Some Forms Are Function

More fakery, down the block from the building I was picking on a few months ago. The masonry over the entrance to the garage and courtyard is not supported by that supposed flat arch. This is a concrete-frame building with thin masonry veneer.

The shorter the span, the easier it is to get a masonry arch to work, so the fact that the window heads with spans less than half the entrance are obviously supported by lintels rather than arches is a tip-off. (The window heads obviously aren’t arches because of the limited arch rise possible, and the air-intake grilles cutting into the limited space, and the visible expansion joints.) The most amusing counter-evidence to the fakery is that the entire bay protrudes slightly from the general facade plane, so any effort to find a load path for the thrust from the big arch literally ends in thin air.

I am curious about the brackets below the ends of the flat arch. They’re rather substantial, so they don’t look like pure ornament, but they don’t fit the appearance that the fakery was meant to imitate. If there’s a column at the facade pier centered on the opening, then the concrete beam behind the stone veneer is a transfer girder, and those brackets may have been needed for shear capacity. Or they could be meaningless. I’ll probably never know.

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