Beyond the preconceived role of load-bearing components: Structure as Space; Case study: Nordic Pavilion of Venice
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractThe subject of this study is the exceptional correlation of structure and space in the Nordic Pavilion of Venice (1962). While claiming, “to construct a roof to protect the paintings and sculptures”, Pritzker Prize winning Nordic architect, Sverre Fehn, designed an unconventional roof that is composed of 102 concrete beams (each beam 6cm wide and 1m high) in two layers, perpendicularly stacked on each other. These components rest on a gigantic girder, resulting in combined 4 m deep sandwich of horizontal structural elements to cover a relatively small span of 16 meters. Such an unusual structural framing for a single-story pavilion, covering just 446 m2 raises questions about the necessity of such a complex beam arrangement and the architect’s true intention. It is evident that structural efficiency is not the architect’s goal. Neither is the arrangement necessary for stability. In fact, analysis of the progression of the design, from the early drawings to the final construction phase, reveals that the configuration of the spanning structure enhances sophisticated user spatial experiences, modulates day lighting and responds to contextual features of the site. The result is that Fehn’s structural scheme not only creates a 16 m x 25 m column-free room, but also is able to evoke more sublime and less tangible qualities of Space through an unprecedented way of using structural components.
Acceptance Date01/05/2018
All Author(s) ListGhelichi Pedram, Zhu Jingxiang, Lonnman Bruce
Name of ConferenceIASS, International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures in MIT
Start Date of Conference16/07/2018
End Date of Conference20/07/2018
Place of ConferenceBoston
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Proceedings TitleProceedings of the IASS Symposium 2018: Creativity in Structural Design
Year2018
PublisherMIT
Place of PublicationBoston
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsStructure, Architectural space, Structural arrangement, Light and shadow, Nordic Pavilion of Venice

Last updated on 2018-19-12 at 14:59