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© 2019 CRAFT | Engineering Studio

J House

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New Orleans, Louisiana

The J House project was a re-examination of the use of steel as an element of structure in a digital process of design and fabrication. The structure was phased to act as a 3-D Vierendeel frame during construction and then a fully trussed assembly in its final condition. During construction, 2-D steel frames were set in place at regular intervals and connected with doubly curved twisting rectangular edge members. The geometry of each edge member was derived by its relationship to the adjacent surfaces and the exterior skin. These members were modeled, exploded, flattened and then rebuilt out of welded cold formed laser cut plates. In the final condition, the steel framework was infilled with an innovative assembly of light gage framing and X-bracing that defined the ruled surface and occurred along lines of opposing convex curvature in each panel. The completed structure acts as a 3-dimensional truss bracing the building against hurricane force winds. The trussed form twists along its length and rests on two points of bearing, allowing a doubly cantilevered condition at each end. The slit skylight in the roof adds to the complexity and displays the robustness of the completed structure.

(Image Credit: AEDS Ammar Eloueini)