Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sketch Modelling

When I work on design projects, I normally rely heavily on physical modelling to test design ideas. With this project, the model is scale 1:1...

I was trying to figure out the end of the floor. I knew I wanted it to be higher in the middle, where the fireplace door is going to be. I tried first the bricks laid simply in common bond:
After stepping back and looking at it for a bit, I decided that the 'bowtie' orientation just wasn't doing it for me. As well, the joint from the end to the floor pattern becomes a problem. 
I knocked the wall down and tried them in the other orientation:
I was then trying to figure out the rest of the floor, when I realized that the best solution for the end would actually be to use the pillar design I had developed for the floor.
For the floor, the pillars are offset in plan (right), which allows them to lock together. If I instead offset them in elevation (left), they also lock together. It just doesn't work if they are offset in both plan and elevation. I would have to reverse the order of the pillars ( + and not I). 

I was glad to discover this trick of the geometry- another thing this brick can do! For the actual aesthetic of the end, though, I wasn't too sure about the height of the stepped assembly. It seemed extra high. Eventually, though, I decided that since it is serving the purpose of a third wall, the height is necessary. It encloses the sleeping space more. I just have to get used to seeing it like that.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Skewed bridge

 I went biking to High Wycombe and en route there is a really amazing brick arch bridge. The train line and the road cross at a non-right angle. To solve the geometry, the builders built a series of straight vaults, each offset slightly with respect to its neighbours.

The brickwork is also really interesting- lots of different bonding patterns.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Design of Floor

For the floor system I had found a way of using the 'belly' of the brick to make bridges between pillars of 3. In the best cases, the brick just simply sits exactly where it needs to go, and all I have to do is fill in the gap with mortar. The wedge shape created between the vertical and horizontal bricks even allows me to fill in the mortar without using plugs from the underside. When it works, it works really well. It's hard to get the exact right spacing over the entire floor, though, so I often end up having to adjust the distances.

After I had thought of this, I thought of offsetting rows of these bridges to make diagonal channels through the floor. This also worked well, because a pillar is about the same length as a horizontal brick.

I came to a problem when I realized that all the channels need to reach the chimney somehow. I somehow needed to make bridges between channels. Another reason I wanted to get rid of some pillars was that I don't have too many bricks left.

Initially, I thought, why don't I just use three bricks end to end, and span them between two pillars like in the other case? Looking back now, I'm not sure why I thought that would be a good idea. Joining end to end is probably the weakest way to span, and I am not using the shape of the brick to my advantage. I thought I could use the resin to prefabricate these beams but the resin is not magic.

I finally decided to use pillars of half-bricks in some places. The shape of the halves means that they can be wedged in place between two pillars and still provide some sort of support for the horizontal bricks.