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Spaceframe Principle Presentation of the Mile High Tower at the Building Centre on 3 May 2012
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Jonathan Schwinge's 2012 Mile High London, dimensionally defined by Ian Abley and CAD modelled by Andrew Sheldon



Ian AbleyJonathan Schwinge

The Structural Principles of Spaceframes - 01

Spaceframe Principle 01

Triangular and Rectilinear arrangements of Struts and Nodes are famliar constructions, made in this example with the plastic covered magnetic rods and iron ball bearings of a child's toy

Spaceframe Principle 02

The Triangles and Rectangles on plan can be extruded vertically to form Tubes, or stacked as three and four sided Pyramids

Spaceframe Principle 03

Structurally Triangulated Trusses are made this way

Spaceframe Principle 04

However shapes formed of Parallel Struts connected to Nodes are inherently weak in the planes that are not Triangulated

Spaceframe Principle 05

The Rectangular sides can be distorted easily if the Nodes are not made with rigid connections to the Paralell Struts

Spaceframe Principle 06

Rows of Triangulated Trusses are no stronger if the Rectangular Struts between them are able to rotate around Nodes

Spaceframe Principle 07

Rows of Triangulated Trusses are not a Spaceframe

Spaceframe Principle 08

Even if the Rectangular sides were replaced with Triangulated Trusses to form a Tube it would still easily distort in Section

Spaceframe Principle 09

Only the fully Triangulated arrangements of rotating Nodes are stable. This case is comprised of Tetrahedra. Each Tetrahedron is a Polyhedron composed of four Triangular faces, three of which meet at each Vertex. Equilateral Triangles in this case

Spaceframe Principle 10

Struts do not need to be of equal length to be stacked to depths. Consider a single depth of fully Triangulated Tetrahedra made from Equilateral Triangles extended horizontally

Spaceframe Principle 11

This is a Spaceframe, which forms a flat plane because the top and bottom Green layers of Struts are of equal length, though the Intermediate Pink Struts need not be equal to the Green

Spaceframe Principle 12

Intermediate Struts are in lines, forming Raking Triangulated Trusses within the Spaceframe depth in Three Directions

Spaceframe Principle 13

The flat Spaceframe of a single depth can be considered a floor structure, but Spaceframes can be of multiple layers, and can be arranged to form a variety of structures other than floors

Mile High Tower at the Building Centre on 3 May 2012

The 32 floor decks in the Mile High Tower are flat Spaceframes of multiple layers based on 4.5m depths, with the 8 segments identified by the 13.5m Spaceframe floors of three layers

Spaceframe Principle 14

The architectural Planning Grid for the Mile High Tower is based on the Equilateral Triangles of a Spaceframe structure

Spaceframe Principle 15

Triangular Planning Grids are full of Straight and Parallel lines

Spaceframe Principle 16

Spaceframes are full of usable Intermediate Space

Spaceframe Principle 17

The usable Intermediate Space has a Regularity

Spaceframe Principle 18

Intermediate Struts can be engineered differently to the Struts that form the horizontal layers of the Spaceframe, to minimise Weight and Size, maximising the usable Intermediate Space

Spaceframe Principle 19

In reality Intermediate Struts need be engineered to reduce to small connections at the Nodes, unlike this child's magnetic toy

Spaceframe Principle 20

In reality too the upper layer of Struts must be Infilled and Covered with a Load Bearing floor construction to be useful architecture, which could be a smaller scale Spaceframe

Spaceframe Principle 21

Scales of Spaceframe are combined in the Mile High Tower, but all connecting to each other in the Triangular Planning Grid

Spaceframe Principle 22

Scales of Spaceframe can be left open in the Mile High Tower exposing the Porous structure to Light, Wind, and Rain

Spaceframe Principle 23

That Porosity can be structurally engineered to architectural extremes, and well beyond the limitations of this child's toy with dimensional inaccuracies that frustrate Repetitive Extension

Spaceframe Principle 24

Structurally engineered Spaceframe floors will be combined with the Diagrid supports of the Mile High Tower in Repetition

Spaceframe Principle 25

Diagrid supports intersect at the "Mega" scale of every 49.5m level, while the Spaceframe floors are multiple layers of 4.5m

Spaceframe Principle 26

"Mega" Diagrid supports should also be Hollow, but might not be capable of being Spaceframe Tubes, or best made that way

Spaceframe Principle 27

The 32 floors or "Megadecks" will be Spaceframes even if the Diagrid supports are another "Mega" scale structural system

Spaceframe Principle 28

When engineers get involved much more of the Mile High Tower might be a Spaceframe than might initially seem obvious, while some Nodes will require a Rigidity that obviates Triangulation

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