Architecture Concepts Literature Review

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Architecture Concepts
Literature Review

Andrew Fellows
February 26th 2012















Contents:

1 Introduction....................................................... 2

2 Modern Architecture.............................................3

2.1: Introduction .............................................3

2.2: Key Features.............................................4

2.3: Reception and Criticism................................4
2.4 Post Modern Architecture...............................5

3 Telecommunications..............................................6

3.1: Introduction

3.2: Features of Telecoms Buildings.......................6

4: Office Buildings..................................................8

4.1: Introduction..............................................8
4.2: Design Considerations .................................8

5. Application of Research.........................................9

5.1: Initial Direction..........................................9

5.2: Concept Development.................................10
5.3: Further Research.......................................12

6: Future updates...................................................16

Bibliography.........................................................17
References...........................................................18


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1. Introduction

This literature review determines key features in modern architecture, look further
into telecommunications and office buildings, what makes for an appealing shape and
conclude with how this research contributes to a modern building concept.

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2. Modern Architecture

2.1 Introduction:

So what is modern architecture? Apart from the obvious answer being recently built
structures, as the definition of modern obviously changes with time (i.e. what was
modern 30 years ago is not modern today). What makes a modern building `modern'?

2.2 Key Features:

Modern Architecture is the term used to describe the simplified, unornamented
building styles of the late 19th and 20th centuries (Sonal Panse, 2003). Louis Sullivan,
widely considered America's first modern architect has been quoted with the phrase
`form follows function', that the purpose of the building dictates its form. Louis
believed that the exterior of a building should reflect its interior structure and
functions (Jackie Craven, date unknown). This is also stated by Sonal Panse, saying
that `The architects who designed in the modern style were mainly inspired by
machine aesthetics. They determined the form of a building according to its functional
requirements and the materials to be used. Simplified forms were preferred and all
unnecessary details were banished'.

Materials in modern architecture are usually in the form of glass, steel, iron and
concrete. Keeping in mind Louis' quote, they were used in as logical a mindset as
possible.

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Styles of the modern era were varied, but the most common were as follows:



(images from Growth, Efficiency , and Modernism)
International Style: Often has no ornaments or decoration, they are quite box shaped.
The boast expansive windows and smooth surfaces.

Formalism: These buildings possess flat projecting rooflines and are made from high
quality materials. They also have columnar supports and had to be symmetrical.

Brutalism: The feeling of weight was the primary feature of these buildings; the rough
surface of the concrete and the deeply recessed windows creates a very tough image.
Visible supports also help suggest the feeling of great girth.

Expressionism: The most organic of the building types, these buildings tend to boast
sweeping curves and minimal use of symmetry. They tend to be faceted, convex or
concave surfaces. (Robinson, J.H. and S.S.F., 2003)

2.3 Reception and Criticism:

Modernism was quite popular in the United States of America, and `for around 50
years was the definitive style used to build commercial, institutional and public
buildings' (Sonal Panse, 2003).

Feedback on Modernism was negative based on its unwavering focus on function and
rectilinear forms. There was no sense of human touch to the buildings, making them
appear stark and sterile. It was argued that aesthetics and accessibility were as
important as functionality. Post-modernism was the response that followed (Sonal
Panse 2003).

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2.4 Post-modern Architecture

Post Modernism is in a way the opposite of modernism: the design philosophy tends
to reject rationality and science as a response to the logical and functional modernism
(Manali Oak, date unknown).

Postmodern Architecture has had a record of being dangerous due to its design
principles of irrationality: The Citigroup Centre in Manhattan is a 59-floor building
built on a stilt base and has a 400 ton damper in the roof to counteract sway and
winds. However the use of bolted joints would have lead to the building toppling
over had they not been swiftly replaced with welded joints (Asuka Ogawa, 2011).
Another example of irresponsibility in modern architecture would be the Walt Disney
Concert Hall; initially the exterior was so shiny that it reflected heat waves and
excessive glare (the pavements outside reaching 140 degrees), due to both the
stainless steel and the curves in the form. The building was sandblasted to reduce the
effects of the building(Chris Coates, 2005). What can be gathered from this is that
`Form follows function' is a principal that doesn't necessarily have to be upheld to be
successful.


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3. Telecommunications

3.1 Introduction:

So what are telecommunications? It is the exchange of information over significant
distances via electronic means. A telecoms circuit consists of at least one transmitter
and receiver, which may be combined into a transceiver. The medium can be a wire,
optical fibre or electromagnetic fields (wireless).

Key buildings have been constructed to blanket areas, enabling an exchange of
information for anyone anywhere. The buildings in question are telecoms buildings.

3.1 Features of Telecoms buildings:

A look at various telecoms buildings such as the BT Tower in London gives an idea
of what features wireless telecoms buildings have.

(image from http://www.urban75.org/london/telecom.html )

The BT Tower has various dishes, microwave antennae and aerials, which are
positioned near the top of the tower. The tower is built so tall in order to get as much
coverage as possible.


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(Image from http://www.e-
architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/barcelona/collserola_tower_boczko210507_1.jpg)

Here is another example of a telecoms tower, with the very visible apparatus.

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4. Office Buildings

4.1 Introduction

Office buildings are places of work for businesses of many kinds, and as such need to
reflect the productive innards.

4.1 Design Considerations

According to an article on building design at the Whole Building Design Guide
website, natural light is important for the wellbeing of the workers (Whole Building
Design Guide) This is a possible reason why modern office buildings tend to sport a
lot of glass.

Offices need specific areas integrated within the building to keep workers functioning
optimally. This list is from the `Whole Building Design Guide' website (2010):
`Offices
* Offices: May be private or semi-private acoustically and/or visually.
* Conference Rooms
Employee/Visitor Support Spaces
* Convenience Store, Kiosk, or Vending Machines
* Lobby: Central location for building directory, schedules, and general
information
* Atria or Common Space: Informal, multi-purpose recreation and social
gathering space
* Cafeteria or Dining Hall
* Private Toilets or Restrooms
* Child Care Centers
* Physical Fitness Area
* Interior or Surface Parking Areas
Administrative Support Spaces
* Administrative Offices: May be private or semi-private acoustically and/or
visually.
Operation and Maintenance Spaces
* General Storage: For items such as stationery, equipment, and instructional
materials.
* Food Preparation Area or Kitchen
* Computer/Information Technology (IT) Closets. See WBDG Automated Data
Processing Center for PC System related information.
* Maintenance Closets'

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5. Application of Research (Concept design)

5.1 Initial Direction:

The building was initially declared to be of a modern/near futuristic design as a base
starting point to iterate from.

The first course of action was to capture as much primary research as possible, in this
case taking photos of buildings Birmingham City Centre. Buildings of note that were
captured were the British Telecoms tower, Colmore Gate, The Rotunda and One
Snowhill.

The BT Tower ended up being a primary inspiration for the building concept; making
its main feature telecommunications. The BT tower was designed by the architect
Eric Bedford who added visual interest by leaving the upper floors uncovered and
exposing the antennae (Paul Lewis, 2001). This also influenced the design of the
concept building as the exposed antennae and radars are present during the silhouette
stage of development.

The BT Tower does not contain regular floors, but instead consists of a concrete core
with stairways built into it. Also of interest is the refurbishment of the tower (costing
10,000,000) painting it the white and purple it appears as today, and lighting was
added to colour the building white, pink and purple during the night
(SkyScraperNews.com - BT Tower, 2011).

One Snowhill is part of phase 1 of the `snowhill development', and was described as
`up, running and fully occupied in just four years' according to the developer
Barrymore. It was architected as a joint effort between Sidell Gibson and Glenn
Howells Architects (Barrymore Developments website, 2011). The proclaimed
success of the building is why it has influenced the design of the concept building
currently being developed.

With these sources of inspiration established it visual development of the outside of
the building could begin.


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