Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Construction of the Signage

By: Jeremy Clow

Saturday the 16th came through and provided a worthy day of work for the sophmore architecture students build. As the coordinator for group 6 we organized with three of the members present by 8am to work on site for the whole day. Two platforms of concrete had to be poured for the feet of the bench system. For this we transported a series of tools as well as concrete mix and water to the site. The locaiton of site 6 is approximately half a mile as the crow flies from the closest building, PSO. The PSO building and parking lot is the location for all the material and tool storage as well as offsite construction. Taking the trail system to deliver materials entails a variety of turns, elevation changes, and rough earth. Delivering as many materials in one trip is key to success with the limitations of time available on site. We started with the leveling of two platfroms in the earth to install a prefabricated 2x4 framework to pour the concrete into. The frames had to be placed in precise locations, square with one another as well as level. They also had to be centered for the feet of the bench that is mounted between two posts that hold the roof structure. A series of checks took place throughout the process, moving the bench over the holes many of times and adjusting the location and angle to ensure the pours would be perfect in the end. Afte the earth was level, square, and tamped down we added a light layer of gravel. The framework sets freely above the gravel, with additional gravel placed inside the frame and dirt packed around the outer edges. Next came the cement, mixed in a wheel barrow from 40lb bags and water delivered in 5 gallon buckets. The students were quick to learn mixing anything more than one bag at a time wasn’t worth the effort. Mixing the concrete can be difficult to get the perfect mix of water to aggregate. After a series of trials and mixing opportunities for each of them they had a pretty succesfful system of mixing to installation. The slabs were poured and construction on the signage began. A few minor items had to be completed on the roof systems and structure as well. Lunch was near and the two other participants in group 6 were arriving from previous obligations as well. The team took this opportunity for a return to PSO to regroup, acquire additonal materials, and eat their lunch. After the lunch break we returned to the site and split into two groups. A team of two and I started installing the roof and the reamaning bolts and the main structure. The other three started installing the concrete block bases and signage pieces. The signage has a very simple yet unique design system. Four concrete blocks burried in the earth with just a few inches protrduing hold the 4x4 posts that are attached to the signage. Two posts are mounted between two 2x6 treated boards on each side. The 2x6 boards are also knotched and hold 5 cedar boards that span between the posts. These cedar boards will hold the signage being produced by Touch of Nature. Completing the signage on site was a very difficult process with the earth not being level or flat. This called for a plan of action on site and the installation of the first four blocks, level and square with one another. After this was done each of the four signs wiere constructed on top of the blocks and bolted together. From there each piece was moved to its particular location and the earth was marked for the digging and installation of the concrete blocks at each signage location. The day was drawing to and end so we finished with the construction of the signage pieces and marking of the earth for excavation.

Hydraulic Engineering in Petra

By: Hanan Rawashdeh
 Petra the ancient city is one of the world’s seven wonders. What makes it so unique? And how is it that a city so secluded within the canyon walls in the middle of the hot desert South West of Jordan with no close surface water to be able to maintain a lively civilization of 20-30,000 dwellers?
Although the strategic location of the ancient city is understandable in terms of the economic factor with the trade route going through the city, living conditions are very challenging as the very dry desert climate is hot with only a few inches of precipitation yearly. And sometimes these four to five inches of annual rain would drop all at once causing a flash flood. The topography is a rocky region filled with huge gorges of sandstone and scarce with greenery.  Nomadic tribes were known to wonder the region looking for water sources due to the nature of the climate in the southern part of Jordan. Therefore in order for a city as large as Petra to withhold such numerous activities and flourish with civilization the Arab Nabateans had to find a way to engineer water to constantly flow and get stored easily within the region of the city and provide protection from any flash floods.

  Scholars believe ceramic joints making a pipeline were used to transport water. Like a perennial stream, this distribution system and water supply of the Nabataean city of Petra had exploited all possible water resources using management techniques that balance reservoir storage capacity with continuous flow pipeline systems to maintain a constant water supply throughout the year.

  Hydraulic technologies helped maintain the high living standard of city dwellers throughout the centuries.  Charles Ortloff , a hydraulic engineer, found that to create a constant flow that wasn’t too fast to fill the water pipes and create pressure that could lead to leakage the pipes needed to be sloped down an angle of four degrees. Remarkably when going back to the carved water channels he found that the Nabataeans had that same slope degree, proving to be masters in hydro engineering.
   Ueli Bellwald , a Swiss architect and archeologist believes that there were five dams constructed of blocks of mortar were constructed to prevent the flash floods from ruining
the city after discovering the remnants of a dam going back to two thousand years old.     
   He claims that clues of existing dams erected between the narrow gorges can be noted from the streaks of darker colored rocks on the canyon walls indicating the existence of Mineral deposits from previous water storage. When he followed the darker colored streaks he was led to a gorge that had two deep grooves carved inside, concluding that there was a dam had previously held the water reservoir into place anchored into the canyon walls to stand against the pressure of the stored water.
  Scholars came to a presumption that the total of water sources in Petra city are 8 springs for fresh water, 36 dams protection, more than 100 systems of reservoirs and 125miles of piping. By estimating the amount of collected waters through these methods approximately two gallons of water was the daily share of every individual of the 30,000 Petra dwellers. That is enough water to create from this desert city and oasis.

The Hydraulic system in the ancient  is a demonstration of  high engineering capability that indicates a high degree of cognitive skill which the Nabataea Arabs had in solving complex hydraulic problems and ensuring a stable water supply around 2,000 years ago.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Duomo di Milan Cathedral

By: Daniel Roman
Milan, Lombardy, Italy is the place where the Cathedral was built; there were actually other buildings and smaller churches in the area, which were ordered to be taken down so that this massive cathedral could be built. Now there was a plaza built throughout the year to be in front of the cathedral, and it’s a great tourist spot.
In 1386 Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo wanted a new Cathedral in the city and decided to have one built even though there were already some buildings and little churches where this massive cathedral was planned to be. The job was given to Simon da Orsenigo, his title was of Master Builder. After lack of leadership and sense of direction, the building came to a halt. Many people were questioning the looks of it, many architects putting their two cents in. At the end Gabrielle Stomoloco’s, a mathematician, design and concept was chosen to continue the building. Unfortunately in 1402 the construction came to a halt again, due to funding and once more lack of leadership. Construction resumed almost 80 years later. The inside is not as breath taking as the outside. With a simple rib vault in the ceiling, and columns striking down creating five naves. What is very harshly critical is the horrible lighting the cathedral has. The few windows that were placed along the elongated plan, are little to no use. They are covered with stain glass making it close to impossible for the brightest days in Milan to illuminate the interior. Other than that the interior is also decorated with many statues as the outside is.
The archbishop wanted it to be more like the French Gothic that was going on. But due to many years that it took to build many architects did put some time into it and worked on it, some due say that even Bramante and Leonardo put some work into the cathedral. Due to many Architects working on it, it has been said that the fa├žade actually did at one time have a little taste of Baroque to it but later in the 1900’s was changed back to a gothic flavor. Which is why this building can also be categorized as a gothic revival.
            Hard to imagine but yes the Milan Cathedral was actually built with no flying buttresses. The actually flying buttresses were added later in the year to make it an actual Gothic building. The plus side The Flying Buttresses by my opinion are one of the most beautiful ones ever built.
In 1762 the main spiral was completed the it was toped with a polychrome statue of the
Madonna. The tower tops at an amazing 109 meters. Today you can take a grand tour and actually walk on the roof, it’s a very popular tourist attraction because it has an amazing view. Not only of the craftsmanship on the statues but it has been said that on a beautiful clear day you can see as far as the Alps. The roof is only a 200 stair climb, but for a higher price you can an elevator.
 Although the cathedral is amazingly beautiful, inside and out, and even though it was started such long time ago, the though is there but for the amount of time it took them to do it, its way out of hand, the actual last construction finalized in 1960 when the front gate. It really didn’t set a standard just because by the time that it was completed many architecture styles came and left. I think if it had only at least a quarter to a half of the time it really did, then

it would of made an impact. The actual building didn’t even have the great flying buttresses that a gothic has for a purpose, for the support. These are put only for the looks. Gothic churches are supposed to be grand and let illuminate the space with in, but these beautiful stain glass do not do their job. At the end the building is beautiful, great tourist attraction, but the there is no impact to the world.

Wind energy

By: Cole Hartke

            The need for power on an uninhabited island is essential for the modern life and every day to day things. For my thesis of the self-sustainable island resort wind power is a must to achieve the necessary power for life on the island.
            A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into electrical power. The term migrated from parallel hydroelectric technology. The technical description for this type of machine is anaerofoil-powered generator.
The result of modern engineering, today's wind turbines are manufactured in a wide range of vertical and horizontal axis types. The smallest turbines are used for applications such as battery charging for auxiliary power for boats or caravans or to power traffic warning signs.
Slightly larger turbines can be used for making contributions to a domestic power supply while selling unused power back to the utility supplier via the electrical grid. Arrays of large turbines, known as wind farms, are becoming an increasingly important source of renewable energy and are used by many countries as part of a strategy to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
This aspect of a wind farm is a tactic that I plan to use as I have a large island and even more water around it. With the strategic placement of the turbines to capture a large amount of the wind blowing across the island I believe with the use of the two different types of turbines I can create enough energy to power the island.
Horizontal-axis wind turbines have the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower, and must be pointed into the wind. Small turbines are pointed by a simple wind vane, while large turbines generally use a wind sensor coupled with a servo motor. Most have a gearbox, which turns the slow rotation of the blades into a quicker rotation that is more suitable to drive an electrical generator

Vertical-axis wind turbines have the main rotor shaft arranged vertically. One advantage of this arrangement is that the turbine does not need to be pointed into the wind to be effective, which is an advantage on a site where the wind direction is highly variable. It is also an advantage when the turbine is integrated into a building because it is inherently less steerable. Also, the generator and gearbox can be placed near the ground, using a direct drive from the rotor assembly to the ground-based gearbox, improving accessibility for maintenance.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Little Info on Istanbul’s Blue Mosque

By: Casey Bucher

Istanbul, Turkey is known as a city divided. With its rich history of two continents, two dominant religions, a skyline that provides two massive domes, flanked by many minarets, Istanbul is a city that has seen it all.  At the heart of the city, lies the two most historic structures, each with its own storied history.  This research will focus on the younger of the two mosques.  By focusing on a mosque and the culture that surrounds it, I will be able to develop further information regarding non-western traditional culture and architecture.  The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or known to many as the Blue Mosque, is a grand feature of Turkish architecture.  Though the country of Turkey resides in both Europe and Asia, Istanbul is predominantly a historic non-western city as far as architecture is concerned.  This Islamic city boasts many traditional structures in both the western and non-western sides and is primarily known for the Ottoman and Byzantine architecture.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque features the classic Ottoman style, meaning that it is a domed based structure.  Built primarily as a shrine to Sultan Ahmet I, the mosque continues to be a place of worship for the Sunni Islam.  With its expansive footprint, the Blue Mosque can hold nearly 10,000 worshippers and/or tourists.
The city of Istanbul was a predominantly Christian city until around the 15th century. The Hagia Sophia, a large Ottoman style worship hall was used as a Christian orthodox church for much of its early years.  After serving as a Roman Catholic cathedral for almost sixty years, the structure was finally overtaken by the Muslims and converted to a mosque and remained that way for many years. The Hagia Sophia became a staple feature to the Istanbul skyline, with its red domes and massive minarets.  That is, until Ahmet the First came to power.
At the young, tender age of thirteen, Sultan Ahmet I became the ruler of a massive territory that spanned across three countries.  Not being a war hero or qualified leader, Ahmet wanted to make his presence known to his empire.  Istanbul already had a landmark mosque to its name but Ahmet was determined to make an even grander piece of architecture.  He wanted a mosque that was truly devoted to the Islamic religion, not one whose religious history was shared.

Thus, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque was conspired.  The plans for the great mosque originated in 1609 by the Sultan Ahmet I when his army’s loss in the Persian War.  Sultan Ahmet designed the mosque to repossess Ottoman authority in Istanbul.  Due to his losses in the war, Ahmet the First had to empty the treasury of all its earnings to pay for the construction of the mosque, as opposed to using his own funds to support the building. This action caused plenty of tension between the Sultan and the people of Istanbul, specifically the Muslim leaders.

Final Spring Blog

By: Andy Cunningham

Well here we are folks, the last entry of the year! This year has gone fairly quick, it feels like it was 30 degrees out three weeks ago, and now it’s in the 80s, (which makes it a bit more difficult to inside all day when it’s so nice out) but it is time for the final push of the semester.
            For some of us here at SIU next week begins final presentation week for all the Undergrads with us grad giving our final presentations the following week. After that is a decently long break that will be greatly needed. Relax, going on vacation for a week, and hopefully getting some work done before the final semester of grad school starts in June. The end is within reach!

I really don’t know what else to write, so if I can leave one piece of advice, through all my coherent and sometimes incoherent ramblings over the last year, for everyone mainly those who are just starting, it would be to stay with it. Through all the late nights and all nighters, the weekends spent sitting in studio, for me to be this close to being done, it really is worth it. To finally be able to go finish up IDP hours and start taking the licensing exams, all the things I’ve been through the last 5-6 years is starting to come together and be worth something. I wish everyone good luck, It’s been sort of fun writing these throughout the year… I’m out.

Friday, April 29, 2016

By: Alicia Luthy

Hello all! Here I am writing my last blog of graduate school. Graduation is now just a little over three weeks away. We just have one paper to finish and a presentation for this semester. So, for my last blog article I decided to write about my experience as a graduate student at SIU and to give advice to the new incoming graduate students.
Graduate school started out with summer semester. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.  I do not recommend working two jobs and attending summer school. When I was not working, I am pretty sure that I spent every waking hour in studio. I got the brilliant idea to change my design halfway through the semester. I do not recommend that at all, but then again the hard work made me happier with the final design. I also spent long hours in the wood shop, but the outcome was rewarding. (NOTE: Do NOT remove the clamps from the woodshop).  Next, we had fall semester which was no cake walk either. Instead of just one class, you now have a few more to juggle. The semester project had both group and individual components. Working in a group is always a challenge. However, with hard work and dedication we pulled together a design we were all be proud of. The professors said we would probably not sleep until December; they were pretty well right about that.  This semester has seemed to become very stressful within the last month. With multiple assignments being due within the last month, it has been hard to focus on thesis. However, I still believe summer semester was the toughest one yet.

First and foremost, I would give the advice to not lose your mind over summer semester. The best advice in undergraduate was to not procrastinate. The rule still stands in graduate school however we all still choose to ignore it. I still haven’t gotten the hang of it but I still recommend not procrastinating. I am glad that I chose to do the 15 month Master’s program. A lot of my friends that went to other schools are wishing that they were also on the faster track to the degree.  So, my last advice is to not give up and to keep your eye on the prize. It is not easy, it will be time consuming, but it will definitely be worth it.  Good luck to my classmates and to the rest of the incoming graduate students!