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Sad Architectural Details :(

chris-chitect

Like a lot of you I'm at home all day staring out the window, analyzing my environment and thinking about what could be improved. I think this would be a great spot for a show and tell of crappy design details that frustrate us. 

It rains a lot here on the west coast, and despite nearly 150 years of industrialized construction locally, designers approach details here as if they had no idea it actually rains. 

Below is a pergola for a fire exit from an underground parking garage. The apartments next door sell for around $1000 a square foot. At one point the penthouse was for sale at $10,000,000 CDN. Despite this it feels like they couldn't pay the designer for a few hours to come up with an elegant solution to rain water on the pergola glass.

In the rainy months (some ten months of the year), rain just runs off the glass into a trough and then dumps into the flower beds leaving mud that the landscapers are always left to deal with. In the summer, the glass is rarely cleaned and is filthy. 

What's a design detail that frustrates you on a daily basis?

 
Mar 24, 21 6:06 pm
SneakyPete

They could have simply extended the rectangular gutter over the planted bed, sloped it a marginal degree (wouldn't need to be visually obvious) and then just left the end off of it. Sheesh.

Bad sketch:



Mar 24, 21 6:16 pm  · 
2  · 
chris-chitect

Haha , and that took you how long to figure out? Probably less prone to clog with leaves as well.

Mar 24, 21 6:32 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

The stitch weld is driving me crazy.

Mar 24, 21 6:44 pm  · 
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JLC-1

how did renzo do it? The elevator cabin that leads up to the studio

Mar 25, 21 12:44 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

He didn't, which I love. Too many people solve "problems" that aren't actually problems at all.

Mar 25, 21 1:12 pm  · 
2  · 
JLC-1

just making the glass overhang enough; so a bit more money avoids future headaches, who would have thought?

Mar 25, 21 2:54 pm  · 
1  · 
natematt

Woops. 

Mar 24, 21 6:17 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

Jesus. Make them redo it. It's just a swap of the main with the overflow. This isn't bad design, this is a contractor fuck up.

Mar 24, 21 6:19 pm  · 
2  · 
Jaetten

wtf... unless there's a legitimate reason for goose-necking the downpipe and hopper then that's a bloody lazy job!

Mar 26, 21 11:06 am  · 
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SneakyPete

Architect laid it out so the overflow would be above the glazing and the pipe would run straight. Contractor installed the overflow where the main was supposed to be and this was the solution. Either the architect lost the RFI fight or there was no RFI.

Mar 26, 21 11:13 am  · 
1  · 
whistler

missed it by that much! ( get smart reference )

Mar 26, 21 12:32 pm  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

This surface mounted receptacle really grinds my gears.  

Mar 24, 21 6:50 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

What's going on with that stem wall finish?

Mar 24, 21 6:54 pm  · 
 · 
Almosthip

That parging on protection board on rigid insulation on a 1200mm deep concrete grade beam. We have high plastic clay here so we use pile and grade beams, not foundation wall on footings.

Mar 24, 21 7:02 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

My questions are not to challenge your design, I'm asking because it's unfamiliar to me. Does the parging get damaged with weedeaters and such?

Mar 24, 21 7:03 pm  · 
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Almosthip7

It’s a cementious product that is cheap and easy to reapply. Not sure how it would hold up to chemicals but our winters here are rough on exterior finishes near grade. Especially anywhere near snow removal and ploughs.

Mar 24, 21 7:18 pm  · 
1  · 
Almosthip7

It’s a cementious product that is cheap and easy to reapply. Not sure how it would hold up to chemicals but our winters here are rough on exterior finishes near grade. Especially anywhere near snow removal and ploughs.

Mar 24, 21 7:18 pm  · 
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t a z

I think an off-the-shelf flush mounted while-in-use receptacle is a unicorn.  You can do a recessed cabinet to house an outlet if it's NEMA rated, but those are also not pretty.

Mar 24, 21 7:42 pm  · 
 · 
bowling_ball

Almosthip7 - I recognize that window manufacturer. And if the owner is cheaping out that much with fenestration, I'm sure the receptacle mounting is so far off the radar it's funny.

Mar 24, 21 8:25 pm  · 
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Almosthip7

It’s a shop in northern Alberta. Pretty sure his going to lose more heat out of the 6 overhead doors opening and closing all day than that window

Mar 24, 21 9:04 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

Are my eyes playing tricks or is that wall slightly canted?

Mar 24, 21 9:32 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

tduds, it's just the camera converging lines. Look at the little building in the background on the left - it matches the angle of the wall in question

Mar 24, 21 10:06 pm  · 
1  · 

I don't have a photo of it, but I once saw the FDC stub out from a stem wall and then up maybe 12 inches or so right in front of the storefront on top of the stem wall in order to (presumably) get the connections at the right height. FDC was about the same height as the bottom of storefront so it was always going to be a bad detail unless you changed the storefront/stem wall heights, or could move the FDC. I might have to find a photo of it because I'm not sure my explanation sufficiently describes how much it bothered me. First I have to remember where I saw it.

Mar 24, 21 7:06 pm  · 
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Found it! It's in Seattle near the convention center. Sort of a weird image because there was a parked car blocking the google street view of it.

Mar 24, 21 7:29 pm  · 
2  · 
natematt

Sad architecture or architecture gore? I got some of the latter too... 


Mar 24, 21 7:26 pm  · 
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bowling_ball


From one of my jobs. The owner loved it so it stayed (not joking). It's in the mechanical penthouse. We all got a good laugh.

Mar 24, 21 10:12 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

I like that owner. I once worked with a mechanical engineer who put a duct around a sprinkler pipe so they could save space and not need to reroute the sprinkler system (which was charged). They made it aerofoil shaped and put in elements to make it as efficient as possible.

Mar 24, 21 11:13 pm  · 
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newguy

HOW did this happen? Did they just run out of conduit length and say fuck-it?

Mar 25, 21 5:28 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

It's not conduit, it's BX. But basically at the last minute they wanted some lights on the roof above and I'm not sure what happened but this was definitely not necessary.

Mar 25, 21 7:07 pm  · 
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newguy

regardless, i don't understand why they felt compelled to literally cut corners like that. its mind boggling, and the only explanation I can think of is they just didn't have enough length to turn the corner around the outside. it almost looks like the drywall guy came in after the fact and tried to work around the BX and then clipped it on the gyp afterward....maybe that's what happened? this is driving me nuts

Mar 25, 21 7:43 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

they def. did the plaster after

Mar 26, 21 4:50 am  · 
 · 
On the fence

I'm not buying this picture. Sorry. The drywall would have had to been in place first. There is just no way the electrical guy then came in and attached the flexible metal conduit so tight that a drywall bead corner could not be slipped in between. Look at the concrete column where the conduit bends. All you needed to do was move that corner to the left more, run it at an angle from there along the soffit until it missed the drywall bead corner. Its simple geometry and wiggling the conduit around.

Mar 26, 21 9:49 am  · 
 · 
gibbost

From BB's story, it was an afterthought. My guess is that the electrician simply punched a hole thru the gyp on each face and ran the BX cable thru. Trying to make the 90d bend around the corner bead would have left the cable off the wall several inches. In order to fasten it securely to the wall, he/she chose to make a 'sweeping bend' thru the bulkhead. All other trades were likely already off the job by then.  I find it to be sort of a clever solution in the field.

Mar 26, 21 10:17 am  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

^That's how I see it. Weird, but weirdly clever too.

Mar 26, 21 10:23 am  · 
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randomised

I thought it was plaster but it’s gypsum board, now I get it.

Mar 26, 21 3:30 pm  · 
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Next. 
Mar 26, 21 3:42 pm  · 
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natematt

Got to go fast... 

Mar 26, 21 8:58 pm  · 
2  · 
natematt

This is actually a photo I took btw.

Mar 27, 21 4:11 am  · 
1  · 
midlander


idk maybe this is actually very useful. i am glad not be the person who needs this detail.

Mar 26, 21 11:54 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander


this space is publicly accessible.

Mar 27, 21 12:03 am  · 
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bowling_ball

Wow. That's... Unfortunate. I don't recognize the project -should I?

Mar 27, 21 12:53 am  · 
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Jaetten

Publicly accessible! Do then want to get sued when someone trips over a pipe?

Mar 29, 21 4:01 am  · 
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midlander

BB - probably not, this is a shopping center in China. It was renovated at some point to add a level of F+B and that required adding gas supply to the roof level. I guess it looked ok in plan!

Mar 29, 21 7:44 am  · 
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