Dr Patrick H. Fleming
Research Fellow, ETH Zurich. Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture | PhD Centre for Natural Material Innovation. (2018).
Doctoral Thesis: Variations in low-grade wood modification and stress lamination (Doctoral thesis).
Patrick Fleming is an architectural engineer working across the fields of construction, architecture, and engineering. His education began in sound and vibration engineering in Canada, and he later completed his environmental design studies and doctoral research in architecture and wood construction at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Before taking up a Research Fellowship at ETH Zurich’s Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture, Fleming worked as a practising engineer for more than three years in the office of Conzett Bronzini Partner AG in Chur, Switzerland. The majority of this working time in practice was focused on historical steel and concrete construction, especially with the renovation and extension of the Kongresshaus (1937-39) and Tonhalle (1895) in Zurich.
Fleming’s research at ETH Zurich has so far addressed a range of historical construction techniques and materials from twentieth-century architecture, taking the Zurich Kongresshaus and Freibad Allenmoos (1939) as case studies in the first instance. For example, research documenting the extensive and varied use of Rohrzellendecken construction for the ceilings and floors of the Kongresshaus was presented and well received at the 2019 Annual Conference of the UK Construction History Society. This type of rather primitive formwork is composed of prefabricated hollow bodies or cellular tubes (Rohrzellen). The tubes are made of basic wooden frames that are wrapped in a thin matting of woven reeds or canes, and finally fastened with steel wires. Further work based on archival studies and Fleming’s on-site (physical) sampling of the concrete, steel, and timber foundations of the Kongresshaus has also been accepted for the upcoming 16th International Docomomo Conference - Inheritable Resilience: Sharing Values of Global Modernities, occurring later in 2020. Detailed on-site documentation and 3D laser scanning of the mushroom columns and ceilings in both the Kongresshaus and Freibad Allenmoos have also been completed, leading to accurate point-cloud models, plans, and sections of the buildings.