Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Blob

Location: Eindhoven, Netherland
Client: Heijmans Bouw
Architect: M. Fuksas; Paris
Realization of the covering: Waagner Biro Stahlbau AG, Wien
Structures: Knippers-Helbig Beratende Ingenieure, Stuttgart
Steel: 90 t
Panels: 2 940 m²
Year: 2010


The entrance building „Blob“ in Eindhoven is part of a larger urban revitalisation project in the centre of the city. The exterior of the five storey mixed use building is a so called free-form, because it cannot be defined by simple geometric forms such as circle or line - therefore the name Blob. The 3D-capabilities came well into play when working out the final geometry together with the client team of Heijmans Bouw and the design team, as now gridlines are matching floor plates and the so called mesh, the triangulated structural shell comprised of welded steel profiles that is clad with glass and metal panels, got smoothened, which benefits fabrication and installation proces.The building consists of two elements: the 5-storey high primary concrete structure and the glass and steel envelope. Commercial spaces are located on the ground and first level and office spaces on level three and four (plus an additional technical level). The geometry varies from vertical surfaces to amorphous shapes, which create a dynamic.The term "Blob" is used in the IT world to denote a large chunk of computer data known as a Binary Large Object, but is more commonly associated with an amorphous, glutinous object, made famous by the 1958 film “The Blob” starring Steve McQueen, in which an ever-expanding jelly from outer-space terrorizes small town America. In the architectural world blob refers to a recognised style used by a number of famous buildings including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
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DZ Bank

Location: Berlin, Germany
Client: DG Immobilien Management GmbH, Frankfurt am Main
Architect: Frank O. Gehry & Associates Inc., Santa Monica
Construction design : Schleich Bergman und Partner
Size: 1,220 m²
Year: 2000

From the outside the new building of the DZ Bank appears to be calm and subdued. It is on the inside that Gehry`s famous sculptural powers come into their own. A total of nine skylights, facades and glass floors cluster around the building`s atrium, all of them constructed according to the same principle, with glazed triangular meshes of stainless steel profiles. The requested transparency of this freely-formed and with insulating glass-covered structure could only be achieved with a triangular grid shell structure. The entire structure is made of stainless steel mullions 40 × 60 mm, screwed together with milled joints. This is sufficient for the load transfer that is almost free of bending moments, resulting in a roof that vaults with playful lightness the atrium of the DZ Bank.


Salvador Dalí Museum

Location: St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
Client: Salvador Dalí Museum
Architect: HOK, Florida
General Contractor: The Beck Group
Glass Structure Consultant: Novum Structures LLC
Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore & Associates Inc.
Size: 6 320 m²
Price: $36 milion
Year: 2011

The first directive of architect Yann Weymouth, senior vice president in the Tampa office of HOK, an international firm, was to make a home for the world-class art collection that is impervious to hurricanes. But ignoring the superb views of its downtown waterfront site would have been a travesty. The exterior walls are 18 inches thick and have miles of reinforcing steel to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.  Specially developed for this project, the triangulated glass panels are 38mm thick, insulated and laminated, and were tested to resist the 220 kmh winds, driven rain and missile impacts of a Category 3 hurricane.

Its cost is about $36 million. The architectural element known as the Glass Enigma is composed of 1,062 glass triangles, the most-complex structure of its kind and size in the United States. The panes are cleaned by climbers who can bolt into anchors built into the metal grid holding the glass, then ascend with buckets of soap and water.“The flowing, free-form use of geodesic triangulation is a recent innovation enabled by modern computer analysis and digitally controlled fabrication that allows each component to be unique,” explained Weymouth. “No glass panel, structural node or strut is precisely the same. This permitted us to create a family of shapes that, while structurally robust, more closely resembles the flow of liquids in nature.”