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Architecture Design Studio AIR

Chiwen Zhuang 335868

Some thought towards architecture

Architecture As a Discourse

Discussion of how design principles applied in a previous project relate to. or are the best principles to apply to the gateway project. Explore two other projects that related to the advancing architectural discourse. Intergrate into the Expression of Interest proposal


What is architecture? It often considered as a visual art because it associates with changing the form and space with designing something aesthetically. However, architecture is something more than just a art work, when people start to develop their individual sense of architecture, they will need to pay attention to many other things, such as cultural elements, spatial setup, context, etc. Rather than just focus on the asethetic. Nowaday, as the sarcity in the resources, the theme in architecture starts to consider sustainable development. The most conflict with our design as I see is the resource allocation. How do architecture to achieve sustainable and asthetics at the same time, it is really a problem need to thing about.

The new RMIT building located at corner Swanston street and Victoria Road is good example that wants to achieve sustainable and asethetic of a design in the same time. But it fails in both way as I see. The facade of the building is just a big box with circular shape solar panel. The idea of obsorb sun light and turns it into other energy is remarkable. But when it comes to the reality, what is the point to create a 360 degree facade with solar pannel? Does the sun light goes all the way around the building in during the daytime? When talk about the asethetic, the building under that giant box is that kind of structure proposed by Le Corbuiser in 1914, Maison Domino. After an 100 year, will Le Corbuier be happy to see his conceptual idea being adopted almost the same by another people. The point I want to state is not criticise of other people’s work. It is just remind me that sustainable develop and maintain the elegant in our design are both important also hard to achieve.

Seed Cathedral ShangHai Expo 2010

The Seed Cathedral, aiming to showcase the roots of UK. The pavilion like to the theme of “ Better City, Better Life� with a low tech approach. Interior and exterior, day and night provides a totally different experience. The low tech structure is of wood and steel is met with high tech precision in the placement of the holes with the arylic rods were fed through. 3D modelling tehcnique allows the computer data to be read by the drilling machine to achieve an accurate result.

When link back to Gateway project, I believe interative software was used to understand the structural behavior of a system. It introduced in a more abstract way of thinking about structure from the start of the design process than after all design processes have completed. 3D modeliing with structure can enable the use of the material in a way which can be arranged in a way which can let light travel through itself to a point where one is able to admire the small details. In our project, this implemented to create lighting effects for the design through the use of optic fibres.

Computational Design

Present the unique innovation design presented by contemporary computational design techniques. Intergate into the EOI


The Amoeba- Like ground plan seems to spread and flow into the surrounding landscape. But is it a purely accidental shape as the result of spontaneous artistic inspiration and an expression of the arichitect’s personal feelings? Although indeed appearing, at first sight, to be a purely acciedental shape, it proves on closer inspection to be a purposeful configuration of many different flows of movement. We made models to work out the sequences of movement and to test their quality, specifically their ability to re-organize and re-sturcture urban space. - Herzog& Meuron, 2005

M E D The shape of this building would seem like a buildI ing which just follow the organic form only for eye A

pleasure. However, the curved shape has been C designed according to the movement around the E building including consideration not only of campus N scales, but the urban scales. T E The intial idea started from suggesting two rectanR gular building placed towards west campus and

main lecture building respectively. However, with

T E the consideration of movements which must not be C able to be linear pattern but fluid curve by computer H aided calculation, it comes to its final design. N I C A L U N I V E R S The size of entrance and spaces has been decided I T accoding to specific data by calculating them with Y computer. Moreover, the pattern, which seems

randomly made, also printed and placed with consideration of data on passive design such as sun direction, brightness, internal temperature and functionality, for example, less light for the reading room and more for the lounge.

C O T T B U S Although it can be seen as modern building merely

mimicking new organic form, the external and internal forms were decided exactly measured by computer aided calculation of data with variety scales and variety performances.

Contemporary Scripting/ Programming

Select one project that expresses contemporay scripting/ programming cultures and defend/ critique the author’s design philosophy. Intergrate into the EOI


National Stadium in Beijin Herzog& de Meuron China 2008

“Scripting affords a significantly deeper engagement between the computer and user by automating routine aspects and repetitive activities, thus facilitating a far greater range of potential outcomes for the same investment in time.� -Burry Mark

Scripting/ Programming enables designers with unique oppotunities for innovation, and assists them to customise the software around their own predilections and modesof working. It can allow for repetition and precision to help architects develop various interests, geometric, and dynamic forms of architectural design. However, the parametric design has its limitaion that cannot be ignored in our design. Firstly, the software limitation. The design would be physically inconceivable, hence, the project might be hampered or failed. Secondly, designers understanding of parametric design are usually superfical, as their computer skills may learn from different study resources.

The outcome Beijing National Stadium is actually quite different from its original design, because the design is solely based on the parametric modelling which leads it becomes a controversy design. To relate back to the Gateway Project, We should aviod those limitations, structural, functional, and technical... Scripting techniques should be regarded as an sub-tool rather than the only tool in design. The gap between original idea and the limitation of parametric design should be filled by other replacements.

Explore in Definitions



These design begin with a intension of printing patterns on a surface which I realised surface would not be interesting if people driving through at speed 100km/h on Princes Freeway.

Generating 3D forms containing patterns was the next stage in experimentation, and from there extruding these pattern based on their 2D form



Very interesting to see different approach taken in generating this matrix. The main idea was ‘movement’ which lead the basis of these designs.

Spanish Pavilion

Foreign Office Architects Aichi,Japan Expo 2005

Reverse Engineering Make a reference to a case study project. Conbine two or more definition to produce an intended effect. Consider and explain how this will change in time


The pavilion started out as similar, standardized blank boxes, for which the participating architects developed individual facades and interior environments. In order to give expression to the hybridization of Jewish- Christian cultures and the Islamic inflence on the Iberian Peninsula, both so evident in the history of Spanish architecture. The spanish pavilion was organized internally around a large, central space, itself connecting seven themed exhibition area. This spatial sequence made reference to the nave and chapels of a cathedral, or the ecclcsiastical courtyard and its cloisters.

The Pavilion facade is comprised of hexagons, and where the light is required for the interior the frame of the polygon is used. Also, the choice of the color cover those structure underneath the facade. Building up the model through grass hopper is quite not making sense. Because it is the changing of the same patter and the size of them stay the same. There is no gradually changing pattern or some other effects. Our group still trying to solve this question.

Adding Light effect to the model

Fabrication Document the physical model under different condition. Use the light effect


Land Mask

In consider the context of Spanish Pavilion and the Gateway project is quite different. People would not notice those details on the gate when they travel at 100km/h. Especially comes to the night. Without a strong light effect, the Gateway will become nothing. After we re-produce the Pavilion. We put different color of candles in the middle to create light effect. Of course the light should not be too distracting in considering of safety issue. Such as the red one is not suitable for our project. Besides, we developed another model which is also select hexagon as the basic shape. Our initial idea is creating a mask to the land, and angle of the mask is adjusting according the different landscape. Although, we fail to produce the grasshopper definition.

CONTENT Fabrication Document the physical model under different condition. Use the light effect




Site constrains

The diagram above indicates that there are four drive ways adjacent to the site in two directions. Three purple lines go up to towards city and the green line goes opposite to the countryside. Based on our research and data, most flow of traffic towards contributes by the drive way between Site A and B. which let us believe site A and B will be the better area than site C.

According to the topographic of the site, we can see the most part of site C and Site B are flat. However, Site A has relatively larger slopes than the surrounding area, which makes it the highest point of the sites. The gateway installs on the higher ground level will contribute to the “eye-catching� features we want to achieve. So, the possible area for the gateway is indicates on the map as yellow area. We notice there is a patrol station near our proposed area. The sign of the station is currently the highest building on the site. It may potentially block the view. When consider the safety issue, our gateway will locates at the place which is easy for traveler from both direction to notice. As the diagram indicates, travelers barely need to move their eye-balls to notice the gateway when they are driving; especially they are travelling around 80-100km/h.


Architecture should aim at exploration of forms as its nature as virtual art. Form is important in terms of giving the very first impression and delivering the design intention at a initial stage when people experience a piece of architecture. It is also a result of the mixture of functionality and aesthetic value. Form is affected by several factors like, material, technical restrictions, design intentions and others. Following case are successful in defining forms and space with the architects' unique methods.

FORMS AND SPACES ARCHITECT: Rua Ant么nio de Albuquerque

The roxy club in Brazil shows a great example in manipulating forms and space. As illustrated, the ceiling is web-like with loads distributed symmetrically to each side of the corridor. The crossing of the ceiling and the extension of the long corridor, which creates a very strong perspective view, together provide a cave like experience for the visitors to the club. If look at the ceiling alone, it consists of many single cells with irregular shapes. The single cell is a 3D object, but with the highlight effect by LCD decorative lights, it appears to be a 2D surface and creates a light to darken change in its internal space. The use of light has redefine the ceiling as a comprehensive face instead of a combination of many of the holes.

DEVELOPMENT OF FORMS The development in design approach has direct effects on forms. Due to technical restriction and materiality, architecture used to be more restricted in forms. The mainly use of stone as construction material in ancient time limited massive variations. Hence architecture in ancient time has very rigid and clear cut forms. The improvement in technology to build and by using more other materials, people are given more possibilities in exploring forms and shapes. Classical architecture in ancient Greece, domino system of Le Corbusier, these can totally represent their time. Nowadays, the development of computer technology has allow even more attempts. Parametric design with computer aided help breaks the any kind of form exists in the past periods. Architects enjoy more freedom in exploration of forms and can abandon the pattern of following some particular shapes.

Slinky Springs Bridge: Tobias Rehberger

Spanish pavilion also shows intention inmood manipulating. This is achieved mainly by the design of its envelope.Looking at the pavilion in a relatively far distance, what people would see isthis contrast between the sky color and the mosaic kind of facade. While lookingat a closer distance, the colorful cells creates light and shadow patterns byusing of the sunlight. This is a good indication to the Watergate designproject because we have similar situations. It would be interesting for thedrivers if the design outlook changes along the changes in the distance. But wewant to find out a different approach rather than color in order to achievethis effect. The light and time factors discussed above are also very inspiringthat we will adapt them to our design. We may insert some high concentratedlight devices to some cells in our design to expect a light branch effect (kindof likewhen ufos catch people.) Also, we willregard daytime, sunset and night time as three phases where our design shouldpresent three phases of variations correspondingly.

LIGHT & COLOR The revolution in LED technology makes light a more and more important elements in architecture. The project of reformation of Ruhr industrial base is a good example of this kind. Illustrates on the left is the internal of the Ruhr museum in Germany. The long escalator that connects the ground and entrance has creates a linear space for the visitor. The red-orange led light has amplify such sense. The light is installed to all the stairs and escalators in the museum which makes a strong impression of line to visitors. Visitors can feel the continuity and straightness as soon as they step into the museum. The use of color is quite successful also. It is believed that color helps to express emotion in art theory. The red orange color has “warmed� the formal industrial base which usually has an image of cold, machinery and gray scale.

GLAMORIZING ATMOSPHERE Mood is an important elements of architecture. It is how architecture communicates with the visitors. Architects manipulates elements in order to obtain a relationship between people and the building, that is an more internal or emotional experience. There are many ways that architects and achieve the goal. One of such can be the forms and space discuss above. With case study, we find out two factors for mood manipulation that we are interested in the most.

Project Proposal Stage In order for the further development to our project, it is important for us to notice what is missing in our previously design. The feedback from the tutor can be summirsed as follow points

Gateway Project Summarise feedbacks Further development of our design Stick to computational design rather than arbitrary model making

- Lack of innovation when campare to our cut project study. - The site analysis does not give a clear reason for our site choosing - The developing process need to be documented, the design should not bee too arbitary - Because of we do not have clear design process and the presenting model use glue stick together, we should provide the constrcution method when on the actual site. - It is not actually a parametric design since we can make the digital model success fully - We want more interaction with the site


As our previous idea is to make a “land mask” and the gateway interact with the landscapeThe first thing we concerned for our further development is aimming to make more interaction with our site and people who use it. People will not only have something more than just visual expericnce. So, we start to think about the tunnel. If the gateway is something more than just a gateway that people can actually go through it, that will provide a brand new experience to them.

“A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for ingress and egress, commonly at each end.”

The traditional type of tunnel is a scientific design method enables traffic go though. It is more focus on the function of it. However, our site sits next to the highway, which means build up a closed spatial on it make no sense. Our “tunnel will adapt the form of the typical tunnel but change the function of it.

Physical Model 1:50 Details in materials and Construction Method


Every tunnel can be considered as a series arches combine together.

Construction improvment

In the first place, we were thinking to use simply mesh for the structure. However, when we consider the load bearing issue, the top part of the tunnel should relatively thinner and lighter than the bottom which can enble the load tranferring. Also, we believe the changing in thickness of every layer of the tunnel will create a different sense of visual experience

Construction Process

Construction materials

As our 1:50 model proves the stability of the design, the actual constrction will be the same as the way we model making, excepts we will use rivet to fix the panel instead of glue. Also, we design a concrete block at the bottom enable a stable conncetion between tunnel and the ground.

Color effect

Final model Color effect exploring Light effect exploring


Light and color are the main theme in our design, we believe when people travel at 100km/h, the first thing will draw their attention will be the color effect. The tunnel will design for 300m long which means people will go through the tunnel for 10sec experience. We have test the color in serval versions. We have think about using the color changing in rainbow manner in the first place. It turns out if we stick to one color changing will get a better outcome. We have test in blue, green and red. Red gives out the most attracting features. When people enter into the tunnel, they will access from the dark red side, as the color will gradually changed, the exit side will be the light red. This will gives people a indication of they are getting in the tunnel and lefting the tunnel.

Light effect When comes to the night, since our site is located at rural area, it will be pretty dark out there, this will enhance the light effect at night with a strong contrast. Both light golden and silver color will be good.

Final model

Purple Version

Personal Background and Learning objectives

Reflective summarise


Frankly, at the beginning of this subject I have no idea about what parametric deisgn is it. It is a little bit shame that I have never use other digital modelling software expect google sketch up before this course. It is interesting course with great chanllenges in thoughts and ideas. This is a brain storming design method, really hard to understand what am I doing and what I am suppose to do. Scripting in grasshopper is very abstract to understand. I personally does not have strong feeling about this skill, however, I believe this will be useful skill in my later architecture pratice if I can understand it.

It is great relief I have come to the end of this semester. After so many days and nights struggle in grasshopper, it is sure my 3D modelling skill have been improved. I know I still have a lot to learn in the furture study but at least I got some basic understanding now. I can say computational design is completely better than tradition hand drawing design. At least it has its own advantages. The idea of computational design can not fully realised at this stage and the time shall shows the true potential in architecture field.

Go thought all the process in the pratices with digital tools, and in a theoretical sense about architecture which broadened my knowledge about a variety of processes has grow

Learning Progress

Learning Outcomes

The subject had an un-usual progress when comes to learning and developing idea, which is difficult to achieve a good result.

The way of this course involved a way of working that was unfamiliar to me. I have never used so much digital design in my project. But I notices that digital design is the future of architecture design. It is not too late for me to catch up with those softwares.

Overall it was challenge and required more work then I was aware of. To do the scripting in grasshopper was not possible in my first 8 weeks, the skill level only limits in the changing different connection between definitions, as the mid semester turns out to be a not successful outcome. But I gradually learn to get more control of my design. I may not master at these programs but I have definitely improved and can operate these spaces with a level of confidence. The research project area of the process I found difficult to understand as the typology was different to our final design brief. This related to the fact that these were buildings not installations that are viewed at one hundred km an hour. So the approach we take would be different. Moving on to the group work I learn more about team work rather than skills. If all the people in group can get clear directional which make the process of design become very efficiency. People in the team will share their modelling skills which can help us to learn things we skip during the study.

Our final design we not be successful if we did not use computational design. It is because we get control in those forms and patterns. We are able to explore what is the best solution for our design, the process sometimes is hard to go through hand drawings or simple computational software like skectch-up. The form of our tunnel is was decided with a series of test rather than we have a clearly idea in our mind before the design. Parametric design gives us more possibility. Using digital design in our design though fabrication process let me see and use such advantages of technologies.

Future Work


For me, this subject opens up new idea of digital deisgn. I know it would definitely influence my future architectural work. I will pay more attention in such design field which is start from this studio.

Douglas, N, Douglas, G & Derrett, R (eds) 2001, Special interest groups: context and cases, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Qld. asp

I will master the skill in grasshopper when I have time, may this winter vocation. It is important to understand how to script in grasshopper which can help to express my own thoughts better. Meanwhile, it is only just a part of architecture learning journey. I will not be restricted to what I have learnt in this semester. I hope I can push the boundary further and create my own style of doing architecure.

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