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Thread: What is the Architectural potential of space trusses-frames?

  1. #1

    Default What is the Architectural potential of space trusses-frames?

    At architecture faculty in my country, there is a Master degree thesis (something like a final work, an examination work):

    "Lightweight three dimensional grid load bearing structures (space trusses-frames) and their relationship with architecture."

    There were couple of other thesis too, but this one was the most interesting for me, so I decided to take this one, even I was not completely sure what is the main aim of this thesis. And yes I already talked with my mentor, and he said, that I need to do a research of some basic issues, on my own, and then, I can come back with the questions.

    I did a little search, and found out that this systems are:

    From the engineering point of view: light, fully prefabricated, easy to assemble and erect, light and convenient for transport, can cover of huge spans, material savers (the amount of material spend is much less then at the continuum systems) etc.

    But I am a little bit confused about the Architectural potential of these structures - the main part of this thesis. After all I am studying the Architecture, not Engineering, so I need to focus myself mainly on the architectural potential of this structures.


    So what is the Architectural potential of these structures? They are space forming structures - they define the shape of the buildings. They have an influence on the overall architectural expression. What else? I am starting to get scared, because I do not have a clue what I am going to write about this main part - the Architectural potential of space trusses.
    And yes I already took a look at the geodesic domes, Richard Buckminster Fuller work and Eden Project.

    Please, help. any kind of advice is valuable.
    Thank you for all the answers.

    P.S.

    I know that this forum, is not the right place for this kind of questions, but any kind of advice would be valuable.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Check out the Standard Hotel at the High Line. Might be something that fits the bill: The entire structure is built atop a massive new truss (steel framed and then enclosed in concrete) that spans the old elevated rail line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post

    Here's a rendering from this NYT article.


    Polshek Partnership
    Polshek Partnership’s project for a Standard Hotel.
    Construction Photos of the truss going up HERE

    And HERE and HERE

    And ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MidtownGuy View Post

    Finally (lots more photos throughout the Standard Hotel thread) ...

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post




















  3. #3
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    If you're thinking of using any of the WNY photos for your thesis, it's always wise to first ask the photo taker for permission

  4. #4

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    Thank you for the reply lofter. I appreciate it.

    Just one thing: As far as I noticed, from the pictures you gave me, this whole construction is made like a regular beam-column framed building. With one difference: the bottom parts of the columns above the old elevated rail line, have been cut, and the load from their lower points has been accepted by the nodes of the truss.

    So this is the only part where the truss has been implemented in this construction.

    Do you advice me, to explore the architectural effect of using trusses for spanning long distances between two supports of the buildings (like it has been done in this case)?

    Thank you for the reply.

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    I can't really advise you. I'm not an architect or an engineer (or a professor). Just trying to point towards what you might have been looking for.

    Good luck on the thesis!

  6. #6

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    Understood. Thank you for your time and help.

    Any other suggestions please?

  7. #7
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    The architectural use?

    Look at Architecture. Its "purpose" is to try to define a space in a particular way. Whether that be for one particular look or another, an emphasis or hiding of structural systems, or a denial of actual physical restrictions.

    Take a look at the images you get just from a simple Google image search:

    http://www.google.com/images?q=space...w=1101&bih=644

    The feeling on a lot of these frames is a more organic feel. You get to construct massive scale constructions without the same boxy feel.

    Most "Space Frame" construction is like the old straw-and-joint construction sets you had (maybe) as a kid. They allow larger spans of space w/o the traditional column-and-beam layout.

    Start taking a look at some of the more recent uses of the system and you will get an idea of what they can be used for versus the older traditional (or even modern traditional) styles.

  8. #8

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    Just to be clear, The photos of the Standard illustrate a plain ol' truss. A big one, but a regular truss: all the loads it is carrying are along the same 2 dimensions. Space frames are best applied as roofs, when you want to span a great distance but you don't want the giant, heavy members like the ones shown above. Convention centers are often a good place to look for examples.

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