|The IBM Traveling
The IBM Traveling Pavilion, technological pavilion is designed to be a unique exhibition by Renzo Piano. It is a big assembly box that can be easily assembled, disassembled and adapted to different environmental and climatic conditions varying from town to town.
It is virtually self-contained and capable of being fitted out in four weeks. The pavilion visited 20 cities in 14 European countries over a period of 30 months.
Reflecting the theme of the exhibition, which is investigation
of nature by electronic technology, the setting is natural. The transparent pavilion is a
miniature crystal palace, which blends in with the landscape.
Above, his sketch displays the relationship between the nature and the pavilion.
Minor landscaping and planting is executed for the purpose of integrating architecture and natural environment. In the Paris exhibition 29 trucks brought soil for landscaping.
The pavilion is 48 meters long, 12 meters wide and 6 meters high. It is made up 68 half arches each consisting of 6 polycarbonate pyramids held together by laminated timber - struts cast aluminum joints.
The structure is composed of a sequence of three hinged arch units. As I mentioned before they can easily be assembled and disassembled using simple tools. The supports for the arch must resist the horizontal thrust caused by gravity and lateral loads.
The construction drawing, shown above exhibits details of elevations and a cross section.
The half arches were in fact three-dimensional trusses, with poly-carbonate serving as both the cladding membrane and structural web between inner and outer chords.
Structure and Materials:
The structure itself has its natural overtones. Piano claims that he drew his inspiration for this from the many forms that nature has to offer, in particular the shell formation of crustacea which combines both structure and cladding as one external envelop.
Construction Materials and Details:
Floor and Support Equipment:
Two support containers are linked to the pavilion during the exhibition. One, 12x24 meters, is a technical container and house an air-conditioned electronic room and workshop.
The active climate control system for the IBM Pavilion:
The active climate control system for the IBM Pavilion is a split-package central heating and cooling system.
The system is made of 2 parts. A single outdoor unit that includes the compressor and condensing coils, and 6 indoor units, each contain the cooling and heating coils and the circulating fan.
The indoor and outdoor units are connected with insulating refrigerant tubing and control wiring. The insulation of this tubing is highly effective and makes the system quite efficient.
And the practicality of transporting air in these tubes a long distance was not a factor in this case because the small size of the pavilion.
In the IBM Pavilion, the outdoor part of the unit is located in one of the 23 trucks that were specially designed to transport it from one location to another.
Being able to permanently house the major part of the cooling/heating system in a truck and just "plugging" it into the building had many advantages among which:
As we described before, the floor is supported by a series of trusses running in the same direction as the arches. The trusses allow for various mechanical and electrical systems including the refrigerant tubing and control wiring, to pass freely through them. The supply ducts run from the underside of the inside units, under the floor, and through the truss beams to the supply grills.
Supply ducts and floor vents:
The ceiling vent is supplied by small ducts or anti-condensation units, that attach to the underside of each arch, starting from the point of connection to the beam (and supply
Duct) to the top of the arch into the vent that runs along the length of the building.
Both grills supply general heating and cooling, but the anti-condensation ducts and ceiling-vent have the additional role of reducing the accumulation of condensation on the polystyrene pyramids by supplying warm, dry air to the area. The air is discharging the full length of the duct running along the underside of the 3-hinged arch, supplying the dry heat needed to reduce condensation to two pyramids on each side. Also, some small air diffusers channeling warm air onto the inner surface of the pyramids have been positioned in order to avoid condensation inside the structure."
The section shows arrows pointing towards what is referred to as a standing air-conditioning unit in a manner that suggests air intake, meaning that the 6 indoor units of the system not only pump out air down to the ducts in the floor, but also accepts the return air.
This system is a constant-air-volume (CAV) system, for a number of reasons.
Passive control systems:
In addition to these counter pyramids, there are 2 shading devices designed to shield computer displays from sunlight. The first of these is an organic tent form of stretched fabric attached to and hovering below the arches. This appears to cover a large part of the floor area.
Where shading is required in a more localized way, a second fabric-shading device is used. These linear shades match the width of each arch, are the length of 3 pyramids, and are attached to the wooden chords at the bottom of each pyramid.
Piano's initial concept of a transparent, ethereal space, however, becomes somewhat subverted with the addition of the counter-pyramids. Although the light quality was tested and the opaque pyramids were designed for optimum lighting, they cut down significantly on views through the structure. The thermal insulators appear to be an afterthought, although probably significantly reduce heat loss.
As the concept of an organic integration of architecture and nature led, a transparent pavilion was designed to be able to use natural lighting as the primary source of light. The designing of sitting in nature and the use of the exhibition during daytime allow a result of Pianos design to perform its works remarkably.
The transparency polycarbonate pyramids
It was such the transparency virtually eliminates the need for lighting. The natural lighting is difficult to control in a completely transparent building.
Therefore the systems of shading were employed such as shading panels and counter-pyramids were clipped to inside of the pyramids to control light levels. The extra stretched fabric shades for each location by computer became requirement because of the possibility of glare on the computer screens. Furthermore, took advantage on shades of trees its natural environment where mostly in the parks of 15 countries around Europe.
Stretched fabric shades
As we known for a transparency building, it was difficult to control light levels. Therefore, the light testing by using model and the computer stimulation of anticipated light levels inside the pavilion when set upon the particular site and all shading devices in their place were used for the energy consumption, as described in previous assignments.
The computer stimulation of anticipated light levels inside the pavilion.
However, in case of rare occasions when natural lighting is not sufficient, 6 fixtures of up-lighting were provided under the program required that no direct lighting be used. These fixtures were set approximate 7 feet from the floor and take advantage of the reflective qualities of polycarbonate pyramid form providing ambient lighting to further illuminate the space. The program of the building, an exhibition of computer technologies, required that no direct lighting be used because of the possibility of glare on the screens.
The illumination is uniform within the entire space therefore contrast is not desirable. Furthermore, the exhibits themselves generate their own light.
The up-lighting fixtures
Berlin at night the illumination of the pavilion as a result of the remarkable designing performed its beauty extraordinary.
Pianos concept for the pavilion, one of the merging of nature and technology is successful in the representation of the use of natural light. He supplements the inconsistency of the light by adding up-lights and shading devises, however the initial concept is never compromised. Additionally, natural light is extremely cost efficient.
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