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    10/04 working out the details

    By duke19_98
    Oct 4, '04 6:32 PM EST

    This weekend I've been working out some of the structural details and material choices. The pictures show a typical connection used for attaching "the tapeworm" form to the existing building. I'm not sure if it's going to work or not, we'll see when my profs review it. Basically i'm trying to hang 1/2" steel plates from the side of an existing load bearing clay tile wall. The detail shows cmu blocks inserted into the wall to anchor a steel plate that holds a 4" steel pipe. Another plate is then welded to the pipe and the 1/2 plate above. If anyone has any better ideas for this connection, I'm all ears.

    I've also been working on the entrance courtyard elevations. I've decided on terminating the pedestrian bridge axis with an elevator encased in glass and cmu. I've also decided to use 3 glass pivot doors for the entrance. The doors shown on the section/elevation below will be operable on the sub level and the first level. Rather than using a typical glass wall for the 2nd and 3rd levels I decided to replicate the functioning pivot doors. I think the steel pivot makes a nice detail.

    I'm going to work out a few more spatial arrangements this week in the physical model, then its off to the digital 3rd dimension.

    I'll not be posting the football score this week. We need not relive that experience.




    take 2:
    So what if I remove a clay tile and insert the steel pipe and seal with concrete. As the pipe exits the wall it will need to have a welded bend in it. The steel plates will be colliding with the wall at unique odd angles. Steel connecting brackets could be used to attach the plate to the pipe.


    • b3tadine[sutures]

      brian, i don't think this works, structurally or aesthetically. i don't think concrete in tension is a good idea, especially concrete block with concrete infill. why not just create a detail that will attach to the steel?

      Oct 4, 04 6:55 pm
      Sean Taylor

      Also, you may want to re-think the thickness of your steel plate. I can't tell the size of plate you are using, but I am positive that you are underestimating the weight of a steel plate of that thickness. You might want to note that many of Serra's pieces are made out of steel plate that is approx. (to my eye) 3/4" thick, possibly 1". Instead you may want to bend thinner plates to achieve a thickened edge or re-think the skin to something that may be within the realm of reality.

      Otherwise, I agree with beta (above). The concrete block detail is a bit goofy.

      Good luck.

      Oct 4, 04 7:54 pm

      I agree guys. I'm just trying to figure out how or what to attach to the structural clay tile that is there. Also this would only be one of several connections to the wall for each piece of steel, but I agree the weight of the 1/2 inch steel has probably been underestimated. The Serra pieces that I have seen are at least 3/4" thick, and I think those in Berlin and in Ft. Worth are over an inch. But of course they aren't hanging off a brick wall either. As I think about it, there is really no reason these plates need to be that thick. In most cases they are simply canopies and need only support their own weight. When used on the pedestrian bridge section however, they’ll need to span distances ranging 10-15’ between supports with minimal deflection. I think that’s initially why I decided on ½”.

      If I run a piece of steel pipe in through the wall how can I anchor it to the clay tile? Also, how can I clean up the exit hole in the brick facing?

      Oct 4, 04 8:16 pm

      brian if i understand your drawings correctly, why not fabricate some kind of attachment to the floor slab? i have a difficult time in believing that clay tile can do much as method of attachment for structural steel, i would be concerned about the clay as a bearing for steel as well. i think the floor slab is a better track. do you know what the floor is made of? what supports the slab?

      Oct 4, 04 8:42 pm
      Sean Taylor

      I also would suggest somehow attaching this detail to the floor plate. This would help with any lateral force that wind (for example) might cause. In terms of cleaning up the brick face, maybe think of a steel plate or other to act as an escutchen that can cover whatever damage you do to the brick veneer, act as a sort of gasket to insure a weather-tight condition, and help disperse some of the stress (moment) across a larger surface.

      For the skin, I think you need to put a little more thought into this (not trying to be overly critical). You may want to design a steel skeletal structure that the skin attaches to and folds over at the edge for thickness. This would add another layer to your design (if exposed in places). This would also allow the skin to be much thinner while apearing rigid over longer spans.

      Just some random thoughts.

      Oct 4, 04 9:05 pm

      I don't have everything worked out yet, but it is likely the steel will be connecting at various points in the wall and not necessarily next to a slab.

      Actually the slab is being held up by the clay tile. This building was built in 1910. The Clay tile walls are 16-18" thick. I would assume that if the tile is holding up the slab then it should hold the steel, but attaching it is the tricky part. The slab is 5-6 inches of concrete resting on 18" wide flanges that bear on the clay tile walls.

      I added a second drawing. What if I simply insert the steel pipe and seal it to the clay with concrete? I'm not sure however, if the pipe will be able to direct the load down into the clay tile.

      Oct 4, 04 9:06 pm

      brian are you sure about the construction? is it at all possible that it is a steel superstructure, and perhaps the clay back up block is exactly that, a back up for the brick veneer? i would guess that back in 1910 they have yet to fabricate cmu - although cinder block may have been available - and used the clay block as the back-up for the veneer. the only reason i suggest this is because of your assertion that the slabs rest on 18" wide flanges...

      Oct 4, 04 9:49 pm

      I have a structural steel analysis from an engineering firm. They tested the slabs and beams so that's where the 18" wide flanges came from. The interior is held up by steel round columns, but the exterior wall is most defiantly load bearing. I've been referencing a '32 graphic standard that shows the Hollow tile construction. I'm pretty certain about all that. Your right no cmu in 1910 but clay tile was pretty typical in building such as this. (a high school)

      So my problem is that the clay tile is strictly compressive and my steel intervention is going to apply lateral forces. My most recent thought is to snake a steel pipe up the wall (in the same language as the pedestrian bridge in the model pictures) that connects to the slabs at various points on the wall. Then I attach the steel plates to the snake. Here I would be adding a new structural system. I think that if it was to bear on the wall only where the slabs are it could transfer the lateral forces effectively.

      Oct 4, 04 10:06 pm

      okay, although the beams at the perimeter leave me wondering. be wary of the graphic standards, they are not the be all end all that they seem. on the interior side of the wall, or within the cavities of the clay block? whats curious to me is whether or not you have considered the structure on the interior? what does it become? is it just for supporting the exterior canopy or does it have another function? can you create an interior structure that bears on the slabs?

      Oct 4, 04 10:18 pm

      it seems to me that maybe we're missing someting from the project outline...are you required to rely on the existing structure? i too have serious doubts as to the validity of the lack of perimeter iron structure...if there are beams (the 18" flange comments?), then there are columns. if you can't get to ground without going through the existing wall, then....

      1) the exterior clay tile wall is indeed load bearing and 2) you must rely on it alone to support your walkway, then 3) you must create a concrete frame within the hollow brick wall. as long as the wall doesn't depend on the slabs for anything but lateral (and you'd have to reinforce the floor with this anyway because of the added wind load with a heavier wall) you could inject shotcrete within the tiles depending on how the cavities line up vertically. if this is feasible, create a concrete frame within the wall as a hole and then plan the frame (x-y) intersections where you need your steel structure, then you can create a ledge with the new concrete. use a new ledge + steel connections (remember that steel manual) to hang your new system.

      Oct 5, 04 12:18 pm

      i'm with the other folks on the impossibility of the CMUs...not gonna happen. figure out what that steel weighs...and you'll see that 'grout' ain't gonna hold that 1/1000 that much tension....ever.

      even the steel tube through the tile requires all the moment of the connection forced into a single tile held together with grout to the next again...grout being poor in 'bending'...this ain't gonna work either.

      so...if you can create a new structure outside of the existing wall, independent from it, that would be best....if you have to be dependent on the tile, then think about the forces have gravity loads outside the plane of the wall and you have additional lateral loads placed on a brittle construction technique which relies on the floors inside to take the lateral loads.

      my first thought about the existing building is that its not unlike the Albert Kahn factories...concrete (tile in your case) covered iron perimeter structure with masonry/glass infill (again...tile in your case) if this is true, then you could just remove the wall infills in between the structural grid and frame your structural components within the plane of the wall you just removed...and then infill around it as you see tile, whatever... you'll have to take into account any additional weight into the floors or the wall below...but you could make that work.

      good luck Brian. your studio brings in great challenges, both structurally and of luck with your tapeworm parasite!

      Oct 5, 04 12:32 pm

      I appreciate the fact that you are developing practicalities of your intervention, I am a former TTU Thesis student myself, and certainly know the logistics of the process. However, I have been reading through all of you entries over the past several months and am having a hard time following how this "Tapeworm" intervention is furthering you thesis of "precise demolition and creative additions to the existing structure to capture the useful character and capital of the site."

      I am not trying to belittle you, but am simply questioning the practicalities of the intervention. What is the purpose of the Pedestrian Bridge? Not that there is not a contextual basis for it. It is well known that downtown Dallas is webbed with pedestrian bridges and tunnels that interconnect many of the office buildings downtown. It is possible to cross much of downtown without ever setting foot on the street, which, in turn, has killed the street life of downtown. The streets have become the heaven for the homeless and undesirables of the city, largely due to the lack of commercial development and street life. With this, I have to ask, what are you bridging? I would think that you would have two points that would otherwise be disconnected: physically, visually, or programmatically, but I don’t see any point to the south west that you would want to connect to. Plus, I would like to know what the reasoning is to pull more people off of the street when you have an opportunity of increase pedestrian traffic at street level?

      I also have not seen any indication of a connection between your site and the Arts District north of the site. For an intervention at your site, I would think that this and the Dart rail station, which connects to the West End and the Convention Center, would be of primary focus. These two connections would be key to a “community center” considering they are the only two areas downtown that have any life after 8am-5pm M-F. In that, I would think a site contextual intervention would be concentrated to the North West corner of the site, @ Bryan and Pearl.

      Lastly, I don’t really see the basis for your aesthetic. Are you simply contrasting the intervention to the contextual elements? Are you trying to signify the injection of program into the existing historical structure? Just a question on your reasoning for the sharded elements, this is a thesis after all.

      Oct 5, 04 6:06 pm

      Structural comments first: Upon further consideration of the structure my professor and I have concluded that what we had previously thought was a load bearing wall may indeed contain steel columns. Unfortunately there is no way to be certain, as the existing plans do not show columns inside the wall. It is entirely possible that the clay tile could be supporting the slabs above, however due to the fact that the interior is composed of steel columns we are going to assume that there are indeed steel columns in the exterior walls. I owe you guys for this one. Thanks for making look at the structure from a different angle.

      apparently there is a word limit. I had to cut this post in half.

      Oct 5, 04 8:13 pm

      Bostick: First of all I really appreciate your comments. Unfortunately there is no way you or anyone else will be able to fully understand my project through these posts. As a previous thesis student, I'm sure you'll understand that I simply don't have the time to completely explain my project and basis behind all decisions made. With that I'll at least attempt to shed some light on your concerns.

      First of all I understand your concerns about pulling the pedestrians off the street. This was a concern of mine as well. I've spent a large amount of time on location studying the circulation that takes place at the site. I've determined that the southwest corner has the most pedestrian traffic. The function of my facility demands direct access to the 1st floor (which is 8' above grade) thus the pedestrian bridge came about. The bridge or tapeworm form is a connection that links the two vertical circulation cores of the building. The West corner is also made HC accessible by sloping the site down to the sub level which is 4' below grade. The Sub Level will contain a cafe like atmosphere and be a lunch time destination point.

      You have not seen a connection to the Arts district because there is not one. The current condition of the highway and its off ramp makes a connection to the East unrealistic. There will be a trolley that services the residential district to the North East of the highway. A connection that is made is the connection to the downtown bus transfer station and the dart rail.

      The bryan and pearl intersection is the main entrance to the site. The plaza that will be created there will act a sink to pull pedestrians into the site.

      Like I said, I appreciate your critique. I wish I had more time to explain the details of my project. I feel that showing minor bits and pieces of the process has done more to confuse than to adequately explain.

      Thanks again for everyone’s help. I need to get back to work.
      Oct 5, 04 8:16 pm

      I appreciate your response to my questions. I realize that you do not have the time, nor the motivation to stream you thoughts and processes to this blog, and I applaud your effort to do as much as you have.

      I am still a little concerned on your site analyzes though. I don’t know if we are just communicating poorly or if you have a flaw in your site mapping. The Arts District is located to the North West of you site, but you seem to be under the impression it is to the East. I urge you to revisit this fact, if not for implementation, then simply to make yourself aware, as it could very easily become an issue during your presentation. Especially considering the amount of Dallasites who attend TTU, both as students and as faculty.

      Also, in regards to pedestrian traffic, I will admit that I have never done a traffic study of the area, nor do I intend to. However, I do reside at the Live Oak Lofts, which you may well know is adjacent to you site, East of 45. I have even seen it represented on your site models, so I have a certain intimacy with the site and am one of the residents that you speak of servicing. With this, I have a hard time buying into the fact that pedestrian travel is concentrated to the South of that site, I would assume it would be to the North. However, as I said I have never studied the site and am rarely in that area during the day. I work in Deep Ellum and don’t go downtown, but if this traffic study is not a solid, studied fact I urge you to revisit it as well. I doubt that anyone else would call you on it, but, like I said, this project has personal relevancy for me.

      Regardless, good luck with your thesis, and I look forward to seeing the completed project.

      Oct 6, 04 12:22 pm

      Thanks bostick. Actually I visited the live oak lofts and took pictures of the site from the stairwell. It's a nice place. Sorry about the retarded confusion on the arts district. I actually was thinking you were talking about Deep Ellum rather than the arts district. (I've been a little loopy lately due to the lack of sleep) Anyhow, I understand the true arts district your speaking of now.

      I think because of the odd angle that the site sits compared to the cardinal directions is causing the confusion. I consider the main hub of the site the corner of Bryan and Pearl. Pedestrian traffic is also evident along pearl toward live oak and down Bryan street to the crocket intersection. I think however, that there is a potential for more pedestrian traffic along Pearl street towards the highway. The bus transfer station has made a direct connection to the site, however I think there is actually less traffic between the Pearl street DART station and the bus station than one might assume by simply looking at the context.

      The circulation on the site is pretty clear during the day. I sat on the balcony of the Adams Mark and monitored it one day last spring. Thanks for the input. I'll try to keep the blog current with my progress.

      Oct 6, 04 3:53 pm

      Your confusion about the Arts District and Deep Ellum is understandable. But to fall back on a point you made in a previous response, you mentioned proposing a streetcar line to service the areas to the East of your sight. I believe that the success of this project could be solidified by the proposal to run a streetcar type system (possibly with Dart trains, or possibly like the vintage M-Line that runs through uptown to the West Village and back) from the Pearl street station to Deep Ellum. With the parking and crime problem in Deep Ellum, I believe that many patrons of the area would embrace public transportation. A car that took one lane of Commerce and looped back down one lane of Elm would be heavily used at lunch and during the night and weekend hours. I think simply proposing such a line is vital to truly making you project a new ‘hub’ of downtown. This would be a simple exercise that could add great importance and feasibility to your project.

      Oct 6, 04 7:01 pm

      That is a good Idea. I was actually considering a rubber tire trolley that serviced the residential only. I think your right, if it was safer people might park on the site and take the trolley deep ellum. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Oct 6, 04 9:30 pm

      They may also utilize the Park'n Ride areas already in place from Mockingbird Station north to Plano. Keep in mind, while the bus system is not well embraced, the Dart trains are. During buisness hours the trains are crowded to capacity, and in the evenings there is a fair amount of people who take the train to the West End. Many people just don't want to drive downtown, or pay $5-$8 to park. A $2.50 tain pass is an attractive option. A transfer point at your site would be a great asset. Just something to keep in mind.

      Oct 7, 04 11:12 am

      Your right, I used to live around the corner from the Lovers Lane station. Although I interned in Addison, I would take the DART downtown for class every Friday. Pearl Station really opens a lot of options for this project.

      Oct 7, 04 11:37 am

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