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Bijia Zhang 531800


Part A Case of Innovation A1. Architecture as A Discourse A2. Computational Architecture A3. Parametric Modeling A4. Algorithmic Exploration A5. Conclusion A6. Learning Outcomes

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Part B Design Approach B1. Design Focus B2. Case Study 1.0 B3. Case Study 2.0 B4. Technique: Development B5. Technical: Prototypes B6. Technique Proposal B7. Algorithmic Sketches B8. Learning Objectives & Outcomes

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Part C Project Proposal C1. Gateway Project: Design Concept C2. Gateway Project: Tectonic Elements C3. Gateway Project: Final Model C4. Algorithmic Sketches C5. Learning Objectives and Outcomes

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Introduction Hello everyone! My name is Bijia Zhang (Steven) and I am a third year architecture student come from China. During the first two years’ study I did some design studio subjects such as Virtual Environment, Design Studio: Earth Learning From The Master and so on. I have some skills of design tools such as Rhino, AutoCAD and Sketch-up, but digital design theory and tools are still very new for me. I did not know anything about Grasshopper until I know it is needed in this subject. So I did some self-learning in the holiday and now I understand how Grasshopper works and part of the skills to use it. It seems that parametric design has become a new trend in architecture design field recently and there are more and more sorts of building structures which are based on parametric design. I am very interested in this new design tool and hopefully I could achieve a better understanding of this field by the end of this semester.



A1 Architecture as a discourse


Architecture as a discourse

Architecture can be seen at anywhere around the world, it is an indispensable part of human society. But what is the reason? Why architecture is so important? What does it bring to us? Architecture is defined in a lot of ways, at long time ago, which was the time when buildings firstly appeared in the world, architecture was only functioned as shelters for people to live inside and prevent them from the natural damage. After a long period of time when the word ‘architecture’ actually came out, it was not only a place for people to live anymore, it became more and more delicate so that it started to be viewed as a kind of art, which means the aesthetic intension of the architecture was somehow beyond the actual function of it. However, Williams disagrees with this sort of view and says that architecture should be thought less as a set of special material products, but rather as a collaboration between a range of social and professional practices that sometimes, but by no means always, lead to buildings (Richard, 2005, pp.108). What Williams has said points out the most important part of the consideration. Architecture is developing year after year, it is not only a work of art or a product which has only one function. With the help of the new technology, today’s architecture has become more like a discourse.


According to Schumacher’s view, architecture is ‘a system of communications that is constantly changing’ (Patrik, 2011, pp.1) which means architecture can be anything that generates discussions. This is the trend of modern architecture . Nowadays, architecture is much more influential than before. A good architecture can make contributions to the site, make contributions to the inhabitants and these contributions are also relate to many other aspects such as politics, social and culture so that architecture becomes a sort of discourse. A successful architecture today is capable to balance the elements mentioned above and to be a hot topic of the society regardless of time. Now I am going to introduce two special projects which show how architecture influence the environment and generate amazing outcomes.

Fig. A1.1

Guangzhou Opera House The Guangzhou Opera House (Fig. A1.1) designed by Zaha Hadid is a revolutionary opera house. I choose it to be the first precedent is because it well demonstrates how architecture can be a discourse. The central designing inspiration of this architecture is called ‘double pebble’(Zaha 2013), this sort of contoured profile and unique twin boulder design make this architecture have a good connection with the Pearl River, let people feel that this building is an elegant production by nature, this fits the idea of hamonius in Chinese culture. This opera house lays in the ‘new city plaza’ of Guangzhou, its outstanding appearance will attract more and more people to come here so that the plaza will become the ‘living room’ of the city, it takes the resposibility to enhance the relationship between the people who live in this city and the city itself. Technically, the building is built using concrete, granite and paneling glass. Although the materials are all very hard, the facade of this building is streamline shape so that it looks really elegant and friendly. The most important feature is that the size of the glass is very large and the light can easily come into the building or go outside from the building. So at daytime, people may stand inside the building and see beautiful natural secenery outside, at night, the amzing lights come out from the building will disperse the dividing line and make the architecture mix together with the entire plaza and even the entire city. 5

It is also important to notice that this is an architecture which is so dynamic, with the help of parametric designing tools the speical shape of the building and beautiful paneling glass are achieved sucessfully. Zaha’s work is always full of imagination and shocks people. The Guangzhou Opera House is a good example to show how architecture combine visual, natural, cutural and technical features together. In my future design, I am interested in making strong connections between architecture and environment to generate efficient design.

Fig. A1.2 building-profile-2972/media/155483/show

Church of Light

The Church of Light (Fig. A1.3) is the most famous work by Tadao Ando, it is another good example to show how architecture can be a discourse. This building is made of silky smooth concrete and sits mostly within its environment. The key feature of this architecture is that the space of this church is defined by light, by the strong contrast between light and shade (Galinsky, 2006). This is a very typical instance which explains how architecture can convert natural element into its own usage. The light enters from behind the altar, from a cruciform cut in the concrete wall that extends vertically from floor to ceiling and horizontally from wall to wall, aligning perfectly with the joints of the concrete. People can feel the holy and pureness of the church by looking at the ‘light cross’ it is the reason why this church is so outstanding. This is not a building designed with parametric modeling tools, but it still inspired me a lot. If we look carefully we can find out that there is no any other decorations inside this church, the materials used are only precast concrete (wall) and timber (bench). However, it is a church which has the same kind of solemn atmosphere as the other famous cathedrals. This is the power of the light cross. Although it is not parametric design, I think the idea of light cross can still be useful in my future design. Because it also demonstrate how architecture links to the nature and this sort of creativity may be very useful in parametric design. Fig. A1.3 au/2009_12_01_archive.html

Reference A1 1. Richard Williams, ‘Architecture and Visual Culture’, In Exploring Visual Culture: Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew Rampley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005). Pp. 102-106 2. Patrik Schumacher, ‘Introduction: Architecture as Autopoietic System’, in The Autopoiesis of Architecture (Chichester: J. Wiley, 2011), pp. 1-28 3. Zaha Hadid Architects, 2013, viewed March 29, 2013, <> 4. Galinsky, Church of Light,Osaka, Japan, 2006, viewed March 30, 2013, <>



A2 Computational Architecture


Computational Architecture What advantages the contemporary computation can bring to the architecture design? How these advantages make the architecture better? As we know prior to the Renaissance, buildings were constructed, not planned(Yehuda, 2004, pp. 7 ). It means at that time there was actually no architecture design at all. However, architecture design nowadays develops extreme rapidly and architects need to consider about different sorts of problems. So a medium is needed to assist the architects to deal with complex design process and computation design is just this medium. As Woodbury says, ‘Computational design process provides us a design space’ (R.F. Woodbury& A.L. Burrow, 2005). In today’s architecture design, drawings by hand can not satisfy people anymore, computational design tools such as the Rhino and its plug-in Grasshopper are the medium which can allow architects to design beyond the limitation of the two dimensional drawings and generate different kind of outcomes quickly. They just need to adjust the input data and new possibilities would come out in front of their eyes. Another thing to mention is that ‘computerization’ and ‘computation’ is actually different. Computerization is using computer aid tool as an editor or virtual drafting board, but computation means ‘use of computer to process information through an understood model which can be expressed as algorithm (B. Peter& X. D. Kestelier, 2013, pp.10). For instance, AutoCAD is the modeling tool uses predominately 2D modeling to communicate sections, plans and elevations. It can help the designers to get clean and accurate drawing maps for buildings. But AutoCAD is more likely to be a recording tool rather then a designing tool so it actually belongs to computerization. The Grasshopper I mentioned before on the other hand, belongs to computation. Therefore, we can see that computation design process can help architects to get many more good ideas even beyond their imagination, and it is also a good tool to help architects to adjust their design easily. Now I am going to talk about two examples which show the advantages of using contemporary computation design tools in architecture design.


Fig. A2.1 kb4TpG/1568168786_D95NGTb#!i=1568168786&k=D95NGTb

Metropol Parasol Metropol Parasol (Fig. A2.2) is a wooden structrure located in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. The designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s idea comes from the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees in near by Plaza de Christo de Burgos. This architecture highlights the ability of contemporary computation design not only open up the possibilities but also the potential fabrication outcomes. In order to fabricate this structure, architects need to consider the shape of every piece of the wood and how they should connected with each other and bear the loads well. However, it is obvious too much to deal with for people without any computation tools. It is the computation design tools which helps the architects to easily generate a visual outcome before the real structure is started to built.

11 Fig. A2.2

However, even during the construction process, the engineering firm found that this structure was technically infeasible as designed (Marmol, 2010). So we can see that how difficult it is to design and especially fabricate an amazing building. It is clear that the designer of this structure had adjusted the data for large amount of times in the parametric design tools in order to find out a feasible outcome. On the other hand, this is a beautiful structure which strongly links with the environemnt and nature. Peopleo can walk on to the top of this architecture along the stairs and there is also an underground market for people to shopping inside. Also, the dimond openings forms by pieces of wood will generade amazing pattern on the floor when it is a sunny day. So in a conclusion this is a fantastic architecture â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;comes fromâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; nature.

12 Fig. A2.3

Fig. A2.4

Pheonix International Media Center Phoenix International Media Center (Fig. A2.4) locates in the southwest corner of Chaoyang park, it is a building designed using coputation design process and has many special features. Apart from the media office, the boardcasting studios and the production offices , the building provides abundant of open spaces for the public to get interactive experiences, which expresses the unique operation concept of Pheonix Media. The logic of design concept is to create an ecological environment shell embraces the individual functional spaces as a building-in-building concept. The two independent office towers under the shell generate many shared public spaces. In the east and west parts of the shared spaces, there are continuous steps, landscape platforms, skyramps and crossing escalators which fill the buiding of energetic and dynamic spaces. Moreover, the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shape originates from the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mobius Stripâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, it provides the building a harmony relationship with the irregular direction of the existing streets, the sitting corner of the site and the Chaoyang Park. Another important aspect of this building is that the double layer exterior of the building can improve the comfort in the functional areas, and reduce the consumption of energy. Also, the structure skin of this building ensures that there will be enough amount of light comes into the building (Megan,2011). We can see that it is the computation design process which helps architects to generate this architecture which combines energy saving, communication with pubilc, useful functions for staff and other elements together. This will be the trend of architecture in the future.


Reference A2 1. Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2004), pp. 5-25 2. Woodbury, Robert F. and Andrew L. Burrow, ‘Whither Design Space?’, Artificial Intelligence For Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing ,20,2 (2013), pp.53-82 3. Brady, Peters, ‘The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architecture Design, Volume 83, issue2 (2013), pp. 2-15 4. Marmol, Carlos. ‘Un Proyecto Impossible’, 2010, Accessed March 20, 2013, <> 5. Megan, Jett, In Progress Public Facilities Beijing Biad Ufo China Steel, 2011, viewed March 20, 2013, <http://www.archdaily. com/165746/in-progress-phoenix-international-media-centerbiad-ufo/>



A3 Parametric Modeling


Parametric Modeling What is parametric modeling? What are the advantage and shortcomings of this technique? How is it being used in architecture design? Parametric modeling is a kind of new architecture design method. The key idea of this method is to convert all the architecture design elements into variable quantities of a function, by altering these quantities the architects can achieve different design results. It is said that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Parametric design is designing by numbersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. So the software I mentioned in last chapter such as AutoCAD actually is not parametric modeling tool, but grasshopper is. Parametric modeling is widely used in the architecture field all around world because it has many advantages. It can provide architects a lot of shapes which extend peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind, in another word, it is a inspiring tool. Burry states that the system provides a significantly deeper engagement between the computer and users by automating routine aspects and repetitive activies thus facilitating a far greater range of potential outcomes for the same investment in time (Burry, 2011). It can comes out with a lot of architecture shape which is hard to be thought about by architects. Also, the reason why parametric modeling has a great future is that all the variable quantities can be controlled. If the architects feel that some part of the model is not good, then they can just adjust the quantities without changing the whole project, in another word, parametric modeling allows architects to change their design without starting agian with some draft sketch, it improves the design effeciency. 16

However, parametric modeling has some shortcomings as well. The most important thing is it can not help the architects to know if this kind of model is feasible to be built in real life. Further more, it often comes out with a model which looks really cool overall but actually has a lot of unreasonable parts in a smaller scale. So, we can see that parametric modeling is very useful but architects still need to study it carefully in order to use it in a right way.

17 Fig. A3.1

Snowflake Tower

Fig. A3.2


The snowflake tower (Fig. A3.2) designed by LAVA is inspired by the geometrical order of a snowflake and the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 racing car (Despark, 2013), . The tower encapsulates speed, fluid dynamics, future technology and natural patterns of organization. Rather than purely mimicking shapes in nature for their elegance and unpredictability, the architects learned from natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own geometrical orders creating highly efficient structures and intriguing spaces. With the help of parametric modeling tools, Lava let the design unfold as a result of the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs: optimal natural light and air distribution, maximum views, minmal structure, user comfort and an unrivalled water experience. Although it is a skycraper, because of parametric modeling tool, architects can easlily control every part of this building and adjust the data until the outcome is satisfactory.

Because of the special skin generated using parametric modeling tools, this building achieve all the advantages I mentioned above. This is an example of how parametric modeling tool helps architects to generate an architecture whose idea comes from nature and gives the visitors strong feelings of mix with the environment. Jobs can be done in such a big scale, we should have the confidence to deal with design in a smaller scale.

Fig. A3.3 project/mswct-snowflake-tower

Fig. A3.4

New National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan The National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Fig. A3.4) designed by BIG (Australian Deisgn View, 2009) is a building full of creativity. It brought the idea combine four worldwide typical architecture structural shape- circle, ring form, arch and dome together and forms a mysterious Mobius strip. Because of these four structural shape, this building has big circular courtyard, corridors with arches, and beautiful dome looks like the Mongolian tent. With the help of parametric design tools, the skin of this library becomes really special, it has large amounts of openings whose shape is gradually changing from diamond shape to triangle depends on the sunlight amount shining on the building. Moreover, this building is built in a natural park so it cooperates with the environments well and gives the visitors a chance to study while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

These two precedents inspired me a lot for the future gateway design. Simple repeated pattern can be arranged in different ways so that the building can make use of the natural elements and enhance the connections between the architecture and the environment. Using the parametric modeling tools, it will be easier for us to control the input data and archieve suitable outcomes.

19 Fig. A3.5

Fig. A3.6

Reference A3 1. Burry, Mark (2011), Scripting Cultures: Architecture Design and Programming (Chichster Wiley), pp. 8-17 2. Despark (2013), â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Snowflake Towerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Open Buildings, viewed April1, 2013, <> 3. Australian Design View (2009), viewed March 27, <http://www.>



A4 Algorithmic Explorations



This is an exploration I did with using parametric modeling system. Since I am interested in the pattern and skin I tried to achieve a matrix which has rectangular openings and the size of these openings are gradually changing from one corner of the matrix to the opposite corner of the matrix. I firstly drew a matrix using the SqGrid tool and add two Number Slide to control the length and width of this matrix. Then I find the center of each cell of the matrix and use the Scale tool to generate a smaller square in each cell. In order to make these smaller squares change gradually Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve used a Series tool to control the factor of the scale. After this I used the Flip Matrix tool to swap the rows and columns of the matrix so that the smaller squares can change gradually not only from left to right but also from bottom to top. The following steps were much easier compare with the previous steps which was to add a thickness to the matrix and made the thickness be random. It can be done by using Jitter tool and the Extrude tool. Finally, I baked the model into the Rhino and it looks cool. Here are some other interesting explorations.




A5 Conclusion

Based on the research of computational architecture, parametric modeling tools and my own algorithmic exploration, I will argue that skin helps architecture nowadays to have stronger connections with environment. And I think parametric modeling tool is a fantastic assist for architects to generate the skin which has this function. The precedents I list before in previous chapters especially in the last two chapters have shown that how skin can help architecture to link with environment. It either control the light amount come in or go outside the building, or make people inside the building have different sort of experience of the scenery outside, or even can help to improve the energy efficiency of the architecture. Skin is not only fabricate for decoration any more. The key idea is with the help of parametric modeling tool, we have the chance to play with different patterns and try to arrange them in different ways in order to achieve a skin which helps our design to link with environment and benefits for itself. I think I can achieve a special outcome by using parametric modeling tools such as Grasshopper.


A6 Learning Outcomes Parametric design has become a trend in today’s architecture field. It assists architects to generate outstanding buildings which fits the fast moving society. I am excited that I have the opportunity to learn parametric design in this studio and I think my understanding of parametric modeling has developed a lot during the past few weeks. Firstly I have learnt the difference between ‘computerization’ and ‘computation’, I know that the tools such as AutoCAD belongs to ‘computerization’. Secondly, I develop my skill in using Grasshopper, before I joined this studio, I knew very little about Grasshopper and did not have any skills of it. But now I can do some of my own creation by using it which makes me proud. Thirdly, studying the precedents of a lot of masters helps me to find out the key idea of these professions and see how they are using parametric tool to do architecture design. If I could use Grasshopper in last year’s Studio Water, I might create a mesh which is very organic so that the building can have a harmonious relationship with the site.







B1 Design Focus


Design Focus This section of the journal will explore and explain the area of interest our group chooses. Evidence will be provided to illustrate design explorations that have been undertaken within case-studies and also general research. Our group decided to focus on the research field of patterning. Pattern is always very important to architecture nowadays. Because each pattern has a specific structure that describe not only the design element itself but also the function the element served. Different collections of patterns lead to a building style which is adapted specific climate or culture and it is also useful for architecture to achieve good lighting and ventilation conditions. We believe that the Wyndham City Gateway Project is to serve a function of a solar power station by using patterns in terms of a sustainable purpose, which provides indication of arrival into metropolitan Melbourne and using surface movement to create sense of high speed.


Fig B1.1

Fig B1.2

Spanish Pavillion The precedent we choose for our design focus is the Spanish Pavilion (Fig B1.2). This pavilion is created to represent Spain in the universal Expo of the year 2005 in Aichi, Japan, and tackles the crucial subject of sustainable development through construction tradition, typical of the Spanish culture (Foreign Office Architects 2005). The patterning on the skin of this building is a good inspiration for our design of the Gateway project. Firstly, the irregular hexagons with different colour make the building become a sort of icon in the site, because of these colorful hexagons, this pavilion can attract large amount of people to come here and do the visiting. This aim is the same as what we design for the gateway project. We think the gateway should be an iconic piece of architecture. It is important that the colour of the hexagons is mainly red and yellow (different kind of red and different kind of yellow), since red and yellow are the representative colour of Spain and they are also used in Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national flag. So for the gateway project, colour can be a influential element as well. It is also noticeable that the material used for the skin is mainly glazed ceramic which is a customary tech-


It means that even the material type of an architecture can be associated with the culture as well. Further more, the space arrangement of this pavilion is special. It is not lineally arranged but arranged as cathedral metaphor (Foreign Office Architects,2005) so that the visitors who go there do not have to do the visiting with the pre-arranged routes. This feature is extremely important for the gateway project design. Because the gateway needs to give the public a feeling of speed and arriving the metropolitan Melbourne, it can not be a space that has limited routes. The project needs to give the visitors and even car drivers enough freedom when they are coming inside this gateway. Therefore in a conclusion, in our design, a successful gateway project needs to reflect the Wyndhamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique natural and cultural values as well as give the public the indication of arrival into Melbourne City. Last but not least, it should have good lighting and ventilation conditions.


Fig B1.3

Reference B1 1. Foreign Office Architects, Spanish Pavilion, 2005, viewed 17th April, < uploads/2010/01/Foreign-Office-Architects.pdf> 2. Foreign Office Architects, Spanish Pavillion, 2005, viewed 17th April, <>




B2 Case Study 1.0

Here are the criterias our group decided in order to recognize all sorts of design issues so that we can choose some of the best outcomes from the different kinds of patterns we made. - (A) Aesthetic of the skin is one of the criteria we need to pay attention. It decides that wheather this project will be eye-cathching or not. In another word, it is the very fisrt visual experience which will be feel by the public. - (T) Transmittance of light is one of the most important parts which decides how strong this project can link to the environment. It decides that what amount of light can go through the skin of the building which will effect the shadow created as well. Also, it may have an impact on the night time view of the structure as well. - (M) Material wastage has to be considered carefully as well since there will be a buget for this project and saving material is really important. Different kinds of patterns will have different costs for the builder. - (I) Indication of Metropolitan and high speed is one of the key idea of our design and it is better to be strong. - (S) Structural stability is one of the most fundamental requirement. It will have an direct impact on the durability of the structure and the site site safety of this project. For the matrix exploration I did in the following several pages, I will use 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 as the five stages of the standard to judge if one sort of pattern is good in these criterias. After that, we can find out which outcomes are the most suitable patterning to be used in our gateway project deisgn.


Matrix Exploration

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B3 Case Study 2.0

Fig B3.2

Fig B3.3

The Acoustic Barrier This building is called the Acoustic Barrier in Utrecht, Netherlands, it is designed by ONL Architect. We choose this building as the precedent because the fabrication method used in this building is particular important. It is clear that computational manufactory is used in this design. All the necessary data is read and stored by sofware controlling production machinery, so that there will be a direct link between the 3D model and the product machine of the manufacturers. ONL and manufactuer Meijers Staalbouw have developed a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;point cloudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; system- involving complex nodes and simple connecting beams. This is generated through an engineering program, with a number of scripts implemented to produce unique components (Design Build 2013). On the surface of this structure, the volume between the beam is covered with insulated triangular glass plates. It is significant that the joints and individual parts are made during the construction process so that the builders wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get confused. Furthermore, there must be a very good manner of communication between the architect and the manufacturer in the preliminary stage of the deisgn. The construction method used in this building is very similar to what we want to use for our gateway project design, but due to the different conditions we need to consider more before we decided what type of fabrication method we need to use. In general, this is a building which has similar design intent to our project and it can be a good inspiration of us as well.


Fig. B3.1

Base on the inspiration we get from the Acoustic Barrier in Utrecht and the design argument for the gateway project, we decide to use triangular patterns on the surface of our design. However, we do not want to have changeless triangles, we prefer to have triangles which is changing gradually so that it can give the drivers the feeling of different speed. Farther more, we think that use triangle mesh directly as the main structure (just like the Acoustic Barrier) is too boring and do not have enough creativity, so we come out with an idea which is using the diamond shape as the main structure pattern and create â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;arrowsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in each of the diamond so that the whole design can be more attractive and the main design concept can be achieved as well.

Digital Modeling Process The digital modeling process goes relatively smooth. It can be divided into three main periods. In the first period I tried to create an GH algorithm which can split any kind of curve surface into a lot of plane surfaces so that we can make sure that the surface can be unfolded and be fabricated in the real life. Since our digital model in Rhino is made of several surfaces, I can import these surfaces one by one to add patterns onto them.


The second period of the digital modeling process is probably the hardest one among the three. At this stage, I started to find out the four vertices of each rectangle and move one of them towards the center of the rectangle. By connecting three of the corner vertices and the moved vertice I can get the arrow shape I want. Then the same method was done again in the opposite direction so that the pattern we needed was achieved. Also, I add another algorithm in so that the distance between the moved vertice and the corner can be determined using the slider so that it actually means that we can determine how large the angle of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;arrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; should be. The work in the final period is relatively easy. I just needed to import the surfaces in Rhino to Grasshopper so that the patterns can be attached onto the model. The only thing I should be careful with was to adjust the amount of the patterns on one surface so the final outcome would be satisfactory. By the way, the function of this algorithm is to unfold the surface directly in Grasshopper.


Phisical Modeling Process Phisical modeling could help us to analyze the structure of our design better, but this time we did not do it very sucessfully. In general, we are not satisfied to this phisical model. Firstly, all patterns of our model were inversly cut out by the laser cut so that the suface we supposed it to face outside is actually facing inside. It shows that we are lack of fabricating experience. Also, due to the 1:100 scale, a lot of nice details displayed in the computer can not be shown on the phisical model, it somehow leads to the breakage of our model. Several facades of the model even can not stand due to the lack of rigidty of the design. In the aspect of conncection method, the way shows in the precedent is relativel complex to be built in a 1:100 phisical model so that we create tabs along the patterns instead and glue them together directly. Compare the Acoutic Barrier in Utrech with our model. Both of them use patterns on the skin to create an eye-cathing architecture, and again both of them rely on the strong link between the 3D model and the product machine. Also, nubering methods are used in both designs. On the other hand, several differences appeare between them as well. Firstly, as we mentioned before, the Acoustic Barrier uses triangular pattern but our design uses diamond pattern. Secondly, the triangles on the Acoustic Barrier do not have any change while the dimonds and arrows in our design changes not only in the size but also in the density. Moreover, the Acoustic Barrier uses point cloud of nodes and beams to connect different parts together while our model use tabs and glue to put the parts together. In order to make our phisical model become better, we really need to refine our digital model again especially focusing on how to make the sharp corners and tiny edges be shown in the real model successfully. Also, the size of the tabs around each diamond can be improved by adjusting the offset distance in Rhino. Another important part we need to consider is what modification we need to make in order to let the model stand by itself. Last but not least, we need to be more careful when we are producing files which are going to be sent to the fablab. 44


Reference B3 1. Design Build, Acoustic Barrier, 2013, viewed 25th April, <http://www.>



B4 Technique: Development







E 48
















In the previous sections, we have mde a decision which is to use dimond and triangular shape to be the pattern of our design. In order to find out what kind of arrangement is most suitable to our goal for this project, we create a matrix (shown above) again to compare more than forty differnt sorts of outcomes. Depend on our argument for this project, we now prefer the arrangement of the pattern to help the design to achieve good aesthetic effect, capable for light to transmit and most importantly the indication of metapolitan and high speed. By studying the matrix carefully, we choose four from more than forty outcome which are B1, C8, E1 and F2. We believe that the size of the angles in the pattern and the desity of the patten all need to change gradually so that the drivers can feel the indication of speed more strongly. The combination of these four outcomes might be exactly what we want.




B5 Technique: Prototypes

Since the focus of group is patterning, there is actually a lot of limitations for our fabrication method. Unlike the other groups who are sectioning or biomimicry, we can not create joint intersections to fabricate our model. The way we use is to create small tabs along the edges of the patterns and use glue to stick them together, we need to make sure that the pattern itself would not be effected because of fabrication. After making the first model, we realize a lot of problems, the most important one is that we do not want the model to be only amazing but also can stand by itself. In order to achieve this goal, we changed our design a little bit by adding another layer on both sides of the initial model. The roof still has only one layer because it does not influence the stand ability of the model. The patterns on the skin are rearranged using parametric tools to avoid unwanted shadows. Also, the density of the patterns are reduced from 10*40 to 6*24 as well, so that the whole design looks cleaner and simpler. By making these changes carefully, our model can stand by itself firmly.


The material we used for our model is 1mm thick boxboard, the structure is actually very stable due to the material strength. We also consider other types of material as well. However, timber sheet has grains on their surface, which may lead to material failure. Plastic sheets are stable as well but it is too hard to be cut. These two types of materials are also too expensive. So generally boxboard is the best choice for us although it still has one disadvantage which is not waterproofing.

In order to demonstrate the fabrication method for the inner layer and outer layer of our design, we also made a simple detail model. It was actually a single pattern of our model. We made two diamond shape frame to represent the steel borders of the patterns in the real architecture. In order to connect these two frames, we used short steel tubes to impale the frames and fixed them together and this structure is very stable which satisfied us a lot. In addition, the disable material for construct the project in the reality is mainly steel and glass. They are strong and common material and also can be water proofing using specific techniques. Again, the most obvious disadvantage of using these material is that the cost will be relatively high. 53




B6 Technique Proposal

After we finished our physical model, we began to think about how our technique could be applied to the site. Firstly, we believed that the main materials which been used in this project should be steel and glass. It fits the idea that this design should have modern faรงade and be eye-catching. We used diamond shapes and angles with different sizes to represent the high speed and the indication of metropolitan Melbourne. Moreover, the density of the patterns on the surface of this design is not constant, it gradually changes in a certain distance so that the drivers can feel the repetition of the patterns and also the changing density of them. We also consider to add solar power panels onto the top of this project so that the whole design can become a solar power system and helps to reduce the consumption of energy. We also prepared some detail drawings to show how this building is connecting with the ground and how the two layers of the faรงade are fixed with each other.

Compare to the other possible options, we think the advantages of our design is it has the sense of high speed and the indication of metropolitan Melbourne, it is very eye-catching and also can diversify site background, last but not least, it has real function which is to have the solar power system. However, there is several disadvantages in our design as well. Firstly, it might be too expensive to be built. Secondly, the length of this design might be too big and finally it has not shown much of the local culture.




B7 Algorithmic Sketches



B8 Learning Obejectives & Outcomes

In Part B our group had come up with a general idea of what kind of design

we are trying to achieve and made not only a digital model but also a physical model. During the mid-term presentation, we got some useful feedback from the tutors which showed how our design could be improved in the future. Firstly, we need to focus more on the physical model, it can give people a solid sense. Secondly, we should learn from the details and take them back to the design process. Thirdly, the design does not have to be so big. The most important thing we forgot to demonstrate was the reason why we wanted the drivers to feel speed, what the intensity of the experience was. Also, we did not explain enough that how our design related to the local culture and the inject meanings behind all the processes we have done so far. Therefore, we have a lot of things to consider and improve in our future work.


Part B process is really helpful for our group. In B1, we formed our main argument for the Gateway Project. Then in B2 and B4, by creating the matrix we developed the ability to generate a variety of design possibilities for a given situation. In B3, in order to make the digital model, we used various three-dimensional media to establish and explore our group’s design. We made a physical model in B5, which helped us to develop an understanding of relationships between architecture and air through interrogation of design proposal as physical models in atmosphere. Also, our ability to “make a case proposal” was developed through the detail analysis in B6. So generally our performance is tightly connected with the learning objectives. Farther more, the theoretical research we’ve done in B2 and B3 play an important role in our study as well. In a conclusion, our group and myself have learnt a lot during the working process of Part B.

Reference Partb 1. Foreign Office Architects, Spanish Pavilion, 2005, viewed 17th April, <http://> 2. Foreign Office Architects, Spanish Pavillion, 2005, viewed 17th April, <http://> 3. Design Build, Acoustic Barrier, 2013, viewed 25th April, <> Fig B1.2 Fig B1.3 Fig. B3.1 Fig B3.2 Fig B3.3







C1 Gateway Project: Design Concept

Response to the feedback & changes made to the design intent According to the comments given by the tutors in last few weeks, we thought that the previous design we did which was the two hundred metersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;long tunnel with gradually changed patterns on it was not very successfull. The reasons were firstly, the model looks like a tunnel could not give visitors a strong feeling of the design and it could not make them think about the background of this design which was the Wyndham City. Secondly, it did not create a special experience for the visitors when they are driving through this gateway and finally which might be the most important thing-what was the innovation of our design. Based on these useful comments, we thought that it was necessary for us to change our design and rethink what the intent of our design was. After considering of a lot of possibilities, we decided to use a new idea and changed the model of our design. Our argument was make patterns and forms of the design to cooperate with each other and utilize natural elements such as light to create particular experience for the public, at the same time encouraging further reflection of Wyndham Ciy. Considering the Wyndham was a costal city, which had an inseparable relationship with the sea, the design of our group also had a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;seaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; theme. We wanted this design can make the drivers to think of the Wydham City at once when they saw the project and also to have a feeling of driving on the waves and undersea when they went through the gateway.


Fig C1.1-C1.4

Design Concept


Basically our inspiration came from the logo of Wyndham City. We saw the sail and the wave on this logo and thought the basic shape of our design could be a mixture of these two shapes since sail represented moving foward and the curve of the waves represented movement as well. And then we considered that in order to make the visitors think of the coastal city, the best way is to give them a feeling of the sea. So we decided to use four elements of the sea in this deisgn which were- wave, sail, bubble and rocks on the beach to create particular experience for the drivers.

Western Gateway Design Project was held by Wyndham City with the aim of seeking an eye catching installation that could inspire and enrich the municipality. The diagrams on the left hand side were the analytical drawings of the design. Basically, the inspirations of our design were the sail and the wave on the city logo. Wyndham was a costal city with a wide range of distinctive features. The city logo was a sailing boat with waves underneath. It showed the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inseparable relationship with the sea. This design was generally made up by two parts, the ten pieces of metal plates proposed installed on Site B, represented the waves and the sail and a series of polyhedrons proposed installed on Site A,


Site Analysis


The provided site was located at the interchange with the Princes Highway (Geelong Road), commonly known as the Western Interchange. Generally, it was made up of three sites. Site A was about 90m wide (approximately 50,00m2). Site B connected to the existing service station measured about 22,000m2. Site C was a narrow band with an approximate width of 18m and measured about 4000m2. They were all flat and open spaces generally. In addition, there was neither electrical connection nor water supply on the site. The diagrams show the selection criteria made up of aesthetic, light effect, materials, relevance to design aim and structural stability. Our design was believed could mostly satisfy all the elements in this criterion.


Design Intent and Innovation Considering the Wyndham was a costal city, which had an inseparable relationship with the sea, the design of our group also had a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;seaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; theme. The design was generally made up of waves, proposed installed on site B, and rocks by the sea, proposed installed on site A. In terms of the waves, it consisted of 10 separate pieces. Each piece bent more inward than the previous one, formed an overall effect of waves hitting the rocks. The inspiration of the shapes of these bending pieces came from the sailing boats, so that another effect was like sailing boats on the waves. Further, the waves were decorated with hundreds of little circles, just like those bubbles floating on the waves. The bubbles were created by using Grasshopper. They were arranged in random sizes and used curve in the city logo to interfere them. In addition, there was no blocked view on 360 degrees; the curve could be recognized in all directions. On site A, there was a group of polyhedrons representing the rocks by the sea. Each individual polyhedron was made up of 4 hexagons and 4 triangles. They were connected to each other on the triangular surfaces. The highest point of the polyhedrons connected to the lowest wave to perform structural stability. The overall project measured about 100m in length and spent about 20m in width. The highest point of the wave was 20m and the lowest point was 5m, which allowed the access of a truck. The length of the rocks was approximately 35m in length and with a height of 7m.


On the whole, the innovation of our design was light. The project was a manipulation of refraction and reflection of the light. In the daytime, the sunlight shone through the bubbles would project dappled shadows on the road, creating an experience of driving through the waves. The polyhedrons would have sunlight reflection in different direction, which lighted up the waves as well. To achieve the effect, material selection was quite important. Aluminum plate was chose as the material for the wave and translucent light blue polyethylene was for the rocks. Light blue was the colour believed could evoke the sea. Considering unwanted reflection to drivers, a protective frosted light grey paint needed to be applied to the aluminum plate. Those surfaces on the polyhedrons would cause disturbs to the drivers should also be frosted. During the night, groups of light source behind the rocks would project shape and shadow on the waves. Due to it was translucent, the light blue colour would also be projected on the waves. The chquered light and shadows together with the light blue colour would create an experience of driving under the waves. Besides, more light sources would be installed under the waves to provide basic lightening of the road. Moreover, due to establishing electricity on site would cost a few, solar power films would be installed at the back of the waves, so that constant electricity would be produced to provide lightening of the whole project. No extra disturbs would bring to the nearby service station.



In order to make sure that the create the chquered light and shadows can be created in the real project, our group made an experiment to firstly created it in our physical model. We cut the plastic material which had the blue colour into lots of hexgons and put them on a piece of one hundred percent transparent paper. I hold this paper and the other members tried to use the flashlight to shine on the hexgons. The result was very satisfactory, we found that there were shadows which had blurry hexgon shape on the white paper and there was also graceful blue colour on the white paper. These two things forms the chquered light and shadows we wanted.




C2 Gateway Project: Tectonic Elements

To be honest, due to its special shape, our design was very hard to stand by itself in the reality. Because of this, our group had thought a lot of ways to make particular structure to support the project. The final method we chose was to create a strong footing system to make the base of this project stable, and then some horizontal steel bars are also needed to be put between the pieces of ‘waves’in order to balance the load in the whole project. As we can see in this detail diagram, the bottom of the ‘wave’is be fixed in the large concrete block undergound, and there are steel bars which have high hardness connecting the ‘wave’and the concrete block, also, some bolts have been put outside to conncect the ‘wave’and the concrete block as well, so that we can ensure that the whole system is strong enough. Morever, the steel bars are put between the ‘waves’ who are next to each other, there is a part where two of the ‘waves’ have an overlap and there is a gap in the overlap part and here is the exact position the bars been put. So the biggest load in the most bended ‘wave’ can be transfered to the other pieces of ‘waves’to help balance the load, therefore the project can stand by itself.



The tectonic elements inside and between the polyhedrons are much simpler than that of the ‘waves’. Since it is a relatively regular geometry, we only to think about how to connecte each piece of the polyhedron sucessfully. As it is shown in the detail diagram, we decide to use bended iron plate and normal bolts to fix the whole thing. We only need to put the bended iron plate on the edges of the faces of the polyhedron, and use bolts to stable them. In addition, the connection between the polyhedrons is simple as well, we only need a steel bar to penetrate the touching faces of the polyhedrons and then use nuts to fix them. We had made a lot of detail models in order to test the connection of the ‘rocks’. We have used different materials such as plasticine and cardboard and we use paperboard and drawing pins to represent the iron plate and the bolts. The results are relatively satisfactory.


Material and Technology


The project was a manipulation of refraction and reflection of the light. To achieve the effect, material selection was quite important. Aluminum plate was chose as the material for the wave and translucent light blue polyethylene was for the rocks. Light blue was the colour believed could evoke the sea. Considering unwanted reflection to drivers, a protective frosted light grey paint needed to be applied to the aluminum plate. Those surfaces on the polyhedrons would cause disturbs to the drivers should also be frosted. Due to establishing electricity on site would cost a few, solar power films would be installed at the back of the waves, so that constant electricity would be produced to provide lightening of the whole project. No extra disturbs would bring to the nearby service station.


C3 Gateway Project: Final Model



These are the photographs which show part of our fabrication process of the physical model. The photographs on the next page show the final outcome of the model and the performative aspect of kinetic elements, shading and visual effects. As we have mentioned before, the experience we want to create is different at daytime and nighttime. In the daytime, the sunlight shone through the bubbles would project dappled shadows on the road, creating an experience of driving through the waves. During the night, groups of light source behind the rocks would project shape and shadow on the waves. Due to it was translucent, the light blue colour would also be projected on the waves. The chquered light and shadows together with the light blue colour would create an experience of driving under the waves. These effects have been sucessfully achieved in our physical model.






C4 Algorithmic Sketches



Perspectives in car




C5 Learning Objectives and Outcomes

After the presentation, our group had received some really useful suggestions and feedback from our tutors and the guests. Firstly, Tutors said we should explain more about the tectonic elements of our deisgn, especially how these pieces of ‘waves’connected with each other and the ground. In order to respond to this feedback, we had tried made some more detail model to show the steel bars which used to connected the pieces of ‘waves’ next to each other, so that the loads inside the design could be balanced. Secondly, tutors suggested that we should do more experiment in order to make sure the light effect can be achieved perfectly, for this, our group had tried to use some other material such as glass to make the ‘rocks’and tested the light effect. The biggest problem of design was that it seemed that we did not push ourselves enough to use Grasshopper to help us to design the structure of our model. We have realized this problem and was trying to improve our design. For the learning objectives, we think we did relatively well. We have included the analytical drawings which relate our design to the site and we analysed the site in relationship to the brief and extracted criteria for our design decisions. Also, we are able to explain the logic of choosing our final design and we have used photography to analyse, explore and describe our design highlighting its performative characteristics, Moreover, we have demostrated with visual and text why our Project Proposal is sucessful and innovative. To be honest, our final design still has a lot of diadvantages so it is actually not a very sucessful design. However, I think I have learnt lots of things in designing this project and it has a large impact on my knowledge of architecture and the roles of computational in the designing process. Designing a gateway is so different from designing a building. I think it needs more imagination and techology. Since the shape or style of a gateway is much more variable, so we need to study the site and create lots of posibilities for it. And this is exactly what GH can help us to achieve. After studying in Studio: Air, I have learnt a lot such as using parametric modeling tools to create and manipulate deisgn. However, parametric modeling tools such as GH are very professional tools. So I still need to keep practising and try to get used to its functions further. In a conclusion, Studio: Air has given me lots of useful knowledge for my future study.

Reference PartC 1. Fig C1.1 2. Fig C1.2 3. Fig C1.3 4. Fig C1.4


Architectue design studio air bijia zhang 531800  

Journal of Studio: Air by Bijia Zhang 531800

Architectue design studio air bijia zhang 531800  

Journal of Studio: Air by Bijia Zhang 531800