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Design Portfolio

Andrew Fini


Table of Contents A Readily Morphable Space

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Al Rostamani Headquarters

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C贸rdoba Train Station

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The Schrodinger Institute for Theoretical Physics 11 Plate Tectonics

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Center for Design and Democracy

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Aleatory Field

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Project 320

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A Readily Morphable Space Final Project - Thesis

The project creates an adaptable system that generates various immersive performance spaces with the ability to morph and change. Through the use of this kit of parts system, multiple types of performance and entertainment spaces can be created. The various components, based off of the scissor like system developed by Chuck Hoberman, are designed to be highly expandable and retractable. These autonomous components are exceptionally mobile and adept at quickly deploying in any number of different types of sites. They rapidly move, almost creature-like, throughout an urban context from one site to the next. They are designed to be capable of functioning in small independent clusters, singularly, or as a series of fragments within a larger urban-like context, as well as be effectively combined to create a single extensive event in one location. The types of performances this system can create ranges from large scale interactive music concerts, immersive theatrical performances, dynamic fashion shows, spontaneous musical productions, small intimate shows, or scattered yet connected performances throughout a city. The components not only create performances spaces, they have the ability to do so practically anywhere, with little or no existing infrastructure required, setting up in a matter of minute to a few hours, depending, and leaving or changing programmatically just as fast. These components disperse throughout the urban context, traveling like a swarm form one

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A Readily Morphable Space site to the next. Not only do they create excitement and entertainment through the performances but also in their mere movement, extending the performance beyond that of just a scripted production but to their movements of travel, assembly and disassembly. These components could create a multitude of types of performances and performance spaces. In an extravagant musical concert scenario the walking platforms act as a dynamic undulating stage, some moving the artist around and even out into the audience. The dome segments act as a backdrop to the stage, the video display fabric enhancing the desired atmosphere for the performance. The walking arch is even used to pick up and lift performers into the air above the stage. Each component plays a role into furthering the overall spectacle experience. Another scenario shows the rapid deployability of the components creating an immersive performance space. The site starts out fairly empty, and then slowly the components begin to creep in. In a matter of minute the space is full of them, as they all move into position. A totally new environment is created once they are all situated and expanded. Inside, the walking platforms create a traversable new terrain on the site, fitting in with the images displayed on the dome segments, creating a totally different surrounding environment.

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A Readily Morphable Space Final Project - Thesis

The walking platform is one of the components developed for this kit of parts. The platform walks around on four legs made of a single series of the scissor system. The axis point of rotation between the levers is able to move, allowing each leg complete flexibility in its movements. Each leg is attached to the platform by a rotating disk which enables them to change direction and move about in whichever way is necessary. This component is able to compress down to a short height as well as greatly expand upwards. By creating a field of these platforms arranged at different heights, a vast variety of different topological scenarios can be created. During a performance, the walking platforms could change heights or move around, altering the setting. While a spectator is traversing these platforms, one could even get up and carry them away to a different area in the performance. The surfaces of the platforms have a video display screen to help aid in the creation of different environments.

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A Readily Morphable Space The moving arch is a rather simple component with a great deal of dynamism. When the component is fully contracted, it curves in one direction. As it expands, it straightens out to completely vertical. As it continues to expand, the component creates a large arch in the opposite direction from the original starting arch. The moving arch has a flexible video display fabric attached to it that can display any number of images and videos to enhance the performance space. The segmented dome component is a large scale portion of a geodesic dome made using Chuck Hoberman’s system, with the same the flexible video display fabric attached to the connection points. It has the ability to start out small, condensed, and unobtrusive and then expand into a large enclosing surface for performances to take place. Compressed, they can be positioned on the edges of the larger perimeter circle that they will expand to, so that when they do, they expand inward eventually touching and creating a continuous domed surface. Alternatively multiple segments could be connected together when compressed and expand together forming a continuous domed surface for a performance to take place.

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Al Rostamani Headquarters Design Development Studio

The objective for this design/development studio project was to select a recent project that was still in its schematic design phase and bring that project into a development/ built phase in the form of construction drawings and design details. Working in teams of two, the project was to be analyzed and further designed, addressing materiality, structure, accessibility, environmental, and safety concerns. We selected MAD Architects’ design of the Al Rostamini Headquarters in Dubai. We aimed to maximize the waterfront view of a standard office building by elevating it off the ground and pulling the structural support and circulation back, away from side facing the water, allowing for public waterfront access under the building. We used structural circulation tubes projecting out of the back of the building down to the open park area and parking garage below to create an unobstructed view of the waterfront. The two lowest tubes are both sloped at a 30 degree angle to accommodate continuous escalators as well as a fire stairs underneath the escalators in the lowest tube. The second escalator tube enters into a public park space created by a large cylindrical void in the building, furthering the initiative of a public park space into the building. The park consists of a series of grassy ramped surfaces that spiral up through four levels. Three other, more vertical tubes all contain slanted elevators that allow access the

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Al Rostamani Headquarters upper floors of the building. A sixth, completely vertical, tube stands within the building acting as a structural and circulation core.

DESIGN CRITIC AND DEVELOPMENT:

A rippling out effect from where the tubes intersected the surfaces of the building formed the exterior cladding and fenestration systems. On the three completely glass side, facing the water, the rippling design is created by large curved shadow joint mullions. These rippling curves lines continue, turning the corner, on the 3 solid structural sides of the building, the roof, back and under side, by an equally sized shadow joint in the metal cladding.

STANDARD OFFICE BUILDING ON THE WATERFRONT

MOVE BUILDING OFF THE GROUND TO ALLOW PUBLIC WATERFRONT ACCESS

MAXIMIZE THE BUILDING’S VIEW OF THE WATER

MOVE STRUCTURE TO THE SIDE AND COMBINE WITH BUILDING CIRCULATION

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C贸rdoba Train Station The goal of this project was to create a new transportation hub in C贸rdoba, Argentina by designing a new train station to be accompanied by a parking garage and hotel massing. I employed a recurring motif of smooth curves throughout the interior and exterior of the train station and its complex. The roof of the station consists of one large curving structure and two lower roof surfaces that run from the sides of the parking garage out onto the sides of the train station. One provides shading on the exterior balcony on the east side, while the other covers the main entrance and the drop-off entrance on the west side. These continuous surfaces physically link the parking garage and the train station, while the shape of these curves is sustained in the form of pathways leading from the station to the hotel. This curving shape continues further, ultimately forming the massing of the hotel, and thereby unifying all three buildings into one cohesive complex. The roof of each building in elevation is shaped to extend this theme of unity, forming another continuous curve as if they were once one large surface split into three segments. The main roof covers the large public waiting area located above the train platforms. Large voids in the floor plate allow visual access down to the platforms below. Three curving ramps lead down to the platforms through the voids, creating a unique experience for the passengers as they move through and under the voids in the floor plate. A number of stairs and elevators are also scattered throughout the waiting area for those looking for a faster means of travel.

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The Schrodinger Institute for Theoretical Physics The aim of this project was to create a theoretical physics institute on an underused block adjacent to the Karlspaltz square in Vienna, while also providing a public space for the surrounding area. The institute is surrounded by four park spaces, each designed after one of the four classical elements: earth, wind, fire, and water. They are divided by public pathways that lead into the central courtyard of the building, separating the ground level of the building into four quadrants. The circulation of the institute was based upon the idea of gravity, with the public pathways spiraling into the central courtyard, pulling people inward. In the upper levels of the building, a tight ring of stairs spiral around a central courtyard while a larger system of cantilevered ramped walkways circumscribe the exterior, like orbital paths. Above the first floor, each quadrant is on a different half-floor with each half-floor connected by the sloped, cantilevered walkways, along which the physicists’ offices are located. The designation of program within the quadrants on the first floor is based on the height of the half-floors above. For example, the auditorium, which has the highest ceiling heights, is located under the highest half-floor, but also located next to the lowest half-floor allowing for access to the upper seats from there.

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Plate Tectonics This was a group project between American and Italian students using Generative Components. It is a design for a media tech center located next to the Mercati Generali in Torino, Italy. The project was conceived of as a set of tectonic plates, divided by the area of the rail road tracks. It was conceptualized that the Mercati Generali and Lingotto area were once linked, forming a thriving city center. Before the split of the two plates, the fabric of the city was consistent across the fault line. The connections between these two plates remained when the plates split, though they were hidden within the urban fabric. The force of this fracture created major tensions, pulling from these hidden connections and perpendicular to the fault, and minor tensions, pulling from fractures on the hidden connections’ lines and parallel to the fault. These minor tensions were elevated upward along the hidden connections and a spline-based component was mapped to create the apertures in the skin of the building, mirroring the splines created on the ground plane. The landscaping was derived from the intersection between the major and minor tensions. Surfaces were formed from the intersection of the splines, with each surface one step higher of lower than the bordering surfaces.

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Center for Design and Democracy The aim of this project was to create a center that incorporates the park area of Union Square in New York City with the center’s roof, while creating a space below ground that forms an atmosphere ideal for public discussion and equality. A series of trellis-like structures located on the roof guide visitors from the park to the roof space and then down to the square. A series of large ramped surfaces were used on the roof as well as down into the building to allow for continuous circulation throughout and to encourage people to meander through the building. From the elevated grassy park area, two ramps lead down to the two lower floors of the building, creating an open void that allows light down to these lower underground levels. Glass exterior walls act as clerestories, allowing light to enter the sunken spaces of the lower levels and providing pedestrians with visual access into these spaces, thereby encouraging them to enter and engage in the topic of discussion

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Aleatory Field The goal of this project was to re-purpose the old football field in the middle of our campus into a new park and exhibition space. The exhibition space, located on the western side of the field, is designed as if it exploded out and dispersed into the rest of the park, creating smaller nodes of congregation and seating. The exploded nature of the exhibition space is continued with additional nodes of trees and benches scattered further out into the park. The reflective quality and geometric shape of the glass strips, serving as skylights and windows, are repeated with the pools of water, with both providing a contrast to the solid, opaque nature of the building and field.

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Project 320 A team of seven students were to design a unique method of connecting a single material, or equal pairing of two materials, together without the aid of glue or mechanical fasteners, only by manipulating the materials itself. Given a 4’ x 8’ x 10’ frame, the system of material connections was used to generate spaces, without necessarily creating enclosed forms, that encourage a sense of progression as the user travels through them. This interactive structure was made with green garden fencing and balloons. The fencing was cut into sheets and then folded up into triangular modules. Inflated balloons were then used to connect the fencing modules together into an organized structure. The project forms a continuous ribbon looping over itself so that one is able to pass over and under in a variety of ways. A play with light was created by using different arrangements of translucent and opaque balloons, allowing for changes in transparency throughout the project. The project was paired with one made of aluminum cans.

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Portfolio - Andrew Fini  

A selction of architectural work by Andrew Fini.

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