Structure

The structure consists of a four – storey library building positioned adjacent to Canada Water Basin in south – east London.  Due to the small surface area allocated for the building to be constructed, the structure had to expand sideways creating an inverted pyramid. This structure helps maximize the usage of space. The building accommodates various facilities including a performing space, a café and meeting rooms alongside the core library resources. Some basement areas are provided to accommodate plant and water tanks etc. The structure also incorporated with an exit from Canada Water underground station which is linked to the below ground ticket hall and main station box.

Because of the depth of variable made ground on site coupled with the station box a pile foundations are used to hold the building. A CFA piling system is being used to support the column/wall loads from the building above via pile-caps where necessary. The piling arrangements are carefully coordinated with the station box. Also a number of extra tension piles are being used due to the forces generated by the inclined profile of the building

Overall building stability is being provided by the transfer of horizontal forces via concrete floor plates to the concrete core sections. Horizontal forces are generated by a combination of wind pressures and the inclination of the frame in this instance and therefore core sections are designed to resist the varying forces at each level and transfer to the foundations.

The sketch below demonstrated an explosion of all the structural elements of the Canada Water Library. It is broken up into its fundamental elements; the floors, the diagonal columns and the supporting central column.

By constructing a small model, we could understand how fundamental the diagonal columns are to the structure. They maintain its stability and immovability  against wind.

The structure is far from being conventional, due to its slanting outer walls. These walls need support in order to remain in place. Diagonal columns, placed throughout the structure, help transfer the weight of the building into the ground. The forces are therefore minimized and the building is able to stand without collapsing.

The entire outer structure of the building is very geometrical. It resembles an inverted pyramid or diamond. This design creates an opportunity for the building to be rotated and placed on different facades. As a structural concept I began to spin and replace the geometrical building in order to create other forms. By also repeating the structure and placing it on top of each other I discovered that a perfect pattern is formed.

 

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