Berlin - Day 21 - 2010-6-21

The Sony Center by Murphy/Jahn. Structural engineering by Werner Sobek. Cost - 1 billion DM.

Hung glass facade with vertical tension cables and horizontal structural glass.

This building complex has multiple structural tricks. This one forms horizontal beams with tensioned steel cables to add rigidity to this glass facade. It's extremely materially efficient.

Good view of Mitte.

Jahn keeps his offices here too... so we took a little tour.

The same automated louvered aluminum blinds seen in Neues Kranzler Eck/DIFA.

Murphy/Jahn's library.

Hung glass facade held up by massive steel truss work, suspended by steel cables, and held down by huge springs attached to a massive buried concrete beam.

Glass bottom pond over an angled glass ceiling with terraced garden... must have been a bet over a couple beers.

The kingpin. This pin is the only compressive member of this canopy that translates the tensional force of the white teflon/fiberglass sheathing and steel cables into a positively sloped roof. Imagine standing on a trampoline and holding a sheet over your head - in this case you are the kingpin - that's basically how this building works.

One last note. Why is the kingpin tilted? Imagine the canopy as a cone. If you were to cut out a section perpendicular to the base the cut edge would form a circle as it does at the top. The courtyard is actually an ellipse so the "cut" was made at an angle... clever. Also, the canopy is only fixed to the surrounding buildings at two points, the rest are sliding plates. This allows for expansion and contraction.

Terracotta clad Renzo Piano buildings. It forms a whole complex replete with indoor "canyons" and outside water parks. The terracotta slowly recedes as it nears the edge.