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design studio: air

brendan josey 506 657

semester 1 2013
gwyll jahn + angela woda
1 introduction
2 architecture as discourse
i. architecture as discourse
ii. parc de la villette
iii. arab world institute
3 computational architecture
i. computational architecture
ii. arnhem station
iii. cirriform
4 parametric design
i. parametric design
ii. bao'an terminal 3
5 design approach: tessellation
i. design intent
ii. precedents
iii. exploration
iv. design development
v. expression
6. model
7. conclustion
8. design concept
i. prototype
ii. development
9. tectonics
10. final model
11. conclusion
12. bibliography
ruin academy, ground floor, casagrande
My name is Brendan Josey, I am in third year Architectural
Design. I have recently transferred from the University of
Queensland. Last year I studied part time, focusing on my
interests in music, This year I hope to finalise my undergrad
and continue to do masters. I find the approach of Air Studio
to be fascinating and unlike anything I encountered at UQ,
which followed a more traditional approach to building design.
I think I will find the course challenging in two ways: firstly,
while I have significant experience with Archicad and Autocad
I have never before used Rhino or Grasshopper, so that in
itself will be challenging; secondly, I have some foreboding
regarding the approach to digital and parametric design. To me,
architecturs is a powerful form of expression that allows for
complex communication, stimulateing growth and converstaion
within a community. It has the power to affect political and
social change, it is a medium that is endlessly rewarding and
boundless. I find parametric design incredibly interesting and
the possibilities seem endless, however, I believe there are
some shortcomings with the way it is employed and perhaps
it is not as all-inclusive as is being initially suggested in this
course. I cannot wait to submerge myself and come up with
some real opinions and ideas regarding this.
ruin academy, first floor, casagrande
ruin academy, conceptual section, casagrande
architecture as discourse
In understanding architecture as discourse, it is important to societal constructs. The idea is further examined in the
consider that fundamentally architecture is more than pure evolution of a functional society. The built environment is in
aesthetic or function. It is, by nature, a reflection of societal a constant state of flux. It is developed and refined from a
values and needs as seen, interpreted or deemed relevant at traditional vernacular that is continually reinterpreted and thus
the time of its conception. Architecture transcends rudimentary advanced through a specialized and complex function. From
functionality. It is a vehicle with which to challenge conventions, this the valued principles of architecture are delineated.
politics and ideals. It is demonstrative of a changing zeitgeist
and as such it is a direct reflection on certain elements of the Architecture, then, not only can be seen as discourse, but it
society in which it is situated. It is, in its very essence, part of must be engaged and approached as discourse.
the public realm. Architecture emotes, functions and imposes
itself upon its landscape and the people it interacts with, and A theme throughout architectural history that must be noted is
as such it enters into heavy dialogue with its surroundings, its the challenging of established systems and models. An ongoing
admirers, its critics, and its users. project of interest is Marco Casagrande's Ruin Academy
(Taipei, Taiwan, 2010 -). This is a subversive project aiming to
With this in mind, one must ask: what is architecture? This deconstruct the urban tradition and re-approach architecture
question is not easily answered. Architecture is a multi-faceted by re-thinking the industrial city and the "modern man in a box"
medium dependent on many factors: functionality, individual (Casagrande, 2010). It is an educational and academic facility
expression, politics, and societal values to name a few. The at one with nature and dilapidation, focused on research. The
Oxford dictionary claims architecture to be "the style in which entire academy will ultimately be devoured by the environment
a building is designed and constructed, especially with regard in which is it situated, becoming the compost of the modern city
to a specific period, place, or culture" (The Oxford Dictionary, (Casagrande). It is in these varied approaches that architectural
11th Edition, Print). In this sense, architecture is considered discourse is nurtured. Ideas challenging the norm and the
purely for its physicality, its temporal placement and its expectations of the architect's role establish more and more
context; consequently, this is representative of typology, not footholds in terms of innovation and freethinking.
necessarily architecture as a whole.
This advancement in architectural thought is linked directly to
Architecture influences human interaction by gathering the ever-growing discipline of Parametricism and digital design.
together participants for specific reasons; it segregates These methods explore new possibilities within the architectural
and distinguishes spaces and acts as a framework for profession, casting further queries on the traditional role of the
communications (Schumacher, 2011). Resultantly, it is to be Architect, blurring the lines between artistry and engineering.
seen as a system of semiotics, making overarching definitions This follows on from the early progressive visions of Archigram's
elusive. Put simply, architecture can be viewed as a complex Walking Cities, The Situationists' Psychogeographic Maps, and
communication between epochal styles, typology, philosophy Metabolism's view to organic and technological futures with
and societal values. It is a discourse of ideas intrinsic to The Metabolism Manifesto.
the human condition expressed via the vehicle of the built
environment, which in turn, impacts social behaviour and Through such projects, architectural discourse is explored
ethics. and broadened, schemes like Ruin Academy, which aim to
dismantle traditional architectural approaches, add to this and
In an esoteric sense, architecture not only reveals itself as richen debate across schools of thought. Again: regardless of
a function of societal needs, but also draws out underlying method, true architecture works with and towards the evolution
currents, tensions, societal trends, and desires. It has capacity of a functional society.
to effect real change in terms of government, lifestyle, values
and social awareness. This is achieved through the application
of principles, intention and approach towards traditional
deconstruction of parc de la villette, tschumi
parc de la villette.bernard tschumi.1987
The Parc de la Villette is located in the North-East of Paris or invention of new, increasingly abstract shapes or buildings
in a populated semi-industrial area on what was once the site is unnecessary as meaning is derived from everything. Tschumi
of a slaughterhouse. Suisse-French architect Bernard Tschumi believed this approach to be a bridge between the present day
designed the park in 1982 after winning a commission from contemporary theory and its predecessor, post-structuralism.
the French government. The driving idea behind the creation
of this 'Urban Park for the 21st Century' was to influence Further analysis suggests that by deconstructing any given
society as a whole, to effect change and attempt to fuse program Tschumi could prove that his own program challenges
concepts of the economic, the scientific and the cultural. The the very ideology that it implied. This would achieve a "reversal
general circumstance of the project was to find an "organising of the classical oppositions and a general displacement of the
structure that could exist independent of use" (Tschumi). that system," (Tschumi) which was, of course, the ultimate aim of the
is, a structure that did not have centre or hierarchy, and would park. The park not only rejected context, but "encourag[ed]
remove the simplistic assumption of a "casual relationship intertextuality and the dispersion of meaning"(Tschumi).
between a program and the resulting architecture." (Tschumi)
La Villette challenges all contexts. It has no profound relation
From the outset, Tschumi rejected the idea of introducing to its surroundings. It aims to be the signifier, rather than the
an additional mass to the site, even in a linear format. He signified, it moves towards interpretive infinity. This allows
proposed a simple structural solution that distributed the a great deal of freedom for the prospective viewer, as they
programmatic requirements over the total site in a regular are free from any hindrance of authorial intention and are
arrangement of points of intensity designated as Folies. The thus free from bias - hypothetically. To each viewer the park
park incorporates thirty-five of these unique red Folies over its can represent something entirely different and untainted, as
span, each beginning as an identical red cube. They were then a result, his or her interpretation will become analysed and so
deconstructed and elaborated. The set out of the signature forth, this is called homeostatic architecture. It is interesting
red Folies is a clear symbol to La Villette and is essential to to note, however, that although Tschumi's scheme recoils at
the park's identity. Each is an "autonomous sign that indicates the idea of meaning or context, it is, ironically, creating yet
its independent programmatic concerns" (Tschumi) and another paradox for itself because in the and the absolute
possibilities, however, they suggest a unity, a structural core rejection of style becomes itself a form of style.
and a system.

In order to determine the placement of these points of intensity,

Tschumi used a technique known as abstract mediation in which
he employed the idea of a point-grid system. The important
thing to note from this is that the ordinance grid acted as a
mediator between the two exclusive systems of the physical
and the metaphysical. This is underpins a core philosophy
of the project which was to prove that it was possible to
construct a complex architectural organisation without
resorting to traditional rules of composition, hierarchy and
order. (Tschumi). This proposed architecture was independent
of a conventional design language and aimed to achieve a
structure in which its concept becomes the architecture itself
(Tschumi). This implies that the creation

expression of parc de la villette, tschumi

arab world institute facade system, nouvel
arab world institute internal view, nouvel
arab world institute.jean nouvel.1987
When discussing the role of architecture as discourse it
is important to assess the implications and influence a
certain building has on its context, both in the perceived
and the implied sense. The Arab World Institute in Paris
by Jean Nouvel (1987) is a reinterpretation of classic
themes that adds to architectural discourse through
its active involvement in the French community. It was
designed as a centre for art from across Arab countries
and blends traditional middle-eastern lattice motifs with
advanced technology.

Its mechanical facade demonstrates the effective and

practical implications of kinetic architecture by limiting
the amount of sunlight into the building and thereby
controlling the internal conditions. The facade is a
system of light sensitive diaphragms, much like camera
lenses, that expand and contract depending on the sun's
position. As the lenses expand the geometric patterns are
altered in a subtle and fluid way.

The Arab World Institute represents a number of elements

that adhere to the Modernist style of architecture: its
facade is rectilinear, it plays with volumes, intersecting
planes and light. An issue that arose from the modern
movement is the notion of architecture encouraging
globalization, that is the uniform application of a blanket
language across cultures and context. The Institute
progresses architectural discourse by celebrating
modernity with simple, clean geometries and introducing
different components, Its use of ornament is integral to
the design. The facade is on one level, a glass curtain
wall; on another a complex lattice of decoration. This
contradiction is further seen in the juxtaposition of the
mechanical with the passive. The lattice is a marriage of
(very) old and new technologies. This symbolism not only
suggests progression but of cultural and artistic harmony.
e arnhem central train station masterplan, UNStudio
computational architecture
The architectural discourse is fluid and evolutionary; it is in the efficiency and convenience of modeling and documentation,
a constant state of reinterpretation and re-imagination. It but by and large, did not sway design methods to a great extent.
is a medium that is affected rapidly by changes in culture, In the evolution of CAD, architecture is entering an era where the
technologies and societal opinions. This can be related directly design space is becoming an experimental investigation and the
to the modern advent of digital design and computational software is becoming a "kinematic sculpting space" (Kolarevic).
architecture and is evident throughout history. New styles Furthermore, specialised program development is being unraveled
and epochs are engaged as technologies advance and society and made far more accessible, making the designer a script writing,
progresses. Take for example Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace, a catering to their own specific needs for specific projects. This
structure that notably took advantage of newly mass-produced creates a design method that is open ended and unpredictable,
glass to embody possibilities for the future of the Industrial one where form and spatial organisation adapts throughout the
Age. The Crystal Palace was a building that until the time design process in order to achieve a desired ultimate goal.
of its construction was unable to be built due to material
limitations, the advance in manufacturing technologies and the This can also be attributed to the collaborative aspect of digital
technological mood of the time, led directly to its realisation. design. Digital design has generated a platform for an advanced
This can be related directly to the modern advent of digital system of communication between architect and engineer,
design and computational architecture. influencing design choices early on in project development.
Computational architecture has fused elements of sculpture,
The term computational architecture refers to the relationship engineering and innovation. By viewing digital technology in this
and interaction between certain elements and datasets, way, it can be seen as an integration that allows the conception
enabling the generation of complex geometries and forms. It of an idea to be directly linked to its built outcome.
is a system that fosters and extends human capability; namely
mathematical, logical and analytical. Through this, computation Through these methods, digital media has influenced architecture
aids in the resolution of complex problems. A notable affect in a way that allows all elements of a design to be controlled. It
of computation on the modern architectural discourse is allows designs to be adapted and developed throughout the design
the development of complex geometries and forms. Through process and allows for a complex and thorough representation
the carriage of modeling software, seemingly endless form of structures, far beyond two-dimensional depictions. This is
abstractions are possible. A criticism of this is that due the further explored through the application of performance analysis
random and highly adaptable nature of digital architecture, it simulations. These simulations can be used to determine spatial
is difficult to determine a pervading architectural language or interactions, implied atmospheres, functionality and efficiency. All
philosophy. Computational architecture, as with the influence of these elements contribute to a whole where the architect is
of machine age edifices on the initial stages of Modernism, is returning to the role of a collaborative auteur.
driven from the influence of outside sources, that is, software. It
can be argued that only through technology is progression seen,
by discarding stagnant ideas and principles from all art forms.
From this it can further be argued that architecture, in all its
evolution, is reliant upon many aspects of society, not just the
designer and is "characterised by its capacity to take advantage
of the...the innovations present-day science and
technology." (Morales)

With this in mind, a logical conclusion can be drawn that such

an interface influences not only design outcomes, but design
methods. Previously, CAD software was a platform that increased
arnhem central station.UNStudio.2014
The Arnhem Central Station masterplan project (1996-2014)
by UNStudio is an ongoing railway station project that has
been heavily influenced by computational design practices.
In this case, a computation system was used that allowed
the delineation of panel size for the complex roof system.
A pattern was determined through analysis of material
manufacturing constraints. In this way computation affects the
design directly as the parameters set by the restraints interact
with computational solution in order to achieve the desired
design effect. The determination of the panel design in Rhino
directly informed the manufacture of the roof panels through
information synthesis of the 3-D model. This demonstrates that
one of computational design's strongest advantages lies in
collaboration, communication and information sharing.
cirriform.future cities lab.2013
Cirriform (2012) by Jason Kelly Johnson for Future Cities Lab
is a prototypal instalment that integrates the interactive
technology by use of Grasshopper plug-in Firefly. It is a
mechanical facade that responds to the proximity of visitors
through sensors, which activate small motors and an LED
display. This design further demonstrates future potential for
computational architecture and the influence it extends over
design practice by incorporating computational technology
in an active, participatory way, blurring the lines between
architecture and physical computation.

The technology provides a conduit for 'real world' information

to be relayed to the Grasshopper design space, which, in turn,
informs algorithmic processes, thereby creating an interactive
instalment. Through projects such as this, the digital medium
is furthering the architectural discourse and displaying
the evolutionary nature of the profession. Furthermore, it
demonstrates future architectural possibilities through new
ways of envisioning and approaching architecture in terms of
innovation and communication.
roco gallery, london, zaha hadid
parametric design
Parametric design is a method in which a geometric form is
created by manipulating a series of mathematic relations within
a pre-defined parameter. It is the application of a series of
variables and algorithms that alter the geometry in order to
achieve certain design intents. It is a generative mathematical
process, and through this method, it is possible to explore a huge
number of possibilities within pre-defined parameters. In this
way, it is a flexible, efficient and freeing design method.

There are numerous advantages to parametric design. It limits

human error through the automation of calculations, increases
efficiency through programmatic repetition and allows for
multi-faceted design solutions. Parametric design is a fluid and
adaptable process, allowing the architect to create a system of
relationships that contribute to the design as it is developed.
This enhances the continuity of the structure and improves
capacity to explore design options through varying elemental
relationships. Due to the inherent nature of the parametric
process, the architect is faced with the challenge of determining
a logic that will act as pre-defined parameter for the design. This
is a limiting aspect of parametric design as it forces an initial
separation between the designer and the design as complex
relationships are considered.

The parametric method is a design tool that has incredible

potential to realise complex geometries, streamline design
process and lead to a direct relationship between constructability
and design. It is a tool that has revolutionised architectural form.
Despite the potential parametric design offers, it remains a
limited medium. It continues to be method for the representation
of structure, and while the form-defining role it plays lends itself
to a certain style of architecture it is important to note that
through this evolution, the form is open ended and somewhat
random. With this in mind, a conclusion can be drawn that a
certain architectural language and principle must be applied to
parametric design so as to avoid a syntax based solely on form
experimentation, one lacking ethics or a true sense of identity
or place in the architectural canon. Parametric design is not yet
a design movement of its own right, but a method with which
to achieve and realise complex geometry and innovations. This
being said, its potential for innovation and sustainable design
are limitless.
Massimiliano Fuksas+Knippers Helbig Advanced
d Engineering, Baoan Airport Terminal 3, 2012

The Bao'an, Terminal 3 (2012) is a result of a parametric design

function. The scope of the project demonstrates advantages
offered through computational and parametric design. Projects of
this scale and complexity would be a virtual impossibility without
the computational accuracy and clarity of parametric modelling.
The project is comprised of over 400,000 steel members and
60,000 facade elements arranged in a complex, double-curved
geometry. Through use of Rhino and Excel, the project was able
to maintain the intended aesthetic as well as communicate
specific design requirements, overall form and complicated data
between the engineer and architect. The theme of technology in
architecture is constant in the progression of style and language.
Across all art forms, the individuality and merit of the work is
related to its temporal context. In architecture, and all art,
there are stages in its development that endeavour to express
functions that technology is yet to support, thereby leading to
new developments in that art form (Benjamin). This is overtly the
case with computational, parametric and complex design of the
21st Century. Developments often occur through the influence of
technology and present day values and technique.
design intent
Through the design method of tessellation it is possible to create Further exploration will attempt to determine a clearly
a complex geometric system that acts as both structure and defined concept for this transition. The Gateway will be an
surface. By employing tessellation as a technique it is possible experience that will alter the perspective, spatial focus and
to create a lightweight, efficient system that would be ideally orientation of the observer, specifically highway users. The
applied to instalments and monuments. It is a system that is project, to be designed as a border crossing, will establish a
easily maintained and constructed; it allows for large spans and specific area to act as an icon for the infrequent user and
intricate forms. This will allow for a flexible design approach, as a destination for the frequent. It will enact a unique effect
one that can explore a system of structure and form as a single upon each observer, each visit. In order to achieve this, the
entity, allowing for the housing of potential mechanical or use of controllable lighting and an implied structure will be
electric services. Tessellation further lends itself to a variety of utilised to define parameters. Tessellation, as a design tool,
material uses, the incorporation of voids and additional volumes will allow for a lightweight, malleable and complex form,
by virtue of its structural integrity. capable of housing the required services whilst maintaining
weightlessness and the sense of apparition.
Parametric design permits highly adaptable geometries that
lead to fluid, complex and elastic forms through continual Additionally, it is to be noted that architecture, as an art, is
variation. This design possibility lends itself to weightless observed as a series of patterns, observed in passing. It is
and elegant structures, a quality amplified by articulated by in this way, particularly in the Wyndham Gateway Project,
complexity (Schumacher). This is achieved through both an that it can be assumed that architecture is viewed as a
advance in computational technology, material manufacture distraction (CITE) and not as an examined element, for the
and the accurate determining of evolving, non-repeating forms. most part. It is possible to see this as an advantage rather
Although parametric design adheres to some classic principles than a discouragement by employing a language across and
regarding ornamentation, it is within the cutting edge realm within a small number of structures that convert and act upon
of evolutionary design and process behind form finding that a far larger confine. These structures will act as a catalyst to
parametricism resides. This becomes relevant when considering the site, invigorating their surroundings, instigating atmosphere
the discourse of context, impact and influence. and mystery. This will be explored through precedents to
In analysing these concepts and applying them to the Wyndham
Gateway Project, is it possible to discern a method with which
to apply design principles and form finding. The project is
intended as a timeless representation of change, a transitory
realm that will alter the mindset the viewer, transcending
physical form. It is to imply a greater philosophy empowering
both the city of Wyndham and the casual user of the motorway.
This will be achieved by creating an experiential transition. In
doing this, it will be possible to affect the user on a personal
level, rather than on the superficial, basic aesthetic of a surface
puppet theatre, harvard carpenter centre, external view

interior to exterior view, puppet theatre, harvard carpenter centre

view of roof geometry, puppet theatre, harvard carpenter centre

puppet theatre: harvard

The Carpenter Centre Puppet Theatre The theatre is made possible through the
constructed in the Harvard Centre for Visual distribution and transfer of loads across the
arts is a demonstration of tessellation in surface of the structure; this allows large
parametric design. This project incorporates spans and complex geometries as well voids
five hundred unique panels assembed using and lighting integration. Despite the Puppet
a system of bolts. The white panels form not Centre's 3-inch panelling, it is able to span
only the complex geometric pattern of the an impressive 15 feet in the central void. This
project, but the structure also. translates into a lightweight structure, efficient
and malleable, and a method of construction
The integration of aesthetic and function is an ideal for a project like the Gateway Design.
element that we would like to explore in the
Gateway Design Project. The Puppet Centre The Gateway Design project will require
can be assembled and dissembled relatively sections of the instalment to span distances
easily due to its construction method. This with no support structure. The tessellation
allows a flexible design approach and ease method will allow for an intricate and involved
of maintenance and increased longevity. The geometry as well as the structural integrity
use of undulating patterns and rhythms is also required for a functional and efficient project.
made possible through tessellation.
interior view, showing illumination and structure

aerial view of structure

detail of lightweight wooden geometry

voissour cloud

The project 'Voussoir Cloud' by architectural firm

IwamotoScott is a large installation based upon a tesselated
geometry sequence. It is comprised of a large number
of unique panels and is situated in a large room. The
installation explores the structural properties of lightweight
materials and the possibility great structural integrity and
strength as achieved through the implementation of light-
weight elements of varying sizes and shape.

Inspiration for this project was drawn from such projects

as Gaudi's Hanging Chain model, IwamotoScott constructed
each vault as a Dalauney tesselation, utilising the structural
potential small patterning at column bases while employing
porosity in the roof areas as well as larger panels in
areas where less load was applied to the members. This
demonstrates the benefits of the lightweight wooden panels
and how the repeating tesselations can achieve a smooth
and stable form. The patterns generated by such a geometry
also lend themselves to dramatic and effective lighting.

This structural system will be highly effective in the Gateway

Design Project, as it allows for large spans, lightweight
construction and provides dynamic and striking design
internal view

external view

VoltaDom by Skylar Tibbits for MIT's 150th

Anniversary Celebration and FAST Arts Festival
is an installation, which contains the idea of
a tessellated surface of geometric vaults with
reminiscent of the great vaulted ceilings of historic
In this project, the key elements we would like to
explore in the Gateway Design Project is integration
of aesthetic and structure. The combination of
parametric rules and cathedral vaults innovate the
idea of transforming the traditional language of
architecture into the simple geometric shapes and
computational design. The vaults also provide a
spectrum of oculi that penetrate the hallway under
the project and the surrounding area with views
and light.

With the expansion of architectural surface panel

by intensifying the depth of doubly curved vaulted
surfaces, it managed to create a self-support
structure which no need any additional support
poles in the middle of this large scale project. it
managed to create a self-support structure which
no need any additional support poles in the middle
of this large scale project. This can help us to
understand how to create an open space under the
Gateway Design project in a long distance without
support structure by transfer the load to the side
of our design.

The vaults design also allow the structure turn

to any direction flexibly, which is needed in our
project to connect the three separate sites together
by only one structure with series of turning point.

external vie

The Hyposurface project by dECOi architects employs

tessalation method to create an interesting and innovative
installation. Constructed in the Birmingham Hippodrome
Theatre, the Hyposurface wall moves via computer controlled
pistons which react to the movement of sound in the theatre.

It works in a similar way to the Cirriform Responsive Facade

in Seattle, Washington by Future Cities Lab. This facade
reacts to the closeness of and the movement of people both
inside and outside the building. It was created using Firefly;
a plug-in for Grasshopper, so therefore is relevant to this

These precedents could be useful for our Gateway Project

as we could encorporate the use of a fluid, tessalated
surface that moves in conjunction with cars and the speed
the motorists are travelling.
voissoir cloud exploration

By taking the precedent of the IwamotoScott "Voissoir Cloud"

and discerning its governing design principles, it was possible
to experiment and adapt the techniques to emphasise certain
elements, maximising its potential application to the Gateway
Design Project. As the structure is based on a system of arches,
direct correlation to the initial ideas of the Gateway Project's
form are limited. In order to challenge the design space initially
encountered, parameters governing the Voissoir Cloud's overall
dimensions were altered. This included column base widths,
arch spans and height. Additionally, the triangulation of the
structure was adapted and manipulated in order to determine
future structural and patterning possibilities. By changing overt
characteristics of the Voissoir Cloud language, the way is
paved to express and accentuate certain elements in future
incarnations. The form of the structure is based upon a points
system (representing columns) and their relationship to a series
of divided volumes. It became quickly apparent that these
geometries and ratios could be controlled to give heightened
effect to the spatial experience within our proposed structure,
potentially controlling light patterns or placement. The variations
present overall dimensioning and geometric relationships that
were explored in the initial phases of research.
development through exploration
In order to further develop understanding of the Voissoir Cloud's
application of the tessellation method, further alterations were
applied to the study's parameters. This was mainly by way of
point distribution to arbitrarily define new column locations
and density, as well as altering the overall geometry of the

The possibilities that arose following these alterations gave rise

to some new ideas for the form of the Gateway installments.
In later incarnations, the project began to gain a mass and
presence not previously seen. The patterning and grid geometry
suggested at the lightweight and airy structure that was initially
speculated. Despite the advances in the direction of the
Voissoir Cloud form, it still lacked the fluidity and dignity that
was required to add weight to the design intent. In order to
continue the tessellation process and create the ambience and
drama intended in the Gateway Project, it will be necessary
to adapt the definition and apply it to a form in new ways.
The proposed project will require the removal of columns and
internal voids. It will require a complex surface geometry that
will house lighting and suggest a volume, nothingness contained
within a defined parameter. Columns and voids suggest a weight
contradictory to the design intent.

Considering the importance of an implied volume to the proposal

Gateway Project, it was necessary to develop the concept
further. The site is a destination for travelers, a beacon - an
Otherworld. Its inception is transportation, an experience that
alters the reality of the user, one that shifts the fixed lights of
a never arriving horizon to a different plane. It is to be entered
into drift-like and wistful. The design intention moved further
towards the application of atmospheric lighting of changing
density and population. More precedents were sought and the
concept was progressed.
hugh ferriss

Hugh Ferriss's renderings offer a beautiful view of fictional

cities. They transport the viewer, they are dreamy and wistful.
The mood that will be presented Wyndham Gateway project is
represented in elements drawn from the Ferriss renderings. A
non-existant cityscape to be lost in.
kowloon walled city, hong kong

Similar to the Hugh Ferriss renderings, the Kowloon Walled City

in Hong Kong provides inspiration through its allusion. There is
a mystery to the unknown corners and streets of Kowloon and
in the incomparable density. From this, ideas of population can
be explored in the proposal.
uk pavilion, shanghai, heatherwick studio

The UK Pavilion in Shanghai, 2010, provided a precedent that

embodies much of the design intent for the Gateway Project. It
offers a sensory experience that invites discussion. It provides a
sense of Other-Worldness, trasporting the user, altering a realtiy.
It is comprised of a fibre-optic array housed in alumminium
sleeves over a a wood and steel frame.
uk pavilion
uk pavilion
exploration 1

exploration 2
design development
Following the analysis of further precedents, new forms were
considered and through use of GeoDesic and point population, a
representation of an ultimate form was established. Tessellation
will be employed in determining the next stages of the design
process. There are a number of options to be explored with
its manufacture. These have been considered to be a mast
system based on tension and tessellated network of supports,
a lightweight steel frame to house the light system a surface
membrane, acting to diffuse light and hide structure and optic
fiber tube system, similar to that employed by the UK Pavilion
in the Shanghai Exhibition. The surface was coined 'Light
Structure'. The model was constructed from wire and fabric
with a fiber-optic lighting system to demonstrate the desired

light structure plan

light structure exploration 1

light structure exploration 2

design development

light structure skeleton

light structure form

design development: model

The process of Computation Design, to me, is elusive. As for the mid-semester presentation, I was prepared
I have found it so far to be incredibly interesting, yet criticism given, I was aware of the limitation of
wildly frustrating. Through my research for this course, our model. It was intended as a representation,
as well as my personal pursuit of understanding, not a fabrication model, nevertheless, I welcomed
I have found that Parametricism is a rabbit warren criticism given and found it very helpful. It will
of philosophies, theories and practice. Not all of progress the groups project in the direction I would
equal merit, I might add. I find this stimulating and like. My personal passion in architecture relates to
exciting; it has challenged my previous stance on the program and experience more than elaborate form.
subject of computational design. I believe the method This is reflected not only in my built expression,
in which Parametricism is employed is still hit and but music and art taste also, I believe in an
miss; I am not won over by solely complicated forms individual relationship with a work and this does not
seemingly serving no purpose, whether it be function necessarily involve technical perfection or unjustified
or stimulating discourse. embellishment. As with all art, again, it is difficult to
define personal taste. I find Parametricism inspiring
I came to this course with little knowledge of and I look forward to continuing to learn after this
computational architecture, and I am still not course and developing my own style. I reiterate a
completely free to manipulate forms to the extent I previous sentiment expressed in this journal, however:
would like, although I am certainly progressing. I have I think it is imperative that a philosophy, drive and
been following video tutorials and experimenting with purpose underpins decisions and motivation in this
the definitions. My biggest limitation is that I feel I've style, as with any other. Architecture wields a huge
grasped a concept and when I return, I find that it is power, one that can affect change and tap into social
lost. It is the sheer volume of information that must consciousness. It is through deeper thought process
be ingested that I find difficult, particularly with such that a movement becomes influential and sincere
tight time restraints. It is certainly something that will rather than trend.
come with time, I do not find it inherently difficult at
this stage, and the process certainly suits the way my
mind processes information.
gateway project

In the continuing development of the Wyndham

Gateway project, the design focus of the previous light
form was adapted to emphasise elements integral to
the project's aim.

Further precedents were analysed and a new concept

was arrived at. The new iteration of the project
was conceived as a series of abstracted volumes,
suspended above the ground. As in the previous stage
of the project, the aim was to maintain the theme of
the Otherworld, a transitory, surreal space, altering
perceptions of perspective and scale.

An examined precedent was a proposed North Sydney

Bus Shelter by Tribe Studio in association with Super
Colossal. The project incorporated a series of hollow
volumes with a reflective underside, reflecting the sky
and ground beneath. The effect creates a dynamic
space that alters the scale of the structure.

The concept of the original light form was abstracted

and re-imagined through a process of form exploration
and manipulation. By lifting the forms from the site
the scale of the objects would be increased, their
presence more etheric and their forms becoming
weightless, unanchored from the ground.

In addition to the North Sydney Bus Shelter, the

Hugh Feriss renderings were again referred to. This
rendering in particular, offers a sense of depth that is
sort after in the new proposal for the Gateway. The
newly proposed cluster of volumes will aim to draw
the viewer's gaze deep within the forms, blurring focal
points and creating a suspended city, redefining the
viewer's perspective and experience of the site and
the highway.

Wyndham City lies on the transition between

metropolitan and regional Victoria. It is a juncture
that occurs on the huge grassland expanse west of
Melbourne. The experience of the area is dominated
by long and low horizons offering a single plane of
sight. The junction of regional and metropolitan is most
startlingly observed through light density and scale
changes. The image of Melbourne and its surrounds
offers a contrast between densely populated regions
and farmland. This concept will be manipulated by the
proposed 'Light City'.
prototype development
initial prototype

The initial stages of form finding were undertaken

through material experimentation and scaling. This
gave an idea of how to achieve the desired lighting
effects. The initial forms were constructed from balsa
wood and cardboard. This gave an idea of how th
elight reacts on different surfaces, constructability
and the size and density required for the light patterns
to be effective.
secondary prototype

Following the initial prototyping of the forms, a

program was required to give the project order,
technique and focus. The project evolved from the
relationship between regional and metropolitan areas
and as such, the issue of encroaching cities was
encountered. This paved the way for a development in
the project's relationship to the site and how it could
evolve. By taking the organised aesthetic of a city
block, it was possible to address the experience of a
site situated in a threshold location, such as Wyndham.

A second prototype was developed, demonstrating the

volumes as weightless and clustered forms.
continued development

The deconstruction of this aesthetic offers the viewer

a discourse and site for analysis. This is in so far as
the drifting forms can be perceived in many different
ways depending on the mood of the viewer, the time
of day and their personal experience. The volume
of the masses is an intimidating and foreboding in
daylight hours, but it gradually dissolves as the light
fades, altering its reception. It becomes a floating city,
mesmerising and untouchable.

The site was tessellated and a fictional city block was

arrived at. The forms were established as manipulated
buildings and their composition designed to be
experienced as the motorists approach.
tectonics: fabrication
tectonics: process

In order to rationalise the project, it was necessary

to establish the relationship of the forms and the
proposed light system to be installed. The forms
were created in Maya were the light points could be
determined through tessellation and the assignment of
the vertices as focal points. This was done through
the distribution of points across the forms surfaces,
the application of the 'paint' tool to create a faded
distribution of the tessellated faces. In order to
maintain constructability, these two processes were
carried out separately.

The forms were conceived, triangulated and panelised

and exported to Rhino to be unfolded. After which,
the original forms were tessellated and painted in
Maya, then exported to Rhino where the vertices of
the tessellation were appointed circles to demonstrate
the light points of the forms.
tectonics: form
tectonics: tessellation
tectonics: application
tectonics: final

1 1

5 6


B 8

tectonics: fabrication

The fabrication of the final model of the Wyndham

Gateway was a comprised of a combination of
methods. The tessellated faces were sent to a laser
cutter to ensure precision, while the remainder of
the faces were hand-cut from 3mm ply. The unfolded
forms were printed at the scale of 1:50 and the
process began. In order to achieve the end product
we desired, each of the faces of the forms was
chamfered to its required angle, ensuring sharp and
defined edges. The faces were labelled in a numerical
system so as to make each form as easy as possible
to assemble. Hollow tubing was utilised for the main
support of the forms and the electrical system was
fed through, into the forms that housed a series of LED
lights. A hollow site model was constructed and a 12V
battery and switch was incorporated.







tectonics: rationalisation

The construction method for the Gateway Project is to

be a lightweight steel frame with aluminium cladding.
The tessellated surfaces will be laser cut into each
individual panel. This method will be cost effective,
allow for maintenance, and be suitable to house the
electrical systems required to operate the structure.
final model
Through the process of the Wyndham project it has
become apparent that the computational method of
architecture is at once problematic and beneficial. The
group's work came about through a series of shared
ideas with regard to individual tastes in architecture.
Often a traditional approach to design was favored
over the elaborate, the pragmatic over the irrational.
This was a shortcoming as well as a blessing. I found
that through the rationalized approach of design we
achieved something individual in the studio, a series of
forms that, as a whole, is representative of the benefits
of both schools of architecture. While the forms that
were created are rational, they would not have been
possible without the aid of parametric modeling.
Throughout the process we have manipulated forms
through computer modeling, we have experimented
with the abstract, however, in the end we arrived at
a design that is realizable, complex and beautiful.
The elements that were found to be most beneficial
to me personally, was the demonstrated progression
from our earlier prototypes. I found it interesting that I
initially was drawn towards technology in architecture
for reasons of pragmatics rather than aesthetic, and I
was clearly unaware of the potential in the software.
Facades such as that of the Arab World Institute
provide a comparison to our final design, at the
beginning of semester when I chose that as a study,
it never occurred to me that it would be related to
my final project. It is this element of computational
design that I find particularly rewarding: it enhances
abilities and efficiency, and can drive your design in
ways that previously would not have been considered.
This again, is my criticism also. I believe that it
must be used with a system of logic to avoid empty
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