Function of Form

Publisher: Actar
Author: Farshid Moussavi
Editors: Daniel Lopez , Garrick Ambrose , Ben Fortunato , Ryan Ludwig , Ahmadreza Schricker
Order: Amazon, Actar
The Base unit of a surface dome consists of an arch rotated around its vertical axis to form a smooth surface. Vertical loads are carried by a combination of arching (inplane forces) and bending moments within the shell. The ratio of these two actions is related to B/S. As B/S goes to 12, bending predominates and as B/S goes to 4, arching predominates. Show here is the progression from the domes base unit to more complex domed structures such as Hagia Sophia, where the centrality and simplicity of the domes platonic form is diffused into a complex hierarchy of intersections. In order from start to finish: Base unit, Old Faith Mosque, Istanbul; Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque, Istanbul; Selimiye Mosque, Edirne Turkey; Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.
An excerpt from the book showing the Hagia Sophia case study.
The base unit of the lierne vault, a variation of the cross vault, introduces a tertiary rib. This extra rib is known as a ‘lierne’ (from the French word ‘lier’, to bind), a word that refers to any additional rib added to a cross vault, spanning its ribs and subdividing its surface. This type of vault is also known as a stellar vault, after the star pattern which is created by the connecting liernes. The longitudinal ridge rib in a lierne vault can run lengthwise, while transverse ridge ribs span between the apexes of each side arch. Arched diagonal ribs spring from piers between the side arches to the central bosses, and arched transverse ribs (alternate horizontal lines) span from the springer's to the main longitudinal ridge rib. Secondary arched diagonal ribs, called tiercerons, span from the springer to the transverse ridge ribs. Lierne vaults direct the primary forces along the lines of the ribs and along the infill surface. Show here is the progression from more simple rectangular modules to more complex modules non-rectangular plans and uneven column numbers. In order from start to finish: Base unit, St. Mary on the Sands, Wroclaw, Poland; Bristol Cathedral, Bristol, UK; Lincoln Lincoln UK; Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, UK; St Vitus Cathedral, Prague Czech Republic; Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Schwabisch Gmund Germany.
An excerpt from the book showing the Schwabisch Gmund case study.
The base unit of a cellular vault is composed of vaults made of pointed arches, with the ribs eliminated, which are formed by the infill surfaces of the vault and subdivided into prismatic surfaces. Cellular vaults direct the primary forces along the surfaces of the prisms, which spring from the side walls towards the apex, generating a crystalline trace which in the plan remains a regular diagonal grid. Cellular vaults can be made of bricks covered on the underside with a thick layer of plaster to form a smooth surface. The possibility of building these in folded steel plates could be explored. The distribution of loads through brick shells – or folded steel plates – allows for different degrees of subdivision on the surface. This distribution of loads along the lines and surfaces of a masonry shell, steel-reinforced concrete, or folded steel plates embeds cellular vaults with an optical affective property of cellularity and pointedness that remains consistent within any space they define. Show here is the progression from more simple prismatic vaults with a rectangular module, to more faceted vaults. In order from start to finish: Base unit, Church of the assumption Bechyne, Czech Republic; Collin-Luther House, Chomutov, Czech-Republic.
An excerpt from the book showing the Collin Luther case study.
Starting with the same base unit derived from the study of Church of the assumption and the Collin-Luther House from the Czech-Republic, a series of flexibilities were developed.
An excerpt from the book showing a variation from the cellular vaults base unit. The subdivision of the cellular vault found in the Church of the assumption is propagated in both directions, producing a variegated shed that can respond to differing densities of column layouts through variable cell sizes.
Images from the publication were shown at the Venice Biennale 2012: Architecture and its Affects curated by Farshid Moussavi . Images by Nico Saieh and Emory Smith courtesy of Archdaily