Frontiers of Architectural Research

ISSN 2095-2635 (Print)
ISSN 2095-2643 (Online)
CN 10-1024/TU
Postal Subscription Code 80-966


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From file to factory: Innovative design solutions for multi-storey timber buildings applied to project Zembla in Kalmar, Sweden
Alex Kaiser, Magnus Larsson, Ulf Arne Girhammar
Front. Archit. Res.    2019, 8 (1): 1-16.
Abstract   PDF (5147KB)

A “file-to-factory” process of computer technology is a way to both maximise efficiency throughout the building process, increase a building's performance, and be able to add interesting architectural possibilities throughout the design phase. The authors investigate a novel approach that produces a set of building trajectories rather than a set of buildings, yet yields a series of build-able examples of those trajectories. This paper evaluates how this series of stacked multi-storey timber buildings can be both incorporated within a file-to-factory process, and give rise to creating new innovative solutions throughout the entire design and manufacturing process.

This process is applied to a real Swedish project called Zembla. It redefines the notion of sprawl, turning it into a progressive tactics for linking the city fabric to rural areas. It is a post-sustainable file-to-factory-produced timber ground-scraper; soaring above ground and water, suggesting a new way of making city-sized buildings for the future.

A plug-in grid-shell structure is designed to contain a minimal amount of timber elements, beams make up the lattice, cross-laminated panels add structural support, surfaces come together to form the living capsules. Having the structure undulate across the topography and touching the ground in as few places as possible uses the dichotomy between landscape and urbanism, bringing the city to the people living in less densified areas. Each living unit is customised to its topological conditions within the grid.

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Challenging the assumption about a direct relationship between historic preservation and architecture in the United States
Jeremy C. Wells
Front. Archit. Res.    2018, 7 (4): 455-464.
Abstract   PDF (300KB)

A close relationship is assumed to exist between historic preservation and architectural practice. This study explores the nature of this relationship by using evidence from scholarly literature, the job market, and architectural education. The examined literature contains many examples showing that the architecture field views historic preservation as an external interest. Evidence from the job market indicates that architecture employers are uninterested in historic preservation skills, and historic preservation employers are not looking for architecture skills. Architecture schools and accrediting organizations either disregard historic preservation or minimize its importance. Moreover, historic preservation is more closely related to environmental and behavioral studies than it is to the architectural field. The relationship between architecture and historic preservation is tenuous, strained, and based more on stereotypes than on actual evidence.

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Between city and home: Spaces of transition in London Postwar Housing
Gerardo Semprebon, Wenjun Ma
Front. Archit. Res.    2018, 7 (3): 257-275.
Abstract   PDF (8353KB)

In the period between the idealistic vision of the ‘Reshapingsociety’ and Thatcherism, in the so-called ‘SwingingLondon’, the second wave of modernism is facing the demands and the quantities of bombed cities. The architects of that season, moved by political ideals and interpreting the cultural ferment, have been responsible for shaping the city on the collective dreams and aspirations of the society and for forging the identity of London as unique experience in the international panorama. This paper focuses on the spatial relations between city and home, how they raised in that specific historical context, in which form they realized, and what are the architectural implications for current design culture. The methodology, based both on the literatu rereview and on the graphic comparison of six case-studies, is articulated in four steps. First, the six case-studies are selected according to specific criteria. Second, the sociohistorical background is reported. Third, the cases are shortly introduced using text descriptions and graphic tools. Fourth, the cases are compared. This process leads to the definition of four transversal architectural items: the density, the settlement pattern, the basement, and the threshold, intended as elements able to raise connections between past and contemporary design culture.

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On conservation issues of contemporary architecture: The technical design development and the ageing process of the Jubilee Church in Rome by Richard Meier
Luciano Cardellicchio
Front. Archit. Res.    2018, 7 (2): 107-121.
Abstract   PDF (6651KB)

A vast amount of iconic buildings distinguished by complex geometries have been constructed in the last two decades in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. Overall, the construction of these iconic buildings has led to technical innovations. As these buildings are often erected following customised construction details and bespoke technical solutions that are rarely tested in advance, measuring their ageing process has become crucial to understand if these geometries are sustainable in terms of the cost of their maintenance. This study aims to analyse the technical design development and the ageing process of the Jubilee Church in Rome by Richard Meier. Only fourteen years after the opening, this building is affected by extensive decay of construction materials due to both wrong technical design choices and lack of unaffordable maintenance work. This study aims to identify the causes of the premature decay of this building, recording retroactively its technical development and mapping the current state of damages.

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Place attachment assessment of a heritage place: A case study of the Roman amphitheater in downtown Amman, Jordan
Jawdat S. Goussous, Nessma A. Al-Hammadi
Front. Archit. Res.    2018, 7 (1): 1-10.
Abstract   PDF (1279KB)

This research investigated the place attachment of a heritage place, namely, the Roman amphitheater, by using a valid model, the Kyle, Graefe, and Manning (2005) model. This model presents three factors to reach place attachment: place identification, place dependence, and social bonding. Although the validity of the used model was proved, statistical tests were used to verify the validity of the collected data because the model was used on a heritage site. In accordance with the mentioned model, the sample was interviewed using the model questionnaire to evaluate people's attachment to the heritage place during rush hours. Along with other statistical tests, the exploratory factor analysis of the sample elaborated that the Kyle, Graefe, and Manning model is not completely valid for this study, because the results added a new effective factor, namely, spiritual value. The place attachment estimation was then examined using the new model. The nature of the place was found to affect the model used to evaluate its place attachment.

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Measuring the spatial and social characteristics of the architectural plans of aged care facilities
Ju Hyun Lee, Michael J. Ostwald, Hyunsoo Lee
Front. Archit. Res.    2017, 6 (4): 431-441.
Abstract   PDF (2642KB)

This paper presents a method that combines visibility graph and isovist analyses to investigate the spatial and social properties of architectural plans for aged care facilities. The potential of the combined method is examined by measuring the properties of three sets of plans for residential aged care facilities. The first set is a pair of hypothetical, idealized plans, which allegedly reflect the “best practice” in the industry. The second set comprises a pair of plans for recent Australian designs, and the third set is a pair of plans for South Korean facilities. Results of the computational analysis of these six plans suggest that social and cultural factors may shape the design of aged care settings and partially explain their international differences. The application of this methodological approach contributes to the understanding of the relation-ship between spaces and their cultural and social properties in the design of aged care facilities.

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Framework for automatic generation of facades on free-form surfaces
Diego Andrade, Mikako Harada, Kenji Shimada
Front. Archit. Res.    2017, 6 (3): 273-289.
Abstract   PDF (6479KB)

New design tools have created a growing interest for presenting complex geometries and patterns. The need to form curved geometries of facades, without incurring high construction costs and time increases, presents one of the most complex design challenges for any project. In this paper, we present and demonstrate a new computational framework for the creation of patterns on top of facades, via cladding of panels and honeycomb structures. The tool describes a given region on a base model;d ealing particularly with location, size and orientation of general geometric features on the surface of such model. The user inputs curves that manifest the desired user's intention for the panels and a set of seed features that correspond to the initial boundary conditions of a Riemannian metric tensor field. The system interpolates the tensors defined by input features and input curves by solving a Laplace-Beltrami partial differential equation over the entire domain. We show a fast clustering and search operations for correct panel utilization based on size quantization as design variable and implemented via Voronoi segmentation. We present honeycomb structures that can be retrieved from the fundamental mesh producing another option for facade creation and ideation. The system connects to a geometric modeling kernel of a commercial CAD package; the system places features on top of the base model facade using boolean operations from the core geometric engine via its programming interface calls. With this computational tool, thousands of clad panels can be visualized and developed within minutes.

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Architectural factors influencing the sense of home in nursing homes: An operationalization for practice
A. Eijkelenboom, H. Verbeek, E. Felix, J. van Hoof
Front. Archit. Res.    2017, 6 (2): 111-122.
Abstract   PDF (1508KB)

Various studies have shown that the architecture and design of a nursing home can have a profound impact on the sense of home of old people residing in the nursing home, next to psychological and social factors. However, adequate guidance on how these factors can be operationalized in practice is not provided for architects and interior designers. This study investigated which architectural factors contribute to a sense of home and how these can be implemented in the design guidelines. Two existing data sets were used, combining the most recent evidence from the literature and experiences of residents, family caregivers, and professional staff of Dutch nursing homes. These analyses resulted in theoretical implications for the private space, quasi-public space,the look and feel of the nursing home, and the outdoors. Furthermore, these analyses were used for the design of a demonstration apartment that integrates the factors of the sense of home. This description was concluded by a checklist for practice, in which design guidelines were formulated. A holistic understanding of which factors influence the sense of home could lead to improvements of the sense of home of nursing home residents.

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Exploration of spatial design issues at backpacker hostels in Budapest' shistoric center: Informality, density, and adaptability
Gergely Hory, Zoltán Major, Péter Müllner, Melinda Benko
Front. Archit. Res.    2016, 6 (2): 157-168.
Abstract   PDF (2589KB)

This paper presents a practice-based research to achieve a deeper understanding of the spatial issues related to backpacker tourism, a booming industry in Budapest. The authors designed six backpacker hostels between 2013 and 2015, and of these, four are presently in operation. Hostels are the main infrastructures within the global network of backpacker tourism. Results from the design process revealed that the creation and operation of hostels are significantly influenced by three issues, namely, informality, density, and adaptability. These issues are negotiated on three interconnected levels: the city, the building, and the interior. The authors developed an experimental structure for dormitory spaces as a conscious reaction to these issues. This experimental structure is presented and evaluated, and further paths of develop- ment are formulated based on the results.

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Acoustic improvement on two lecture auditoria: Simulation and experiment
Soha Eldakdoky,Ahmed Elkhateeb
Front. Archit. Res.    2017, 6 (1): 1-16.
Abstract   PDF (6642KB)

Based on the commonly used indicators for speech intelligibility,this work acoustically evaluates the two largest auditoria in the Faculty of Engineering, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt, using experimental and digital simulation techniques.Design treatments were also suggested to improve the acoustic performance of the auditoria, where the impact of these treatments was checked using the simulation as well.The models that were analysed using the CATT software were first validated utilizing the results of the field work in the unoccupied rooms. The results showed that the acoustic quality of the two auditoria are far from the optimal conditions due to their improper acoustic characteristics and the high noise levels as well. The results of improvement proposals showed that altering the ceiling shape and adding efficient absorptive materials to the rear surfaces successfully reduced the excessive reverberation time to the optimal values, increased the early reflections and eliminated the shadow zones.Inaddition,decreasing the noise levels by 20 dB due to improving the window insulation noticeably improved the speech intelligibility at all receivers.

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