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A Modern Dynamic Structure: Milwaukee Art Museum written by Leyla Yildiz

A Modern Dynamic Structure: Milwaukee Art Museum written by Leyla Yildiz 

There is an impressive building in every sense in the world. An outstanding creativity was used on this structure. It’s a spectacular product of high technology and genius engineering. In addition to this, it became a very artistic work rather than being just a structure. Besides, it’s an expression of movement and change. It’s form is alive and dynamic. Thus, all of these descriptions indicate one building which is Milwaukee Art Museum. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava. It is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. This museum receives thousands of visitors in every year. Interestingly, it exhibits it’s own structure as well as exhibiting many historical and cultural artifacts. This museum has a coast on lake Michigan and it has a very well coherence with it’s environment.

Originally, the structure of this museum was built as just two-floor and a war memorial by Eero Saarinen in 1957. This very modernist architect used space dramatically. After that, David Kahler created a bigger space for this museum in 1975. He connected the museum to the city with a concrete bridge. Then, Calatrava designed a new addition which is called Quadracci Pavillion inspired by soaring birds, sailboats and the lake in 2001, which links to a boulevard with a pedestrian bridge.

Spanish architect Calatrava is also a civil engineer, sculptor and painter. Actually, on this amazing structure there are many effects of his engineering. Because, it is not just a common building. It shows the dramatic combination of architecture and engineering. Moreover, it refers to many artistic sculpture. According to a resource, Calatrava always wanted to find the statement of dynamism and make forms movable and changeable since his childhood.        He tried to think of ways to give sense of movement to the objects and solve this paradox. He wanted to design dynamic and collapsible structures rather than following the fixed architecture rules about being stable and steady. This structure shows many impressions of art and natural forms. For instance, it looks like the forms of foldable bird wings designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. Also, it has many resemblances of human arm.

When we mention about the whole building, it is a really compatible construction with it’s context. It has a number of facts about sea inspired by the locaiton which is to the lake. It looks like yachts and sailboats, and also it’s steely wings remind flying seagulls. The movement of steel wings indicate sea wave. Moreover, the form of cable bridge looks like a sail. Then, it’s color is same with the seagulls, sails and has a relationship with the surrounding structures.

The whole structure consist of white steel and concrete. Steel is the most durable element in construction materials. Therefore, wings, bridge and the other structural systems are connected to eachother in a very strong way. There is a suspended bridge which connects to the pavillion and gets support from it. This design of bridge refers to very basic structural shelter tents. It uses tension and stress forces. In this bridge there are compression forces on the steel pylon and deck to the foundations like the pavillion. Also the steel cables (tension elements) stress the bridge. Thus, it becomes durable. Besides, there is an abutment like boomerang which resists the suspension bridge’s pulling force. Framing of glass ceiling and building spine rest on the pavilion and the back stay beam. The leaning elements on the glass framing (wings) are connected to the building spine. And then, this spine and the bridge’s pylon are parallel to eachother. They are bending 48.36 degrees towards to the pavillion.

On the glass ceiling, brise-soleil and movable elements were used. It looks like bird’s body. There is a spine in the middle and two very flexible wings are attached to it. Each of these wings have 36 rectangular sticks. They are also made of steel element. They are framing the sun light. It changes it’s own angle according to the sun. A hydraulic system in the middle controls these wings. They moves according to the external forces like wind load and thunderbolt. When there is a really strong wind, the wings roof the glass facade. These steel wings create a very nice ambience (light and shadow) indoor space. And also, these wings break the greenhouse effect that glass surfaces create inside. This ceiling were made of huge and curved glass surfaces which are supported with steel elements. Besides this facade gives a very well landscape to the lake.

The load transportation in the pavillion building is like on this cross section’s sketch.

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In this image, some forces and other important structural processes were clearly showed. Red color indicate the largest bending moment on the structure. Green diagram shows where shear forces are at the highest level. And the all load transportation and forces were balanced in a very genius way.

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This structure is very functional. It has many public spaces in a very well design. There is parking floor in underground. Then,in the lower floor, there are some meeting space, terrace and restaurant. In the main floor, there are many different spaces like reception hall, exhibition hall, lobby and terrace. It’s also ground level. In the mezzanine floor (Calatrava’s additon)  there is a connection with the bridge. There is lobby, board room and existing galleries. All these exhibition spaces, terraces, cafes, stores, auditorium and parking area create very useful and equipped public space. Besides, under the bridge a public space (like a garden) was created. People can use also this area.

To sum up, Calatrava designed a very dramatic structure by using the convenience of the context, his extensive engineering knowledge and artistic skills. It looks like a flying bird to the lake. It has very emotional sense. To my way of thinking, these kind of architecture works and arcihtects should be encouraged and supported. Then, the structures arround us could be very modern and inspirational rather than being very common high buildings.

References

Greene R., (2013), How Santiago Calatrava Blurred The Lines Between Architecture and Engineering To Make Buildings Move, Archdaily, Retrieved January 3, 2015 from http://www.archdaily.com/321403/how-santiago-calatrava-blurred-the-lines-between-architecture-and-engineering-to-make-buildings-move/

Calatrava’nın Kanatları, (2010), Mimdap, Retrieved January 3, 2015 from http://www.mimdap.org/?p=44610

Nichols, A., (2004), Example Case Study: Milwaukee Art Museum, Retrieved January 3, 2015 from http://www.solaripedia.com/files/979.pdf

Quadracci Pavillion, (n.d.), Milwaukee Art Museum Info, Retrieved January 3, 2015 from http://mam.org/info/details/quadracci.php

Architecture, (n.d.), Milwaukee Art Museum Info, Retrieved January 3, 2015 from http://mam.org/info/architecture.php

PS: The hand sketches are belong to me. The other images and Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings are from google images.

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The analysis of a construction site: Anatolian Organized Industrial Zone; Administrative building

Hey everybody!

Today, I want to mention about a construction trip and my observations. Two weeks ago, our professor Onur Yüncü who is the lecturer of Arch 241 course took us to a construction yard. This construction is located in Anatolian Organized Industrial Zone in Ankara. It consists of complex buildings. We observed it’s administrative building. It’s architects are Onur Yüncü and Ayşen Savaş. They are really successful architects and they have worked for METU for many years. They have many awarded projects. Onur Yüncü is working for TEDU now. He is one of our professors in college. This project was designed in a year and it has built for one and half years. Let’s talk about this building.

This building was designed for management, actually it’s kind of a main building of that zone. It’s a really observable structure to understand constructional system of a building because the structural processes and other stuff are transparent and obvious. This building is located in a very natural area. It has gren environment. Also there is small lake. That’s why, the users wanted architects to design a nature compatible structure rather than the other high and common official buildings. Actually, the users wanted a single-floor building which looks like a ranch house. But, architects realised that they need one more floor up in a part. This building consists of three parts. Actually they have just one single floor except one part. It has three floor. One of them is underground floor. Also, it has one more floor up because there is an administration part and there are some chairmans’ offices . That’s why they need to be in higher part of that building. In the first floor, there are many offices, convention halls and some meeting and entrance parts. These parts create a U shape. Then, there is a courtyard between them. The another part next to the others has dining hall, kitchen and also there are some important rooms which have the systems of electricity, heating, water and other stuff. Here, there are some images of this project.

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These images are from http://www.onuryuncu.com/files/OY-M_Tanitim_2014-02_web.pdf

When we talk about the appearance of the whole building, it looks modern and more natural. It hasn’t many glass surfaces. It has some wooden elements, so it creates a natural and warm view. It looks like a house. The whole building is sitting on the stone floor. On that, there are reinforced concrete columns and then wooden roof. The whole structure is displayed as visual. Processes aren’t hidden. Besides,the huge horizontal facades were balanced by using some vertical wooden surfaces. These stone and wooden elements are harmonizing with the environment. There are many basic rectangular elements which consist of glass, wooden and other surfaces. So, there is always a continuity on the facade.

Inside of the building, we could observe the structural system easily. This building has two different structural system. One of them is scissoring in the main part and the other one is classical post structure, also it has just a concrete ceiling. From the protocol to ther other part, this system is changing. And this transition is visible, one is beamed flooring (with wooden) and the other one has no beam. Concrete combines with the scissoring. It also show the transiton between single floor and two-floor structure (except underground floor) There are also hinges between two different parts which are sitting on the different places (topographical). The hinges which are between two different parts are called dilatation like separating (called ‘dilatasyon’ in Turkish) It consists of foam. The wooden beams carry the roof and also there are some another beams which support the main beams (bearer). They are  called ‘aşık’ in Turkish. They generally passes frequently and they are not strong and thick like the main beams. On the wooden ceiling there are some kind of heat insulation and roof tile. Besides, the carrying system built and designed that building, and some walls end somewhere according to the this system. So, all spaces were controlled and designed with this system. Moreover, this structural system repeats and then it creates a rhythm inside. By the way, inside of the building wooden element also was used for some coatings and benches. Some electricity cable and kind of these stuff were hided with the wooden covering. And some walls were built with red bricks. So all of them create a warm space inside too.

Beams

Dilatation, separation between two different part

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The thickness of the columns are generally 35 cm. And they located in horizontal direction with some gaps 5 or  7 metres. And this process repeats after every 4 metres in other direction. When the height of the building increases, the thicknesses of the columns also increase. Also, the lowest one is 2.5 metres and the highest one is 3.5 metres. These tall columns are near to the entrances from parking area and courtyard. They, create the monumental appearance in the entrance.

Besides, when every surfaces end, there is always a gap (hinge) between the other surfaces.  For example,when a column end in the roof there is a gap between them. It is the same with the ground. Also, hinges show the differentation of materials and surfaces.

Glass surfaces in this building make the spaces wide and sunlit. It can easily use the day light. Also, people can experience the natural environment when they are in this building. In the corridor between the dinning room and other parts there are some windows which were located in different elevations on the wall. So, all of them create different experiences. Besides, dining room was located in a very far from the protocol part because of the food smell and also, it was surrounded with glass surfaces. So, this situation doesn’t make this space closed and it looks light-well.  By the way, in some rooms there are some inside windows. They  provides privacy and create a connection between the other spaces in the building. For instance, during a meeting people can close this window with sliding wooden surfaces or they can observe the other when it is open.  The offices in the second floor have also huge glass surfaces. These rooms have small resting rooms and bathrooms. In front of these offices there is terrace which looks to the small lake. So it creates a very well view. By the way, in front of the assembly room there is huge space. So, they provides a resting and waiting opportunity.

Besides, there is an also extension from the first floor of the protocol parts. It’s direction is also to the lake. There is a connection between this balcony and outside with staircases.

The courtyard between the U shape will be a warm space with wooden. The iron elements will be covered with wooden and then water can flow between the wooden element then it will flow from the concrete floor to the land. By the way, in the entrance of the protocol part there is a well designed and modern staircases. It’s a really dynamic element, and this part is trying to a make a sense for the entrance. This is really important.

By the way, the main entrance with a hall opens to the parking area. So, people can easily pass to it. When we look at the whole building, it is obvious that it remains it’s naturalness and coherence with the environment.