Looking up at the Tree of Life structure and dome which now covers the central courtyard of the adaptive reuse of the original Antonio Toledo-designed building, by Dominic Galicia Architects and Periquet Galicia, Inc.
Extra insights into past and present of the Natural History of Natural History adaptive reuse building
January 1, 2018
In this extended outline and supplement to the cover story of Volume 1, 2018, we reveal the National Museum of Natural History building’s past and present with:
Original drawings of Department of Agriculture and Commerce building for the Bureau of Public Works;
Archival photos of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce building;
The final elevations for the National Museum of Natural History;
Unrealized design ideas: wayfinder motifs;
Structural analysis and development of the Tree of Life by Nippon Steel;
More photos of the National Museum of Natural History as built.
1. Original drawings of Department of Agriculture and Commerce building by the Bureau of Public Works
Excerpts of the original drawings of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce Building by the Bureau of Public Works with Antonio Toledo as consulting architect. These drawings were reproduced to aid Dominic Galicia Architects and Periquet Galicia, Inc. in taking cues from Toledo’s intended expression of the architecture and informing the adaptive reuse design for today.
2. Archival photos of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce building
Here are a series of old historical photographs of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce building before and after World War II, and its post-war reconstruction as the Department of Tourism building.
3. The final elevations for the National Museum of Natural History adaptive reuse design
The full set of charcoal elevation drawings by Dominic Galicia Architects.
The images below, courtesy of interior designers Periquet Galicia, Inc., show the unrealized ideas for wayfinders across the entire museum with indigenous depictions of the flora and fauna of the Philippines.
5. Structural analysis and development of the Tree of Life by Nippon Steel
An exclusive outline of the development of the Tree of Life structure from Japanese engineers, Nippon Steel. Text is written by structural engineer, Tatsuhiko Natsuhara.
A. Structural concept
A hybrid system of a single layer shell and trusses is applied to the Tree of Life dome, in order to replicate the appearance of a tree branch and also make the structure as efficient as possible in order to minimize construction cost. The challenge was to locate the diagonals and lower chords to equally support the dome structure. The trusses, therefore, are arranged in both a radial direction and in a circumferential direction. To support the dome with high flexibility, the Nippon Steel truss system (Nippon Steel Technology) is adopted for the diagonals and lower chords.
B. Structural node connectors: 3D-modeling, 3D printed modeling, and fabrication of components
To create a spherical dome with diagrid system, the nodes of Tree of Life dome need to be connected by several elements, which all have different angles respectively. For this project, the upper chords and diagonals make connections to the nodes. There are many different types of connections. In order to ensure that the quality of the components are consistent, the fabrication process should be the same for all components. The challenge is in defining the detail concept for all the different types of connections.
It is also important to share this process with project team—including the architect, structural engineer, general contractor, and sub-contractors—at the early stages of the project. Nippon Steel adopts several methods to visualize the components, which include 3D-CAD modeling, 3D-printer modeling and a full-sized mock-up.
C. Fifth floor curved bridge
The main structural challenge of the fifth floor curved footbridge is to prevent an uplift reaction force. To solve this issue, an additional outrigger support is applied, which helps locate the centroid of the curved bridge within the supports. The supports of the bridge are not horizontally fixed to the ramp structure, so the bridge needs a roller support solution. However, the fact that the roller supports are applied at the truss end of the bridge makes this a difficult structural solution. The difficulty is caused by the centroid of the curved bridge not located within the line between truss ends, and as a result, an uplift reaction force could occur. A roller support device preventing an uplift reaction force was considered an expensive solution for this project.
6. More photos of the National Museum of Natural History as built (photos by Ed Simon)
The full National Museum of Natural History cover story is featured in BluPrint Vol 1, 2018.