Housing / block
Housing / block
Concrete by reinforcement
Concrete is a relatively brittle material that is strong in compression but less so in tension.
To increase its overall strength, steel rods, wires, mesh or cables may be embedded in concrete before it sets. This reinforcement, often known as rebar, resists tensile forces. By forming a strong bond, the two materials are able to resist a variety of applied forces, effectively acting as a single structural element .
In this case, the concrete can be made by mixing the components directly on site, or it may be transported from a production plant in concrete-mixer trucks.
This method has the disadvantage of leaving the concrete exposed to the elements while it is setting. Whereas, with other methods, the environmental conditions can be controlled during setting, providing greater control over the outcome, with cast-in-place concrete a series of tests and protocols are necessary to verify its final strength.
In its design, the element should account for aspects such as modulation, finishes, transportation, anchoring, installation on site, junctions between panels, the creation of openings and the relationship between the panels and joinery. The element may also be given characteristics that can improve the thermal insulation of the façade, for example. In that sense, they are often part of an industrialized system that offers a variety of responses to different construction situations and maximum versatility in terms of architectural solutions.
The aesthetic possibilities of concrete in prefabricated façade panel systems are endless in terms of size, shape, color, texture, hardness and a wide range of features.
- textured walls
- wooden formwork finish
- stamped concrete
- exposed aggregate concrete, colored concrete, etc.
Beams are the horizontal load-bearing elements of the frame. Columns are the vertical elements of the frame and act as the building’s primary load-bearing element. They transmit the beam loads down to the foundations.
A shear wall resists loads parallel to the plane of the wall. Collectors, also known as drag members, transfer the diaphragm shear to shear walls and other vertical elements in the seismic force resisting system. Shear walls are typically light-framed or braced wooden walls with shear panels, reinforced concrete walls, reinforced masonry walls or steel plates.
State of Conservation
Ernö Goldfinger borrowed many of Le Corbusier’s principles from the Unités d’Habitation for his Trellick tower; none of them, however, had ever been implemented with such clearly vertical proportions: 31 stories and almost 100 meters high. Whereas the building’s height made it prudent to forgo the accessible roof and the open ground-floor level, other principles from the Unités, such as the duplex apartments accessed via a corridor, were maintained. Common areas, however, were reduced to a minimum: all the elements of vertical communication were centralized in a separate volume, made entirely of concrete, which connects to the main tower only every three floors – a solution that saved space but resulted in problems with security.
At the time the Trellick tower was designed, high-rise social housing blocks had already taken on negative connotations for 1970s London – a social stigma that has remained to this today. To counteract this, the architect asked the authorities to select the occupants with an eye to avoiding social conflict. No such measure was ever implemented, and the building became a setting for frequent problems.
Today, the social problems have died down and the tower is a point of reference in the urban landscape of the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, appreciated as a symbol of Brutalist architecture and an iconic London building.
Managing the aging process and adapting the tower to current building standards are now the most urgent concerns, especially in the wake of a fire in 2017. A full rehabilitation of the building is critical.
5, Goldborne Road
London, City of London W10 5PB London (Kensal Town)
Fundación DOCOMOMO Ibérico