Week 5


Structural Assembly Diagram

This past week was all about structure – I spent a good lot of time investigating my building’s materials and assemblies and researching how these types of buildings were put together. Its really fascinating – something about construction just gets me all sorts of jazzed up. I am still not able to actually get into my building – although even if they let me in I doubt they would let me tear open any walls to see how its actually built.  So I’m taking my best educated guess based on what I can see and how some other similar buildings are done. I guess I was a little off – I just finished meeting with Reid and he thinks my floor system is a little different than how I have drawn it – but not a major change.


Essentially – I have a ‘Cage’ system – sort of a hybrid between Cast-Iron, Masonry bearing walls, and Wrought Iron (Maybe Steel) girders with wood floor. Two long masonry walls run East-West providing lateral stability and support for floor girders. Inside is an array of Cast-Iron columns supporting Girders which run North-South. This is a bit non-standard (normally the Girder would run down the middle) and I need to investigate it a little more. Wood flooring tied together with splines spans the girders and supports a wood finish floor.


The other odd-ness is the column-to-beam connection which uses something called a ‘pintle’ – the girders actually sit on the columns with the next floor’s columns sitting on the girders (Normally the columns would run through and the girders would hang on the side). A small columns called a pintle bridges the gap and ties the girders together. Never heard of that before but I guess its pretty common in NYC during this era.


Structure Details


So for the newest version of my proposal I started with some of the best elemnts from my 24 version matrix and tried to reccombine them into a single scheme. This scheme combines Housing, a market, an urban farm, a restaurant and a public plaza. The front facade has been kept but is now a screen over the plaza and outdoor courtyards of the restaurant. The floor plates behind it are all  new and placed mid-window height to highlight the independant character of the new, inseted program and to heighten the sense of the facade as a screen. The entire ground level of the beuilding has been removed (it was gross anyway) and the street plane runs through the building – this is part of the market and will be small stalls of produce and famers-markety stuff. There is another level of more formal grocery underground. A long escalator or stair leads up to the public open space. Housing fills the bulk of the project – it is inserted into the existing structure and retains the current materials. The masonry wall on the south has been removed and consolidated in two large structural cores which serve the upper floors and read as big ‘feet’ on the market floor – holding up the building. On the top floors are two levels of Urban farm – feeding into the restaurant and the market below. The housing prioritizes open-communal space and the corridors will be integrated with the greenhouse which takes the place of the old south-facing masonry wall. The green spaces serve as a the links between programs – as the mixing spaces and as the ‘heart’ of the building.


Sort of three operations in regards to the original  – retain where program and exposure allow it (housing) – consolidate and increase efficiency where program demands (the south masonry wall into cores) – and replace where it doesn’t work anymore – the new floor plates on the Third Ave side – now outdoors and moved from their existing elevations – also very different structural forces at work.




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