Slabs: The Latest Architecture and News
In the dome of the Pantheon in Rome, several construction techniques were used to allow such a bold construction to stand. One concerns the composition of the concrete (in this case, non-reinforced concrete) with different densities throughout the structure. Closer to the top, lighter stones were used in the mixture, reducing the dome's weight retaining the solidity of the base. Another technique was the inclusion of “coffers”, which are nothing more than subtractions in the concrete, reducing the weight of the dome while maintaining a cross section sufficiently robust to support its own weight. Built almost 1,900 years ago, this building still surprises us with the genius of the solutions. Using a quantity of materials just high enough to fulfill its primary function, and creating intelligent structures as a result, is just one of the lessons that this building provides.
During the modern period, the buildings that used the traditional sloping roofs with tiles, draining the waters as quickly as possible, have begun to give way to the well-known 'waterproof flat roofs.' In spite of delivering a clean aesthetic to the project, allowing the use of the last slab as a space for living and contemplation, this solution can become a headache for its occupants if its execution and design are not careful. It is no accident that there have been infiltrations in famous modern buildings, such as the Vile Savoye or the Farnsworth House, designed by great masters of architecture. Currently, the civil construction industry has developed more sophisticated products and techniques that drastically reduce the chances of subsequent infiltration. However, we could say that waterproof flat slabs continue to be fragile points in buildings. The architects from Brasil Arquitetura have improved an inventive and very simple solution to avoid infiltrations in flat slabs, much used in the 70's by architects like Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Ruy Ohtake, filling them with vegetation.