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Ron Arad
Kentish Town, London
associated engineer
Atelier One
date  1991
UK era  Modern  |  category  Building  |  reference  TQ283843
An architects' studio for which the architects and structural engineers had to work closely to provide for spontaneity of form while meeting building regulations.
Many of the studio's structural surfaces — windows, part walls, roof and roof ribs — are curved, and steel-plate 'columns' along the glazed outer walls, shaped almost like scribbles or upside-down ampersands, emphasise the sense of spontaneity.
Stiffened fins welded along the line of these vertical plate columns give the necessary rigidity and double as guide tracks for the 1m sq, flexible PVC windows. Stiffening fins welded to the unglazed, steel-plate end wall in a wavy zigzag are a decorative as well as a structural detail.
The curved roof is constructed, between metal ribs, from a double membrane of fabric and a flexible metal mesh called Expamet, with a separation of 80mm. This construction gives flexibility while avoiding the usual cabling support needed for a fabric roof. It is also a combination of materials never used before.
Structural analysis software was used in calculating whether the techniques developed would meet local Building Control standards.
Architect: Ron Arad Associates
reference sources   LG/SJ

Ron Arad