A Ventilation Analysis of Bruce Goff's Bavinger House
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Bruce Goff’s Bavinger house was deemed a peculiar marvel during its early years after construction. Originally completed in 1955, the architectural style was considered far outside the box, unorthodox and unconventional. Due to its uniqueness in style and shape, many of the operational and strategic components of the house were overlooked in favor of viewing its odd structure. Goff proved to be thoroughly analytical and intentional down to the drafting of details on his sketches and with this being a glaring truth with his other designs, it leads to the question of just how intentional Bruce Goff was. The Bavinger house was built in the shape of a Fibonacci spiral; a logarithmic result of a maintained growth factor that expands further for every quarter turn from the origin by a factor of phi. The spiral extends 96 feet long (Sayer) and was bolted to the ground using a recycled drill stem. With this mathematical occurrence being found in nature, it is no coincidence that Goff’s use of organic architecture was heavily influenced by nature’s elements. Not only was the house designed using fractal architecture, but it also pushed the limits of modern architecture by employing the use of resources and material from the surrounding area. Goff’s intent with using local resources cultivated innovation and ingenuity within the group of individuals who helped construct the house. With no HVAC system installed within the house, Goff planned for the house to utilize natural ventilation. How exactly, was this to take place, is what this thesis will be exploring. 13 Wind direction, site position, structure shape and material all play a part in analyzing the methods of how the Bavinger house managed to sustain natural ventilation techniques. While it would be much more effective to visit the site and employ tests and procedures to obtain more accurate results, this is now no longer possible. The Bavinger house was demolished in 2016; due to multiple structural issues, deterioration, weather damage and conflict between the owners and the University of Oklahoma, the house was inevitably condemned to destruction. Though this is a deeply unfortunate occurrence and loss of a historical piece of architecture, we can recreate and reconstruct the Bavinger house as a digital model to run in software meant to test wind speeds and air flow. This digital data can give an accurate account of how the Bavinger house handled wind infiltration and performed natural ventilation.
- OU - Theses 
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