Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shigeru Ban in Zurich

From AR. © Shigeru Ban Architects
For their July issue, Architectural Record sent me to Zurich to report on Shigeru Ban's Tamedia office building. You can see the full article here.

The interest of the project is its exposed timber structure of laminated Austrian spruce, which supports all seven floors:
"Workers fitted the structure together without any metal connectors whatsoever, hammering the rounded ends of the beams into place on the columns with large, soft-headed mallets."
Frm AR. © Nelly Rodriguez
I especially enjoyed getting into the details of this conceit:
"Ban treats the wood like a high-tech material... Fabricated in a shop using computer-controlled laser cutters, the structural elements include doubled cross beams with their rounded ends, oval spacer beams that run perpendicular to them, and columns, each a single piece 17 inches square that rises the full height of the building (more than 65 feet)."
"The key to the structural design ... is the joint where these three elements come together. The oval spacer beams fit through oval holes in the ends of the cross beams, fixing them to either side of each column. The oval shape is crucial, because it produces a rigid "grip" joint rather than a weaker "pin" joint that a circular connector would create...."
Frm AR. © Shigeru Ban Architects
Inside Job
A finely crafted timber office building for a Swiss media company makes a strong statement from within
Tamedia Offices, Zurich by Shigeru Ban
Architectural Record
July 2014
Frm AR. © Nelly Rodriguez

From AR © Didier Boy De La Tour

Lobby, cardboard tube furniture by Shigeru Ban. Photo DC
See my next blog entry for photos from around Zurich.

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