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Shanon Davis BUIL1166 RIBA Case Study

Shanon Davis RIBA Case study contents page: 1: Front cover 2: Contents 3: Introduction 5: Air Text 6: Air diagrams 12: Light text 13: Light diagrams 17: Materials text 18: Materials diagrams 21: Water text 22: Water diagrams 24: Energy text 25: Energy diagrams 29: Recycling text

RIBA Case Study Introduction

RIBA – The Royal Institute of British Architecture was opened in 1934 by King George V and Queen Mary. Located in a grade II listed building, in a art nouveau themed building at 66 Portland Place Weymouth street near Regents Park. The winning designer of the RIBA Architects competition to redesign the head quarters was Grey Wornum’s entry. The institute was officially founded in 1834. Now there are over 40,000 registered professionals recorded. The RIBA institute houses British Architects, architectural bookshop, restaurant, outdoor terrace, library, meeting rooms and hosts gallery’s. There are 23 meeting rooms in different sizes, that can seat from 200-400 people, as well as a lecture theatre that can seat up to 284. There are facilities for party’s, celebrations and weddings. A place for the public but also highly benefits the architects.

My journey to visit the RIBA from Home.

The institute is a highly decorative building. From the Clad Portland stone, and heavy, bronze double doors, to the detailing in the windows on the roof terrace

The RIBA entrance, the exterior is clad portland stone. With a double height window from 2nd to 3rd floor, and you can see the bronze double doors.

The detailed entrance of the RIBA that shows the beginning of continues detailing through the building

First floor windows creating the natural light on the 1st and 2nd floors.

The open floors on level 1 and 2. Using natural from the windows, with bronze window detailing.

The grand entrance of the institute with the granite staircase. As well as rusticated stonework.

The detailing goes right through to the banisters. All of the banisters are bronze.

Here you can see how the materials use effect the lighting. The photos taken came out dark. There were rows of artificial lighting on the ceiling that could be moved along the bar to where it is needed. But even with these, the building was dim.

Air Whilst visiting RIBA we were looking for passive ventilation to remove pollutants and heat, as well as natural ventilation from windows and doors, along with mechanical ventilation systems and heating systems. Upon arrival to the RIBA building, the first recording of the air flow was from the winds direction outside, the wind was blowing in a northerly direction. This effected the building because when the entrance doors were open the cold wind run through the building creating a natural source of ventilation, the cool air was then mixed with hot air from the Bar area, as well as the book store. The Ground floor seemed to be heated through the radiator system in the book store as well as the heat from the kitchens. With the combination of the heating from these areas and the materials; such as granite flooring which reduces the amount of heat emitted by the bar, and the windows the ground floor is a well maintained area in terms of temperature. The heat then rises through the open stair well onto the first and second floors which meets more warm air from the large south facing window in the gallery, the windows repeat through out the level allowing heat to warm the room at different times of the day. There is more heat on the first from from the bar area, with all the heat and the large Florence Hall there are vents to extract the hot air, the vents have been detailed into the columns as well as the ceiling to extract the hot air due to the frequent use of the hall.

The second floor has more in-closed rooms that create and hold the pockets of heat this is due to the radiators, hot pipes around the rooms and the use of carpet to absorb the warmth. Once you leave these created pockets you enter back into the open stair case, but on the this floor the materials change. The floor is wooden, and the walls are wooden, behind the wooden panelled walls are copper pipes that are heating the hallway. The cooling system for this floor are the windows, I couldn’t find any vents on this level.

Light: The lighting within the RIBA is a combination of natural and articicial lighting, as you enter the building into the reception you have glass entrance doors that allows a constant flow of light to enter, this also allows you to interact with the environment. Howerver this is not the only source of natural light, there are large windows in the bar area and the book shop. There are also large ceiling lights within the reception area to allow more light into the area, the lighting used is repeated throughout the building. The combonation between natural light and articical light is to brightern the dark materials used, one example is the marble collums. The images taken from the RIBA are very dark due to the dark materials. However at 1.30 the south-west side of the building locating the book shop and seating on the first floor had alot of light coming through the large windows. All along that side of the building are large windows alowing the sun to enter The large windows repeated through the building direct and maximise the use of lighting in the RIBA. Images to the right show the windows.

Materials: Portland Place has been crafted out of rich, hard wearing materials like marble. The main structure of the building is made from a steel frame work like Tower bridge, the steel is to support and add strength to the structure, then there is a layer of Portland stone. Portland stone is a highly demanded stone due to its fossilised properties of fossilised sea creatures as well as the non-slip factors of the stone. The material is used in other icon buildings like Whitehall, The British Museum, Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey. There is an example of the follisied stone is on the front of the building there are fossils within the front wall. as you enter the building you see the marble floor, the hard wearing floor is used due to the constant use and high quality properties. You can also see the Perrycot stone on the left wall that is filled with Royal gold medalists names. The use of the grey birdseye marble is a consistant feature within the building. This is evident as you see the Ashburton marble collums, Demara marble and birdseye marble used repeatedly through out the RIBA

Water As the Riba is a historically graded building, built over one hundred years ago it is hard to find plumbing plans of the property. By looking around the building it became very clear that there was no pipes visible to the public. Myself and Steph asked a man who works in the bookshop if he knew anything about the water supplies, he replied.

All water that can be re-used is used to water the plants on the roof garden. On the roof terracce there are 2 drains on on the far side that takes in the flow from the drain pipe and a second under the steel stairs. This one takes the water that is brought down from the roof. Due to all of the plumbing pipe works being concealed, I have tried to show how the exterior plumbing would continue.

'The building is old, because of its listed status there isnt much work or tampering involved with the building. Mostly all the plumbing systems are hidden from sight. But i would suggest going to the library and trying to find the existing bulidings plans'. All of the walls, toilet systems and radiators were sealed. Even within the bookshop the radiators were covered.

The black line shows the continuous pipe work up the side of the building. The Blue lines show the water run off once the water hits the roof. It continues to the drain opposite.

All sources of information within the library was about the detailing and materials of the building, none could help with the water system that was installed and is used throughout the RIBA today. However we then spoke to a building contractor about the water system. 'Most of the plans of the RIBA are of memory, the existing plans that we do have are not up to date. Over time most things have been changed but the plans havnt been updated. But this is the main water supply for this section of the RIBA'. The Builder went on to explain that on the roof there are 2 tanks. The two tanks supply the toilets on every floor. Then there is a seperate tank within the building that supplys clean, fresh water to the kitchen.

Blue lines shows cold water. Red shows the hot water. Mostlyon the left due to toilets.

Energy: With in the RIBA energy is used for different tasks and services. One temporary example is the building work taking part on the basement and the ground floor. The building work is to create a new gallery space for the institute, at the moment the building is noisey and is using physical energy of the construction workers to complete the build, as well as the electrical tools that are being used to aid the build. Other types of energy use with in the building are gas and electricity. From what I found in the RIBA is that more electricity is used. Upon arrival you have all electricity supplied artificial lighting, then you have the security cameras and computers on the reception desk. This is an essential factor to the RIBA to maintain safety for the public and staff of the building. Decending to the basement there are natural lighting wells but there is a strong use of artificial lighting, along with the hall and theatres essentials like the projectors. However on the first and second floors the use of artificial lighting decreases slightly due to the large, full length windows along 3 sideds of the building allowing natural light. The gas use of the RIBA will be heating at the boiler use to create hot water for the kitchens, and toilets as well as the heating of the builing. The heavy materials used help insulate the building, this helps with the energy usage.

The proposal by architects Carmody Groarke for the new gallery.

This image shows the energy of peope and movement, as well as natural lighting and artificial lighting. Human Natural Artificial


The image shows the mist sprinkler feature on the taps as well as the flush system.

The RIBA have different recycling techniques, one example is water conservation. The RIBA offer the knowledge to add in water saving, water recycling and water efficient technology to reduce waste and use of water within new designs. Within industry and agriculture a change of production method can be added through water conservation, the recycled water can be used as so; drip irrigation instead of flood irrigation as well as improved rainwater harvesting and use.

Another type of water recycling is Grey recycling, it is an expensive process but the grey water from the building is used to flush the chains. The image below shows how this process is complete.

The RIBA have found that the use of water has risen by 50% since 1980, the issues has been raised that 156 litres of water perday/per person. Due to the incline in water use a solution has to be found to reduce the amount of wasted water. Within older buildings less adaptations can be made to the building to help reduce the water waste, therefore other methods have been introduced the use of low/dual flush toilets, aerated taps. Both of these reduce the water usage by lowering the amount of water used to flush the toilet.

Rain water harvesting is becoming more popular in the sense of water recycling, the rainwater is being used to irrigate the gardens within a building or agriculture. The harvesting system works by collecting all off the water run off from the roofs and pathways. All this water is collected in underground or roof top tanks. The RIBA have roof top tanks that collect all of the rain water and feed the plants in the roof garden.

Conclusion: From my research and visits to the RIBA I have grown to see the reasons behind certain features, for example the stair case. The stair case is not only for decoration and detail it helps the building circulation due to its vast size. Air circulates through the open stair way to allow more air movement. I like the fact that this practical, yet detailed feature also allows the building to become more sociable. The reason I say this is due to the open seating areas and main gallery on the first floor. With the new adaptations on the ground floor becoming a exhibition area, the buildings social element will extend. The RIBAs detailing is something that appealed to me from the first visit. My favourite feature of the building is the grand columns made from Ashburton Marble, the material choice makes the buildings furnishings and presence feel expensive. I also like the way that the materials have been used to regulate the temperature all year round. However my least favourite part of the building would be the lighting, even though there is natural lighting entering the building the artificial lighting is more prominent. On the second floor the open hall way is very dim, this effected the images that I took. It also made the floor look very uninviting and closed off, even though most of the rooms on the second floor are offices and are not meant to be used to the public I think the floor should still be inviting. I think the building benefits from its location, due to its easy access the facilities there can be used regularly. Due to the building design natural light is utilised well, the large front windows allow the light to enter the building and as the day progressed the sun moves around the building allowing light to enter and fill the rooms due to the full length windows on all floors.

The entrance of the RIBA along with (Motion blur images) the movement around the building.

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