walti, Basel: p. 99-101,103

Wolfgang Feierbach, Altenstadt: p. 14 top, centre

Pfeifer.Kuhn, Freiburg: p. 102

and bottom

OBU/Bernhard Kober, punctum: 117-121

Studio Piano, E. Piano, Rome: p. 15 top

Covertex GmbH, Obing: p. 127

Kisho Kurokawa Architect 6 Associates, Tokyo: p. 15

Olethard Siegert, Munich: p.130-135

bottom right

Nathan WillocklView: p. 137, 139-141

Werner Doring, Dusseldorf: p. 16 centre

Andreas Braun, Hameln: p. 143-147

Archigram Archive/Shelley Power: p. 16 bottom

Atelier Giencke Graz: p. 14B

Frei Otto, Leonberg: p. lB top and bottom, 21 top

Hans-Georg Tropper, Graz: p. 150, 152-153

ILEK, Stuttgart: p. 22 top

Ralph Richter, Dusseldorf: p.149

Haus Rucker Co, Vienna: p. 23 Friedrich Busam, Berlin: p. 3D, 40/41, 45 f-u-r, Mirco Becker and Oliver Tessmann, Frankfurt:

Reproductions from Publications:

p. 31, 35 top

Ulrich Conrads, Phantastische Architektur, p. 5B/59:

Rainer Schlautmann, Oberhausen: p. 32 top

p.lO

Anthony Hunt 6 Associates, London: p. 32 centre

Arthur Ouarmby, The Plastic Architect, p.171 and 182:

and bottom

p.17 top, 22 bottom

MO STUDIO, Marion Regitko, Malaga: p. 33 top left

Rainer Graefe, Vladimir G. Suchov, p.3B: p.17 centre

and right

Frei Otto, Oas hiingende Oach, p. 24: p. 17 bottom

Thomas Mayer, Neuss: p. 33 centre, 57-62

Thomas Herzog, Pneumatische Konstruktionen, p.35:

Barry Halkin, Philadelphia: p. 33 bottom

p. 19 top

FORMORF, Markus Holzbach, Cologne: p. 34 top, centre

Frei Otto, Zugbeanspruchte Konstruktionen p. 33 and 53:

left and centre right

p. 19 bottom, 20

ONL, Oosterhuis and Lenard, Rotterdam: p. 34 centre left, centre right and bottom Hiroyuki Hirai, Tokyo: p. 35, 71, 73-75, 105, 107, 109,

All drawings and renderings were provided by the

cover photograph

architects. Every reasonable attempt has been made

Patrick Loughran, Chicago: p. 36 centre

to identify owners of copyright. If unintentional

Christian Kandzia, Stuttgart: p. 36 top, 110-112,

mistakes or omissions occurred, we apologise and ask

114-115

for notice. Such mistakes will be corrected in the next

Gerald Staib: 113 top

edition of this publication.

DETAIL, No. 4/2004: p. 113 bottom left and right Bernd Oucke, Allianz Arena, Munich: p. 36 bottom, 123-125,129 Philippe Ruault, Paris: p. 37 top, 87-91 Angelika Schnell, Hall: p. 37 bottom Franken Architekten, Frankfurt: p. 42 ill. 003-005, p. 44 ill. 013-015, Herr Ott: p. 43 ill. 009 ABB Architekten, Frankfurt: p. 42 ill. 006-00B Bollinger + Grohmann: p. 43 ill. 010-012 Jean de Calan, Paris: p. 46,47,49,50,51

Transparent Plastics - Technology and Design  

By Simone Jeska http://bibliotecarquitectura.blogspot.com/

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