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#ProjectoftheWeek: Pressing Matters

Wednesday, June 26, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sandra Doherty
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Project: Pressing Matters, NoDa Affordable Housing
Location: Charlotte, NC
Architect: designLAB at University of North Carolina Charlotte


The strength of modern structural steel supports both aesthetic and functional attributes required of buildings. In early years, the development of modern structural analysis and the advent of industrial standards helped anchor the use of the steel frame as a kit-of-parts for structure that was regular, repetitive, and rational. The frame expressed a system, a universalizing order that shaped the quality and memory of contemporary building space. Today, steel can be use in more specific and singular ways in construction. As architects and engineers accommodate more complex program arrangements there is more flexibility with steel freeing form from the regularity of past structural systems. Steel is now called upon to balance individualized and often dramatic relationships in new complex building configurations. One can cite OMA’s use of a 100’ long double wideflange strut reaching to support the diagrid envelope at the Seattle Public Library as an example of the unique and powerful use of steel. Alternatively, we propose pressure forming metal via stamping processes that advances steel as a more subtle and seamless alternative to grand tectonic techniques.


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