While the design of our structure has been “finished” for about a week now, our built-in components have still been going through the design process. Our CD (construction documents) set is wrapped up but because the built-ins don’t impact the structural integrity or design of the structure, we have been able to continue to iterate on our built-ins design. There will be three different types of built-ins: benches, countertops, and planters. Our biggest challenge in the design of these components has been how to integrate them with the rest of the structure while also maximizing their functionality. In the past two days our groups finalized the bench design and today we will finalize the planters and countertops.
After the structure design was agreed on and the bench design really started, we knew that the benches should be integrated with the lateral bracing coming diagonally off of the north and south sides. The bracing connects to the ground through a metal plate – and this is where our bench design started. Could we support a bench with that metal plate? Here are some of the iterations of what that support could look like.
Our first concept looked at if the vertical metal plate could be mirrored, extend up, and bend outward to become the support for the wood bench. Mirroring the plate would mean that at the lower portion two plate faces would be right up against each other, possibly leading to corrosion issues.
Here we still extended the vertical plate but used a separate piece for the bench support. This concept removed the corrosion issues but the top connection isn’t very secure.
This is a second iteration of the design above. By welding pieces of angle at 90 degrees, we can then bolt the welded angle to the vertical plate. This creates a much more resilient connection than the version above.
In this iteration we moved away from using the vertical plate completely. Instead, we are welding the metal supports on the bottom-side of the bench to the vertical bracing pipes. This concept is intriguing because it prevents the bench from toppling side-to-side because of the support on both sides instead of just the center.
Our final design! This version uses the previous concept of connecting to the diagonal pipes while also using the vertical plate for a majority of the support. Instead of welding to the pipes, we are using some U-shaped metal pieces to clamp onto the pipes. This maintains the structural integrity of the pipes but also means that the benches are easier to maintain or replace if needed. We have also added some angle steel to the underside of the bench. This adds support but also creates a nice edging detail.