Friday, October 8, 2010

Clarke and McLeod House Taringa, Queensland, Australia | BVN Architecture

This is a house which is closely linked to the design and construction philosophies of California's "Case Study" programme of the 50's and 60's overlaid with today's concern for sustainable architecture. The "Case Study" programme included design based upon a standardisation of details, the use of prefabricated steel construction, and an emphasis on assembly techniques and construction details driving the visual outcome of the design. It is what Renzo Piano refers to as architecture created "piece by piece" whereby the joy and finesse in detail determines a craft-like outcome. The Clarke and McLeod house takes standard, off the peg components such as pre-galvanised steel box sections to make the primary structural steel frame. These are detailed with internal bolted connections to create both the visual simplicity of mitred joints and a more durable solution where the welded and painted steel plates remain weather-tight and hidden within the steel box sections. Floor joists and roof purlins are made from galvanised top-hat sections which are both lighter and stronger than timber and require a very basic form of fixing with power driven tek-screws into the primary steel frame (cleats and bolts were not needed).The use of standard products pre-cut and assembled on site resulted in considerable economy. The assembly process was so simple, and the frame so lightweight, that it was carried out by hand by two workmen over five days. Ironically, the builder and other workmen were carpenters by trade but found no difficulties in working with the various steel elements.Apart from the steel framing elements, wall cladding, both internally and externally, consists of finely corrugated thin sheet steel materials pre-cut and pre-finished prior to assembly on site. The result is a high standard of finish and minimal time on site. The external cladding is left as a silver zinc/alume finish, whereas the interior wall and ceiling panels are pre-finished white with fine perforations to absorb sound and make a more liveable interior....more

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