Dis-Assembly Required

The intent of this investigation was to develop a formal strategy for building from the genetic scale outward. The goal was to produce a building that was able to be fully disassembled easily. Chains, though quite rigid and structurally efficient when tensile force is applied to them, are very malleable and collapsible when no force is present. Although they are used almost exclusively as tensile members, the geometry of certain linkages offer very compelling structural opportunities when considered for compressional applications.

In order for a standard chain to work in compression, it requires an additional element, external to itself, to plug the residual space between the links. This understanding led to the development of a post-and-beam configuration for the building, one derived from a small wooden module; a single element comprised of two half-links which, when combined with identical modules, assembled into a column. The residual space between the modules was plugged with transverse members which served as structural beams. Several vertical modules are assembled, a beam is inserted and is then locked into place by the addition of the next vertical module.  

The result is a building woven tightly together through geometry and gravity without a single nail or screw. The module, its thickness, height and width was calibrated to maximize the structural and constructional efficiency. Transportation crates used in the delivery of the materials to the site were re-purposed as stairs, storage, furniture and visual barriers between units.