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WEEK 1 - STUDIO JOURNAL Our group decided to use brick layered approach, like many conventional buildings. We eventually realised that although this method was durable and strong, it was also rigid and stiff, due to the density of the blocks, and consumed a lot of materials in the construction of it.

We then decided to taper the archway without the support beams. We held down the tapered block wby putting blocks on top of them, essentially creating tension to hold them in place. However, we tapered the left side of the archway too much, resulting in the archway tilting to right and not being straight. Because of the tilting, we found that the two sides of the archway could not be joined due to its instability and made a support beam through the middle of the archway.

Our initial plan for the archway was a dramatic taper with support beams to support the extreme taper. Whilst doing so (right photo), we realised that in order to support the taper, support beam would need to be continuously placed whenever a block was tapered, thus leaving no room for the plastic animal to enter. Therefore we quickly changed methods for the construction of the archway.

Using the method of stacking shown in the sketch to the right, we built a support beam to fix the tilting archway. However, due to the uneven tapering of the archway on both sides, it meant that the top was not perfectly straight. Therefore when the two sides of the archway was joined together using the support beam, there were many block that were slanted (shown in the picture above).

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Combination or an archway that is uneven on both sides generated from uneven tapering, high block density, high material consumption, uneven block orientation, skewed shape and the tower being superficially large all resulting in an uneven and unaesthetic tower which was not high at all. However due to the high density of blocks, the tower was very durable and strong, albeit rigid and stiff.

Due to the archway being very big, we found that the tower became superficially large, and combined with the big block density consumed many blocks. The sketch above showed the floor plan of the tower. It is evident that the tower was indeed too large for its purpose as the plastic animal could have still fit if the base of the tower was half its size.

Because of the brick approach that was used, the density of the blocks were extremely high and therefore we had trouble fitting the blocks neatly due to the semi-circle shape. This meant that we had to put some blocks vertical instead of horizontal, as shown in the sketch above. This lead to some blocks protuding and the structure being unaesthetic. Also, the high density of the blocks made it hard to follow the semi-circle shape.

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WEEK 1 - STUDIO JOURNAL The other group made a successful structure. It is important to note that the taller a structure gets, the more it is subjected to sway. This group countered the sway effect by having a high block density at the bottom for a strong base, and then varing the block patterns as the tower progresses upwards. The transition in block patterns can be seen in the close up photo below, where the block density is lowered. Also, as the tower began to taper in to close the structure, the centre of gravity is off put (right photo) and would eventually make the structure topple. Knowing this, the group made the blocks taper inwards very vgradually, allowing for the tension between the block to prevent it from falling.

Refering to the sketch on the right, when there is a low block density, the block on top will bend due to the stress created by gravity. The more bending in the block decreases the strength of the tower.

This was a tower built by another group. Because of the high block density, the base was very structurally sound. Additionally, the sway effect was also countered by using a different block pattern. Because the structure does not taper inwards, the centre of gravity will always be on the block and will never be off put. This makes the structure quite strong and able to withstand a lot of weight, as seen in the photo above.

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WEEK 1 - STUDIO JOURNAL Buttress: noun. A structure, usually brick or stone, built against a wall for support or reinforcement. - Oxford Dictionary

The top two images show the application of buttresses. The left image shows the buttress projecting from a wall while the right image portrays the buttress being beuilt against a wall. The buttresses in both images serves to reinforce and support the wall.

The sketch above shows the physics and the forces behind a typical wall buttress. The arch/ roof structure generates downwards lateral forces, The buttress produces resistance force

Buttresses are faily common in ancient buildings, which typically do not have adequate bracing. Because of this, the roof structures on these building generate sideways forces that the walls cannot withstand by itself, hence why buttresses are needed.

that pushes the the structure inwards. The flying buttress acts very much like the wall buttress, however uses less construction materials.

References 1. iStockPhoto c. 2011, Buttress supporting an ancient building, viewed 5 August 2013, < http:// > 2. Brashear, N. 2011, Flying Buttress, Blogspot, viewed 5 August 2013, < http://1.bp.blogspot. com/-0HHiL1pFqlw/TjivZut4LFI/AAAAAAAAACA/ bnXlXGohcAg/s320/FlyingButtressND.jpg >

constructing environments

Week 1 - Studio Journal  

Constructing Environments