A new concept for special urban housing complexes

Shu-Hsin Soong
Technical Director & Education Sector Leader

The problems concerning the design, construction and use of buildings in an urban environment, constitute a complex scenario in which various different disciplines are called to give their contribution. These include architecture and urban design, structural, plant and geotechnical engineering, material science. Regarding the problems specifically related to tall buildings, in particular their volumetric aspect, the 'GEODE' building form, whose main characteristics are proposed and discussed in the present presentation, was studied as a possible innovative urban housing solution in a multi disciplinary context. The GEODE building is spherical in shape, with a diameter of around 100m. It consists of a skeleton formed by steel meridians and parallels together with five decks, each spaced of about 20m vertically. These decks form the basis on which buildings of various types up to 6 storeys high are built. In this way, two important goals are achieved. As for the urban aspect, the location of the buildings within the sphere volume allows to drastically reduce the total footprint of the develompment. With regard to the comfort of the occupants, the positioning of the buildings on the five intermediate decks can be arranged in a way that allows the fruition of green spaces, pedestrian paths and the special vehicles paths. Hence, each group of buildings is in the same condition as if it were built on the ground. The GEODE is therefore able to provide users with highly valuable living conditions. At the present time, the project GEODE has been developed at a preliminary stage: all the aspects connected to constructability, erection, performance and control of the service and ultimate limit states have been evaluated with satisfactory results.

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