OCEAN Design Research Association

Complex Brick Assemblies, 2005-2008

Projet de Defne Sunguroglu

This project, which is based on engineer Eladio Dieste’s research, experiments with the possibility of combining the structural capacity and the environmental performance of double-curved, seemingly perforated brick screens. The system of construction allows for passive environmental modulation under hot and temperate climatic conditions: the absence of mortar between the bricks creates the openings, which are due to variations in their size and shape, while the double curve orients the surfaces in relation to the path of the sun and the direction of prevailing winds. To ensure stability of this type of structure the implementation of pre-stressing methods is required. Two solutions were tested: pretension using pliable tubes; pretension using a network of cables. The analysis of the environmental performance for the two structural solutions focused on how they filtered light, on the variation of the ventilation through the openings between the bricks as well as the thermal behavior of the brick surface. The stress analysis carried out on the bricks at each point in the assemblage made it possible to reduce the shape of the bricks to the minimum required for transmitting loads, while allowing for the creation of openings of varying sizes, which mainly depended on the thermal behavior of the system: the less material used, the smaller the thermal mass, and vice versa.

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