'Red House', Rotterdam
Design and Construction II
Professor Pieter Sijpkes
|Meeting on Friday January 18 at 1.30 in the
We will have a short meeting on Friday.
We will discuss the rules for the contest on Monday; (which will start
at 10.00 AM sharp)
Make sure you have done some experiments with spaghetti cantilevers.
Here's a good link on 'spaghetti failure modes' for bridges (turn the
sound down, it's a tad vulgar!)
(this link also shows an interesting way to apply a variable load
gently!.. have a look)
Another link to the Delft 'spaghetti studio' with many very detailed
design of a building incorporating a significant cantilever component"
To start this design studio we will first investigate
the architectural, structural and historical nature of the
cantilever in general.
After that will identify a site and formulate the program of a building
that will include in its fabric a significant cantilever element.
Finally we will design this building to quite a detailed level,
and enter the final designs in the annual Steel Structures
Education Foundation competition.
most organic of all structural forms, examples of cantilevers surround
us in a myriad of structural wonders as exemplified in the diversity of
trees and plant life that inhabit our planet. The range of solutions
that have been incorporated by nature to solve the requirements for
plants to sustain life have provided inspiration for architectural
solutions to as applied to a range of purposes throughout the
millennia. Ranging from utilitarian to exquisite in their execution,
the range of responses have all, nonetheless, had to come to terms with
one simple problem: the reduction of a load path to a single pathway
through the application of tension and balance to achieve a harmonious
solution. The cantilever cannot hide its structural requirement; it
must, instead, be celebrated and exploited, both architecturally and
Students are challenged to design a cantilever
structure on a site of the designers’ choosing. While the purpose, span
and scale of the cantilever are left to the discretion of the designer,
it is important to focus on what it means for us to engage and
experience structure as ‘cantilever.’ The structure must be primarily
steel, but otherwise, the material palette is open.
intention of this design competition is primarily to provide students
of architecture in Canada with a unique opportunity: to enter into a
design process that brings together, of necessity, concept and reality.
It is important for students of architecture to grasp the fact that
structural design lies not just in the realm of the engineer, but can
be a means for architects of arriving at a meaningful realization of
architectural ideas. It is when theory meets physical necessity that
architecture can become really interesting. To that end, this
competition calls upon students to conceptualize, and realize in
detail, a cantilever structure of simple program. The exploration will,
of course, include issues related to program and site, but the emphasis
in this competition is upon the architectural exploration through form
and material, on the essential relationship between architecture and
The reality of this competition comes in two forms:
through the requirement for buildable details, primarily utilizing
structural steel; and through the collaboration with the steel
fabrication industry on those details. This collaboration is an
important component of this competition, as a secondary objective is to
expose students to both the opportunities and restraints inherent in
realizing conceptual design.
The conceptual component of this
competition will come through the recommendation that this competition
be run through either a studio, or a lecture based course, most
probably within a structures course. Under the guidance of faculty
sponsors, students will conduct the design process as an academic
exercise, within the guidelines set out in this brief. As an academic
project, the design process will adhere to the standards set forth by
the students’ school of architecture.
Time frame of the McGill
General research into the nature of cantilevers. (free for
all; in groups of two collect cantilever info and present to class the
*Structural principles (how does a cantilever support itself?
History of the analysis of cantilevers and beams. History of
*General Precedents (Where do we see cantilevers in nature, in
engineering, in objects around us?)
*Architectural Precedents (Where do we see cantilevers in architecture
and why were cantilevers used; were there other solutions available
instad of the cantilever ?)
Everyone: take one or two cereal boxes ( http://theimaginaryworld.com/cbarch.html
) and create a 'cantilever feature' to one of the boxes.
Build a sphetti cantilever using one kilo of regular spaghetti. Winner
A cantilever structure for Montreal.
General type of conditions that would ask for a cantilever
Zooming in on one or more potential sites and situations
Preliminary proposals ("Genius phase")
Visit to a steel fabrication plant
Preliminary design sketches. Preliminary engineering concepts
Week seven preparation of final panel layouts
End of term: time to
finetune the submissions