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#33602 - 03/20/16 04:27 PM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: Jay White Cloud]
TCB Offline
Member

Registered: 02/10/16
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Thanks for those keywords, Jay! Most references I find to Japanese joinery are the elaborate temple-style stuff, which isn't very practical for a pedestrian job like a house (or very easy to understand, for that matter). This stuff seems more ground-level from what I can see.

I also think I understand what you describe as far as flexibility. Many of these joints seem arranged so as to be at their most flexible when in the 'nominal' position (like a horizontal beam passing through a mortise --Nuki, right?-- which is most 'loose' while the structure is square, but will react with a fairly strong moment as the structure flexes. True locked-in triangular braces will only flex as much as the wood fibers in compression/tension (i.e. not much). I can see how one is good for dealing with earthquakes, but one may be better at resisting heavy snow loads or high winds without deformation (i.e. damage to infill or windows).

Almost seems like the difference between ye olde school riveted bar steel truss structures vs. more modern welded-beam forms; one is a heck of a lot 'looser' than the other, though both are capable of being plenty strong, and standing up straight (and lasting a good long time)

This is central Texas, though, so seismic concerns are, well, less of concern than in the Ring of Fire (or Oklahoma these days, for that matter). There's a big fault here, but it's pretty stable and expected to remain so. The real issue is drought moving soil around beneath a foundation, but that's more on the foundation that the walls to deal with correctly.

I did notice a long diagonal stiffening frame in many of the structures linked, which is at least visually similar to the Germanic forms and reminiscent of what I posted above. However, it is hard to see exactly how/where it attaches; it looks to jut straight into the corner between post & lintel. Are these usually fitted to the horizontal plate, or into the post beneath the plate joint (or both)? It would seem that terminating the diagonals on either side to a splice put through the post would be a sort of best of both worlds.

I'll also look into Spaniard timber framing schemes a bit; I didn't realize they had a unique tradition of their own (as opposed to borrowed French or Moorish forms). When I traveled to the mid/western portion years ago, it seemed that sand stone was the preferred material, even down to melted-looking ruins of ancient farm huts out in the country. Granted, tall straight trees were uncommon vs oaks, there weren't many of either, and sand stone is pretty easy stuff to quarry & shape into block. Spain's a big place, and I'm sure the more North/Eastern portions are into timber.

Any keywords I should home in on?

TCB

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#33603 - 03/21/16 02:50 AM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: TCB]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: TCB
Thanks for those keywords, Jay!


You are most welcome...!!!

As a teacher, helping students of all ages (and topic interests) it has been a passion of mine for a number of decades now, to really engage in the different medium processes of..."good research."

Whether "tomb" or "internet" I learned decades ago to..."go to the source"...whenever possible. In this case with "the web" that means learning to do research in the "original languages," of the topic one is interested in. This is the way the internet algorithms function. Japanese Kanji, Korean Hangul, or Chinese Hanzi (as just some basic language groups much different from the "English alphabet) all have a vast and far reaching base of knowledge and information capacity to share on all subjects...even one as seemingly esoteric as "timber framing."

Originally Posted By: TCB
Most references I find to Japanese joinery are the elaborate temple-style stuff...


For the most part...that is too true...

Most of what "Westerners" see, learn or read about (in English) is a very bent, romanticized, and/or narrow scoped perspective too often based on "Eurocentric" perspectives, viewpoints, understanding, and/or interpretations...It isn't until one get to really embrace an "indigenous perspective" that one can truly learn (or begin to learn) how a topic actually is perceived by a culture or societal group...

I like your desire to seek the "practical for a pedestrian" as that has been my primary focus in the guild arts in general and timber framing in particular...

I have love and began specializing in "folk styles" decades ago...particularly in regions from Native American, Middle Eastern, African, and of course throughout the vast content we call "Asian." I fell in love with the charm and pragmatic grace of the folk styles, like Minka, Hanok, Chise, Daji Derweri, Kath Kuni and the list goes on...

Originally Posted By: TCB
I also think I understand what you describe as far as flexibility...these joints seem arranged so as to be at their most flexible when in the 'nominal' position (like a horizontal beam passing through a mortise --Nuki, right?


Excellent!!

Not only are you getting it...you keyed in on one of the most beautifully simplistic (and most practically functioning) systems...the Nuki horizontal beaming modalities...

Having studied now a vast array of timber framing styles around the globe from Native American, African and European...I can state emphatically, there hasn't been a system that "stiffens" a frame more rigidly as these "horizontal modality" while still giving the timber frame a degree of "flexibility" that triangulated systems simply can not achieve...no matter the format...

Oblique systems do have there place, yet can never achieve the "stiffness with flexibility" that the "horizontal bracing system" can...which is paramount for a frame to last thousands of years when subjected to heavy and/or extreme ongoing tectonic loading...Such as one finds in places like the Himalayas, and Japan as just two prime examples...

Originally Posted By: TCB
...which is most 'loose' while the structure is square, but will react with a fairly strong moment as the structure flexes...


AGAIN...precisely stated!!

These horizontal systems "fail" in a slow, relaxing fashion (for the most part) and not in a catastrophic way, as do most (if not all) oblique systems...

A "triangulated system" whether at 45 degrees or some other less critical angle, will hold rigid and stiff extremely well...Unfortunately they also tend to fail "catastrophically" when they do finally give way to an over loaded critical scenario. They tend to come down fast and very hard, once the load capacity of the frame has been max capacity, often completely blowing apart the timber frame of which they formed...In in a region like Japan...especially areas with daily earthquakes found in some range...a forced evolution of timber framing took place over millenia that would allow the frames to become able to "slowly fail"...and/or "rack" in severe situation while not collapsing completely...while sacrificial members (like nuki) where slowly crushed...This also allowed frames to be more effectively salvaged and/or simply un-racked and "stiffened by the placement of key "wedges" and new lighter timber members...such as the Nuki...

As you so rightfully noted further...in regions like Hokkaido...you will see both the oblique systems (often in the horizontal format like Hiuchibari of in the roof or sill/plate orientation) and the "Nuki systems" working in concert with one another...

Because there we find not only high winds and earthquakes but also massive snow loads that literally cover communities under meters of snow each year... In such places as this, one must have a frame that can be massively stiff to support the snow's weight, yet also have a system within to allow greater degrees of flexibility not found in most European modalities...As you say..."the best of both worlds."

Originally Posted By: TCB
I did notice a long diagonal stiffening frame in many of the structures... it looks to jut straight into the corner between post & lintel. Are these usually fitted to the horizontal plate, or into the post beneath the plate joint (or both)?


It depends on the region and applications style, as we have just begun to scratch the surface of these different systems of timber framing...which vastly outnumber what we find in Europe if taking in the entire context of Asia, and then the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

You are more than getting the most germain aspects however...it is a beautiful and most graceful mix of..."both worlds." In general perhaps the most "globally applicable" systems one could find and/or adapt to "modern timber frames" and there current applications. "Asian design" modalities...with there heavy and dominating reliance on "horizontal systems" (both oblique and horizontal "pass through") allow better facilitation of fenestration and many other design aesthetics one finds and/or desires within "modern designs." This is one of the primary reasons "Green and Green", Gustav Stickley and many other founders accredited to the "Craftsman movement" here in North America, turned to the purity and pragmatic functionality of Asian systems...

As for Spain...it is a big place and does contain many different biome types that often "visitors" don't get into on typical vacations to the Iberian peninsula...One very unique form that has a millenia old ancestry (one of the oldest in Europe) from well traveled sailors and long traveled fluences...we have the Hórreo system of timber framing which is very beautiful and unique...They appear greatly unstable, yet withstand earthquakes, and massive weight as most function as store houses, barns, and granary. Note again the lack of "oblique bracing" in most of the designs found in this system of stone and timber architecture...except where absolutely critical...

Originally Posted By: TCB
Any keywords I should home in on?


Gosh!!

Where to begin, of which culture and what language??? shocked wink grin

I have been compiling information for decades and still learn more each year...

It is sometimes pleasantly overwhelming just how broad and far reaching this great craft of timber framing has been...and just how...Non-European...most of it is in design and natural aesthetic...


Edited by Jay White Cloud (03/21/16 02:52 AM)
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#33604 - 03/21/16 06:58 PM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: Jay White Cloud]
TCB Offline
Member

Registered: 02/10/16
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas Hill Country
"A "triangulated system" whether at 45 degrees or some other less critical angle, will hold rigid and stiff extremely well...Unfortunately they also tend to fail "catastrophically" when they do finally give way to an over loaded critical scenario. They tend to come down fast and very hard, once the load capacity of the frame has been max capacity, often completely blowing apart the timber frame of which they formed...In in a region like Japan...especially areas with daily earthquakes found in some range...a forced evolution of timber framing took place over millenia that would allow the frames to become able to "slowly fail"...and/or "rack" in severe situation while not collapsing completely...while sacrificial members (like nuki) where slowly crushed...This also allowed frames to be more effectively salvaged and/or simply un-racked and "stiffened by the placement of key "wedges" and new lighter timber members...such as the Nuki..."

Well, the fact I have parallel vertical posts in close proximity to each other suggests that style of jointing may be desirable (specifically for my top plate and/or floor joists which could theoretically pass through both 'layers' of wall posts). Is a slot like that vs. a partial mortise better suited to thicker timbers, though? My only concern is I'd be boxing myself into using fatter sticks than really needed.

While a system like you've described can be more flexible, when it does come time for it to load up, it is inherently less efficient than a cross brace, for the simple fact the crushing/binding/etc is occurring right at the brace point where the lever arm is tiny. Also, as you mention, for loads applied more locally to the structure than seismic ones (i.e. a wind gust) a more rigid structure will handle it better without disruption, and triangular braces are ideal for maintaining shapes under load with minimal material. Definitely two different schools of thought, but I'm not convinced they are mutually exclusive; perhaps a system of cross braces that only operate in tension or compression (but not both) in concert with flexible braces would yield a system which is quite rigid in normal conditions for the size of its timbers, but still possesses a sort of 'fall back' progressive failure system in enough of its structure for the brace members to fail without immediately ending the structure overall. No reason for the building to be flexible except when its life is at stake, right?

I suppose some built in flex with 'tunable' bracing might make a raising go smoother as far as fitting of the walls to each other; any thoughts on that? Maybe 'loose' cross braces that are either wedged or drawn with trunnels to stiffen things up after being squared? The tensioning elements alone would hold things until the structure deflects enough to load the joinery.

I also wonder if the flexibility only really needs to be present at the ground floor or only at the upper floor (depending on whether seismic or wind loading is the issue). Probably getting into really complicated dynamics issues if we think too hard about this, with no easy one-size answers. Being a two-floor system, does the progressive-failure character of these joints still hold? Simply because the two stories of a timber frame don't seem to ever be joined nearly as strongly as the bents making up the walls (i.e. in a severe racking situation, the upper floor would simply pop some mortises tying it to the plate & fall off)

"As you so rightfully noted further...in regions like Hokkaido...you will see both the oblique systems (often in the horizontal format like Hiuchibari of in the roof or sill/plate orientation) and the "Nuki systems" working in concert with one another..."
Hmm, this sort of goes back to my thoughts on whether/where one design format is advantageous over the other. The flat/horizontal frames that make up floors/roofs aren't really subjected to the type of resonant torsion loads that buckle vertical columns, since the foundation kind of insulates the structure against vertical-axis shear for the most part (squeezing a rectangular floorplan into a parallelogram). That type of load would always be accompanied by a general twisting of the vertical structure about its axis, neatly racking all those nuki joints more or less equally (dissipating what little shear load would be resisted by the diagonal braces). Well, unless the actual fault slips under your foundation, anyway (good luck with that)

So I suppose the lesson might be to use rigid joints where you expect the least movement (vertical-axis shear) and allow for more flexibility elsewhere. I guess that's sort of self-evident; make the roof super rigid & structural (as Asian roofs typically are, if I am not mistaken) but let it 'float' on a self-centering pedestal.

One thing I do notice on the Swiss/Germanic buildings, is they seem to be more vertical in general, with more floors and greater height. Obviously the fault lines have much to do with this, but I also imagine you'd have a hard time getting flexible joints to deal with a three-story structure (harkening back to my stupid youth, I climbed an ancient and lighting-blasted forest-ranger tower ~40ft tall which was constructed of riveted flat steel bar; I've never ever been on something so wobbly in even a mild wind, but I'm told they were always that way & actually can survive high winds & tornadoes better with moderate damage). For whatever reason, I'm thinking that the tallest structures in classic Japan tended to be inns/tenements, which were quite tall (relatively speaking); what styles might they have tended toward?

"Where to begin, of which culture and what language???"
Sorry, I was referring to Spanish forms, specifically, at least as far as how they may differ from Swiss/Germanic while still emphasizing material efficiency. I'm afraid I won't quite be willing to learn a whole new language (in a technical field, no less) in order to build a house! wink --I can ask for the bathroom or a glass of OJ in Espana, but not whether you run a trunnel through the gusset vs a scrivet into the mucket (those last two were actual words from my automotive maintenance manual) and more importantly, whether you'll kill yourself doing one over the other, lol!

TCB

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#33605 - 03/23/16 09:08 PM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: TCB]
D L Bahler Offline

Member

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 946
Loc: Indiana
For what it's worth,

German colonists in Central America brought with them their traditional timber framing forms and put them to use in the New World. Many of the places where the Germans settled were earthquake prone. However, the German building style survived, and proved its ability to withstand earthquakes. Some of the original colonial ear buildings are still standing. Regions with German heritage are easy to spot by their steep-sloped roofs and tendency toward half-timber construction while their neighbors tend toward a more Spanish style of building -so yes to answer your question there is indeed a strong Spanish school of timber framing, and we can find it in practice still among their descendants in south in Central America (who are estimated to be something like 80-90% Spanish by blood in most areas, due to the impact of European diseases which nearly wiped out the native population in all but the most remote regions.)

I do have a bit of background is seismic engineering. I'm no expert by any means but I understand the basic concepts, and maybe a bit beyond that. The notion that buildings must flex during seismic loading, as stiff ones will fail, is a bit of an over-simplification. Stiff buildings can do well, provided they possess the structural means of dissipating the seismic forces. I can't recall where I read it, but I do remember having read that the German Fachwerk (light frame and brick infill) are able to withstand the earthquakes because they are very efficient in transferring the energy out of the frame. By pure luck, the frames the Germans brought with them that were not designed to resist earthquakes proved capable of doing so. I'll have to track down my sources on this, I'm sure you'd be interested in it. Even in the US today, some seismic engineering relies on flexibility while others are designed be stiff and very efficiently transfer the forces (with unpredictable direction and intensity but predictable origin, i.e. you know an earthquake will attack at the foundation) out. Both have their own advantages and drawbacks.

When it comes to buildings lacking oblique bracing, this is not a strictly Asiatic phenomenon. Actually this concept is likely far older than the use of bracing as we are used to it. In a sense, you could say the Japanese method is considerably more archaic than anything used in the West today. Similar concepts appear (we can't know for sure, as we have a very limited amount of information to work with) throughout the Mediterranean. Greek, Etruscan, and by extension Roman architecture -while classically in stone, derives from a type of wooden architecture that did not involve any sort of long bracing members but rather relied on locking joinery at the tops of the posts and interlocking bracketed timbers in the roof (according, at least, to Vitruvius and other Roman era writers who were writing a few centuries after the last of these structures were built) Classical stone architecture reflects this, the capitols of the columns and the construction of the portions above the columns all reflect the wooden origins. Even Egyptian architecture reflects similar origins, with early Old Kingdom stone architecture emulating reed bundles and palm logs used to construct their immediate predecessors.

We can find some similarities here; Italy, Greece, and much of the Ancient Near East are all earthquake-prone, and they appear to have at one time used techniques very similar (if not considerably less developed) to what we still see in east Asia today.
The simple explanation as to why these sorts of techniques are not found in the west today is that Mediterranean and Mesopotamian cultures typically abandoned timber framing methods in favor of heavy stone architecture (or in some cases never possessed suitable timber resources to ever have any sort of rich timber building tradition). The timber frames in the former Roman world today stem from largely Germanic or central Asian (Turkic and Hunnish) sources, and as such spent a few centuries developing in a totally different part of the world.

So all of this long-winded talk is to illustrate the point that all of this is far from simple, and very little understood by anyone. There are a lot of different approaches to Timber Framing in general, some spectacular and some not, but all with something worth studying. There are many different solutions to bracing, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The German system was designed with a goal in mind, that goal was to create a style of building that was as efficient as possible from a materials standpoint while maintaining and even increasing upon the ability of a timber frame to endure loading both static and dynamic. In the early industrial era this design was pressed even further, and the northern Swiss styles of rural Riegelbau construction are the result of this push for efficiency.

Asian tradition seems to be driven by a different set of values. This is not by any means an insult, just an observation. The Japanese as I understand it refined their systems into a delicate art -like they did with most things. The craftsmanship is superb and their accomplishments admirable, however we do well to recognize a different set of ideals behind their developments when contrasting with European systems.

Also I should say this; there are indeed braces that are designed to work only in tension. I've seen hundreds of them (if not thousands) during my travels. This used to be a very typical Central European phenomenon. Many structures with light plank infills relied on thin (like, 1 or 2 inch) plank braces on the outside to hold the structure. These relied on tension joinery -in this case a family of refined and specially designed dovetail-like joints- and were useless under compression. In fact, some joints appear to have been designed to 'pop out' if the braces came under compression, this same shape of the joint causing it to become tighter and stronger under tension. This type of joint evolved as a solution to the challenge of having to add braces after the walls, infill and all, were erected. The only practical way to do this was to use relatively thin braces that were inserted from the outside and face-pegged in place. This is an almost universal feature of old central European and Alpine timber frames relying on light plank infill, and is recognized as a Celtic technology (in contrast with archaic Germanic technologies that relied on let-in bracing that appears to have been designed to work primarily under compression, for example the bracing used in Anglo-Saxon and early Norman ere English structures). I am not aware of this technology existing anywhere else. It is worth noting that structures I have seen this sort of bracing on range in period of construction anywhere from the early 19th century to the late 13th century. For the most part, Swiss rural carpentry tended to view tension as the primary action of effective bracing, and the designs of their roof structures especially reflect this.
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#33607 - 03/24/16 06:06 AM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: TCB]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: TCB
Is a slot like that vs. a partial mortise better suited to thicker timbers, though? My only concern is I'd be boxing myself into using fatter sticks than really needed.


Sizing (typically) in most of these "pass through bracing styles" is proportional to one another so a post can be very small. I have seen examples where there may be more post in a small format (75mm), and the nuki are a 1/3 corresponding element that passes in the middle...

Originally Posted By: TCB
...While a system like you've described can be more flexible, when it does come time for it to load up, it is inherently less efficient than a cross brace...


I would agree...perhaps...in some "borrowed" or modern "bastardized" examples, yet not so much in the traditional formats...

I would also suggest that many (most??) folks that I have conversations with about these systems (and their "concepts/ideas" about what they "think" may be taking place) have never studied them "in country" or ever designed/built with examples of them...Until that is achieve, it really is not tangibly possible to give a complete contextual understanding of them...

It took a very long time and a great deal of academic and in situ examination of these systems (including building examples of them or testing them to failure) to get a reasonable understanding of just what does take place in crushing/binding load situations...comparably that is to other system. As described earlier, Asian and Japan in particular has been afforded a biome and climate type that is very unique. Not only heavy snows, and severe tsunami/wind events but the ever pressing seismic loads the architecture has to endure regularly...

Originally Posted By: TCB
...Definitely two different schools of thought, but I'm not convinced they are mutually exclusive...


Fully agreed, and I think I reflected that in the last post, as in some areas of Asian and the Middle East you will typically find both systems working in context with each other very well. We have now lost the oldest examples of some of these in Syria to the devastation of war. There "was" a structure there just in its final examinations indicating an age of over 7000 years for portions of the structure...Regrettably, it and the examples around in no longer exist for further study or examination...

If we move into examples like Dhajji Dewari and kath khuni ...as just to contrasting regional styles not that far removed from one another...we can see different solutions for building while using similar resources in different context...One that heavily relies on an oblique system and massive weight and the other only horizontal bracing and massive weight...While others of this region will employ a concert of both...

As mention, some of the Norther Japanese systems (et al for the Himalayas) employ both systems also...as you say...a "fall back." Yet most of what I often read in discussion like this are "theoretical examinations" and/or just loose academic conversation...One most go there and/or build with these system to fully understand them past just intensive literary research...

Originally Posted By: TCB
...Probably getting into really complicated dynamics issues if we think too hard about this, with no easy one-size answers...


On that point...we are in full agreeance... wink

As for whether "two-floor systems" can rely on these system...the answer would be yes...but again not out of context from a very well defined system of design...The oldest "well documented" timber frames in the world are in Japan, and these are often Buddhist temples and Sutra repositories that may be as tall as six stores...or again...like the Kath Khuni of the Himachal Pradesh averaging 4 to 8 stories in some examples...

Originally Posted By: TCB
So I suppose the lesson might be to use rigid joints where you expect the least movement (vertical-axis shear) and allow for more flexibility elsewhere.


Very well stated...and getting to the heart of many of these vernacular forms...Massive rigid roof systems with huge mass, and then central column along with flexible torsional resistance systems in other areas...And/or corbelled/bracketed...which can be looked at as a "flexible oblique system" such as most Dou Gong bracketing system.

Originally Posted By: TCB
...For whatever reason, I'm thinking that the tallest structures in classic Japan tended to be inns/tenements, which were quite tall (relatively speaking); what styles might they have tended toward?


I am not sure that is really accurate...??

Most "merchant or Samurai" class architecture is single story...While Minka structures with there "Gossho" (aka "Praying Hands") style steeply pitched roofs may be called 5 to 6 stories counting there attic/upstairs areas...When you move out of Japan and deeper into southern Asia and the Middle East...the styles get even more numerous...

Many systems (even those shared in this conversation) are multiple stories tall and forming some of the tallest in the world...Many of the Asian Castles (like those in Europe) are built of massive stone foundations and then huge fortress timber frames above...Then we have Kath Khuni, Sutra Pagodas all over Asia, many 3 and 6 story timber frames throughout very tectonically active regions of the middle east such as Kashmir's Taaq, and on into Bhatar, Leepa style timber frames etc...many 3 stories or more...

Timber-framed houses in the H&#305;m&#305;&#351;, Ba&#287;dadi styles (et al) form 80% of the total number of houses registered as cultural objects in Turkey. Being located on the Mediterranean-Himalayan seismic belt. These structures are greatly affected by earthquakes...and many of these domestic homes are over over 4 stories in height

I can more than understand the challenges with "languages" I struggle enough with just my own crazy and the few others I am slowly learning...For a house build...just ask others that have their nose stuck in all the different joint styles and ask good questions like you have been... grin


Edited by Jay White Cloud (03/24/16 06:15 AM)
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#33608 - 03/24/16 06:41 AM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: Jay White Cloud]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
Sorry about the typos at the end...Our forum here will not use many different kinds of font or Kanji...

the names where...

Himmis which is not that actual spelling but close...

TCB (et al) you may also find this presentation interesting for a collegue/mentor of mine...Randolph Langenbach

Bagdadi

Talk on tall timber frames and earthquake resistance in the vernacular forms...


Edited by Jay White Cloud (03/24/16 06:51 AM)
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#33610 - 03/24/16 11:32 AM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: TCB]
D L Bahler Offline

Member

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 946
Loc: Indiana
The oldest standing timber frames in the world can be found in Italy, in the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of which were buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

These timber frames should prove interesting to you, Jay, and TCB also.

This is the style Vitruvius calls Opus Craticium and it looks like this:


This is a sort of construction that was used chiefly for apartments and low-end housing, according to Vitruvius (and the example shown supports this, as it was an apartment complex). He thought it inferior a a tremendous risk for fire or falling down.

Of particular interest is the complete lack of any sort of bracing, excepting the double horizontal construction seen in the first picture at the top of the walls. The buildings appear to have relied almost entirely on the infill to maintain their shape.
This example is of stone, though Craticium refers to reeds and Vitrivius spoke generally of an infill more like waddle and daub (thus his aversion to the system as cheap and prone to fire)

Some historians speculate Medieval Swiss and South German half timbering may have roots in this style of building, due to the obvious similarities (The Romans may have adopted it from Syria or Persia, by extension suggesting a possible ancient link with the Dhajji Dewari or the Himis style practiced in modern Turkey.
I am skeptical of any strong relationship, other than the idea that the Romans were the inspiration for the concept of Half timbering in Europe while the overall framing methods tended toward the systems used in all wood construction from various Germanic and Celtic sources.

It should be noted that the structure in the picture is said to be in a dangerous state and is not open to the public.
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#33612 - 03/24/16 03:22 PM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: TCB]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
I have been to the Herculaneum Ruins...and the "house opus craticium" (a misnomer in description...watch the referenced video above...Randolph makes reference in his lecture.)

Some of the structures there can't be entered by "general public" but interior spaces are still accessed and studied by academics. The structure in the photo is on a public street and can be walked up to and viewed in (according to recent visits by students/friends)...but not entered do to public wear and tear on restoration/reconstruction work pending...

It is most precious and unique...and a wonderful example of some of some of the "oldest styles" of infill timber work, but the work in the photo (or much of it) is "new reconstruction" with elements of the original contained within as "historic interpretive display," as this is a "rebuild," from ruined elements during a pyroclastic event...

When discussing examples of "oldest structures" (wiki has many errors in it...) to meet standards set down by UNESCO, the Burra Convention, et al...the structure must be original, documented fully in context, and still standing on original foundation (in most examples) with most of the original material contextually still in use without "reworking."

The "oldest wood structure (or timber frame)"....is currently in Japan and before the destruction of it...the architecture in Syria may have surpassed it by over 4000 years...unfortunately now we will never know as the research has ceased and the village that contained it gone...


Edited by Jay White Cloud (03/24/16 03:28 PM)
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#33613 - 03/24/16 03:51 PM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: TCB]
D L Bahler Offline

Member

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 946
Loc: Indiana
The house in Herculaneum is not mostly new construction, this is well documented and can be easily researched. This house was discovered mostly intact with furniture and cupboards filled with everyday fare. What you see of this house is mostly what was originally there. There was a very small amount of restoration done to keep it in fairly reasonable shape, but the vast majority of the structure dates to its construction some time after 68 AD. It is considered to be the only fully intact example of this style of building still in existence.

Still this is not entirely fair. The building was buried in ash with pockets of poisonous gasses, preserving it in a moment of time. It's not a testament to the longevity of the style -which even if it is not the same style Vitruvius calls Opus Craticium was still reserved only for the cheapest construction in Roman Italy (we deduce this by the fact that all of the finer buildings are made of stone and brick). If it were not in the perfect place at the perfect time, this building would likely have suffered the same fate as every other example of this the Romans ever built -it would have fallen down.
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#33614 - 03/24/16 04:52 PM Re: Double-Wall Enclosure Concept [Re: TCB]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
David, this is not worth debating...Go there, talk to academic that study this region (et al)...There is a great deal of "mis-information" on the net...We can agree it is old, and very important to the architectural record...
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