• Lynn Costa

Studio IV Blog 1

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

January 18th 2019

The following architectural marvels are meant to inspire us to think "structurally." Exposing elements typically covered can be a beautiful thing.

The "Bird's Nest" was opened in 2008 in Beijing, China. It is the world's largest steel structure, utilizing a whopping 42,000 tons of steel. Designed by Herzog and de Meuron, it is 3 football fields in length, 227' tall, and over 750' wide, and accommodates over 90,000 visitors. This incredible piece of art teaches us all that it's what's inside that counts.

The Montreal Biosphere was designed by Richard Buckminster Fuller and built in 1967 in Montreal, Canada. It is 203' tall and 249' in diameter, and bears a tubular steel truss system. Its original design incorporated tinted acrylic integrated into the steel triangles for temperature control, but in1980 an accidental fire destroyed the acrylic leaving an unharmed steel structure. After a massive renovation in 1995, the mission of the biosphere remains strong to remind us of the environment we live in. This is significant because it teaches aspiring designers and architects to literally think outside the box.

The Atomium is located in Brussels, Belgium, and was designed by Andre Waterkeyn and Jean Polak in 1958. It bares 9 large spheres, representing atoms. The spheres are joined by steel tubes and cladded by steel and aluminum. It stands at 335' and the diameter of each sphere is an impressive 60'. Never meant to be a permanent structure, the Atomium was designed for the World's Fair, but eventually built to celebrate the metal industry and the atom. How can we not appreciate the literal-ness of this piece of architecture?

837 Washington Street is located in Manhattan, New York. Designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, 837 Washington Street boasts a distinct steel canopy which rests atop a moderate lower level composed of a two-toned brick façade. A 54,000 square foot office building, its subtle yet obvious right angles signify right turns made in business. Again, the literal metaphors are hard to ignore.

King's Crossing Station located in London was originally built in 1852 but has undergone several renovations. The latest renovation approved in 2005 and finally renovated in 2012, was designed by John McAslan who added a graceful, "reverse waterfall" steel grid which spans the roof and "pours" to the floor. The interaction at ground level leads our eyes upwards, which may not happen otherwise.

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