A Dome For the 21st Century

by John Zils, Assoc. Partner; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Suite 1000, 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604,
Mark Sarkisian, Assoc.; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Suite 1000, 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604,
Ahmad Abdelrazaq, Sr. Structural Engrg.; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Suite 1000, 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Il 60604,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 2, Pg. 36-39


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract:

Putting a circular dome on a square building--the classical architectural design challenge--takes on new proportions at the Federal Building and Courthouse in Charleston, W. Va. The 170 ft diameter dome tops a 420,000 sq ft structure rising 10 stories. Forces from the dome's radial barrel columns are transferred to rectilinear framing in the base building via a reinforced concrete ring beam. The dome roof structure consists of curved primary vertical pipes laced with horizontal and diagonal pipes, supported by an inner structure also of laced pipe forms. The woven stainless steel skin is unique in the U.S. The 75 ft diameter atrium, rather than soaring to the roof, is divided at levels five through eight by translucent, walk-upon art glass and marble floors that are dropped into a 20 ft diameter compression ring at the center of a three-dimensional stiffened-arch truss system spanning the atrium at levels five through eight. On the exterior, the superstructure is composed of structural steel wide-flanged (wf) columns and composite wf floor framing beams. For both architectural and structural purposes, exterior frames are interrupted at the centers of the north and south faces and at the centers of the east and west faces from the fifth floor to the roof. About 1,200 auger-cast concrete piles make up the foundation. The project, developed by the General Services Administration, will also house state and local courts and offices.



Subject Headings: Government buildings | Domes (structure) | Building design | Roofs | Pipes | Floors | High-rise buildings | Steel columns

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