Case Study of Maison Bordeaux
By: Kyle Miller
The structural system of this building is interesting due to the devised cantilevered system which minimized the number of structural components. This minimalist support system consists of four main elements which include an aluminum cylinder, a large I-beam, a thin cable, and a U-shaped steel member. The cylinder supports the west end of the building and contains the staircase. It is offset to the north, creating a need for a structural counterpart to balance the cantilever. The designs choose not to add a fourth compressive leg, but instead to counter act the weight of the cantilevered structure through the use of a cord in tension on the same side as the compressing cylinder. Through an I-beam, attached to the cylinder, the weight of the cantilever is channeled to the tensile cord, which then pulls on the concrete block sunken into the earth. The U-shaped steel member supports the east end of the structure. This is composed of two columns attached to a beam through moment connections. This structural system has three legs which acts in compression, pushing on the earth. These three legs would work as a tripod, but due to the placement of the cylinder, the legs do not balance the weight of the building. The introduction of the cable pulls the entire building into balance, making this the smallest member the keystone of the structure.
Informal Cecil Balmond with Jannuzzi Smith