Friday, April 3, 2009

Recesses, Cavities, Holes, Canted/Slanted Lines and Planes

Although energy conservation and control over cost would call for simple contours and building volumes, in new architecture recesses and cavities in the building volumes are frequent. This ensures deep shadows and picturesque buildings. Some authors call buildings with recesses, cavities or holes ‘eroded’ volumes. Buildings with volumes pushed into each other at irregular angles, are referred to as ‘crashed’ volumes.

Cavities and holes in a building, in particular at some height, are new in architecture (not counting arches) and also give rise to new technical problems, such as the wind blowing through the aperture.

Canted or slanted planes, fa├žades, columns and other components cause particular difficulties for the architect, the structural and services engineer and in addition require special skill from the construction team. Many architecturally impressive tall buildings have been designed and constructed with such geometry. A notable realization is the Dongba Securities Headquarters, a 35-storey tower in Seoul, Korea and there are several others. In some historic buildings (for example, at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia), an arch in the building opens a throughway. In modern times, reinforced concrete and steel structures enable thedesigner to cut through a building in different spectacular fashions. Examples are abundant.

Sebestyen, Gyula. 2003. New Architecture and Technology.

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