Page 1






Part A. EOI I: Case for Innovation

5 A1.0 Architecture as a Discourse 7 A1.1 Precedent Works: Notre Dame du Haut 9 A1.2 Precedent Works: Frederic C. Robie House 11 A2.0 Computational Architecture 13 A2.1 Precedent Works: Pike Loop 15 A2.2 Precedent Works: Constructive Geometry Pavilion 17 A3.0 Parametric Modelling 19 A3.1 Precedent Works: 290 Mulberry Street 21 A3.2 Precedent Works: Sagrada Familia 23 A4.0 Conclusion 24 A5.0 Learning Outcomes 25

Reference List


Part B. EOI II: Design Approach


B1.0 Design Focus


B2.0 Case Study 1.0

33 33 35

B3.0 Case Study 2.0 B3.1 Paper Tower B3.2 AU Office and Exhibition Space


B4.0 Technique: Development


B5.0 Technique: Prototypes


B6.0 Technique Proposal


B7.0 Algorithmic Sketches


B8.0 Learning Objectives and Outcomes


Part C. Project Proposal

47 47 49 51 52

C1.0 Gateway Project: Design Concept C1.1 Reviewing the Concept and Technique C1.3 Workflow Diagram of Definition C1.4 Construction Process Diagram C1.5 Site and Location of Installation

53 53 55 57

C2.0 Gateway Project: Tectonic Elements C2.1 Core Construction Element 1: Fragment of Cladding C2.2 Core Construction Element 2: Jointing and Construction Methods C2.3 3D Printing and Parametric Solutions


C3.0 Gateway Project: Final Model


C4.0 Algorithmic Sketches


C5.0 Learning Objectives and Outcomes


Reference List


My name is Divya. I was born and raised in Mauritius, a tropical island close to the eastern coast of Madagascar . I am currently studying in my third year at the University of Melbourne and majoring in architecture. There were numerous reasons why I chose to undertake this course. I have always been interested in design and I have also known that whichever field I choose to study and eventually to work in, it would have to be multidisciplinary. I am glad that after having completed two years of this course, I can confidently say that I have made the right choice. While I was initially attracted to the design aspect of architecture, I enjoy involving myself and my projects at university with other domains as these experiences are truly enriching and heighten my knowledge significantly. I have had some experience with Rhinoceros in my first year of university while undertaking Virtual Environments. I do hope that after my completion of Studio Air I will have significantly improved computation skills, not just in Rhinoceros but also in Grasshopper.


Part A. EOI I: Case for Innovation



One of the fascinating and perhaps the most interesting notions about architecture is the wide range of field that it involves. It includes numerous domains, such as planning, design, construction, social issues, mathematics, technology, engineering, economics, ecology and geology to name a few. According to the Mark Cousins, the discipline of architecture “involves not just objects but relations between subjects and objects,”1 implying that architects ought to be knowledgeable about other ‘subjects’ that relate to architecture. There is thus a degree of ambiguity in architecture as the subject range is so vast and at times there is no clear line between two different fields. Due to this ambiguity there is a lot of complexity and contradiction in architecture. For example, post World Wars I and II, architects were driven to adopt a new approach to building. A famous example is Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation, a residential building for middle class people who required affordable housing as soon as possible. It is interesting how the post-war circumstances encouraged practicality and rationality in architecture and how this eventually resulted in a new style of its own. However Le Corbusier’s extensive use of prefabrication and mass production, in this building and in numerous others, led to criticism that it was not architecture. Le Corbusier on the other hand, perceived his rationality as being a “new architecture”. As an architect, one may wonder to what extent are such works truly architecture and why were a number of them disregarded as being architecture?


Considering aspects other than design, be it social, economic, time constraints or material and transportation limitations, architecture involves so many disciplines that it is important to understand architecture as its own discipline, or as an architectural discourse. For instance, there have been constant arguments in the past and till this current day whether the Eiffel Tower is architecture or engineering. Where does one draw the line? According to Robert Venturi “there are no fixed laws” in architecture.2 So perhaps one does not have to separate the two. According to Ignasi de Sola Morales, “the architecture of modern times is characterized by its capacity to take advantage of the specific achievements of that same modernity: the innovations offered it by present-day science and technology”.3 He then goes on to state that the relationship between new technology and new architecture is referred to as “avant-garde architecture.”4

Foam Bubbles

Today, it seems as though architecture is become more ambiguous than ever and digitization has significantly contributed to this situation. Architecture also as a discourse is understood to be ambiguous in the way that a design develops, right from when it is just an idea to its final result, be it physical or virtual. The unclarity stands out through the progressiveness of a design idea, as most of the time, a designer is aware that his initial idea will lead to the architecture of the building, rather than the idea being the architecture itself. Hence one may never know what to expect from a mere idea. In fact in several cases, the changes may be extremely significant to the point that the original concept is lost. Therefore there is a sense of ambiguity in this unpredictable development of the idea. Very often in architecture, there is no single “right solution” to a problem. In the field, designers and engineers are likely to face situations where there are endless possible solutions. Where do they go from there? How do they decide? This point further contributes to the ambiguity in architecture as a discourse. It can be said that despite the complexities in architecture which induced by ambiguity, these attributes should not be considered to be weaknesses. It is stated by Jonathan Hill that: “Rather, it is the strength to be flexible and open to conflicting perceptions and opinions. The practice of architects needs to confidently reflect the nature of the architecture. Architecture must be immaterial and porous, as well as solid and stable where necessary, and so should the practice of architects.”5




The Chapel Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France is one Le Corbusier’s most extraordinary works. It was built in 1955 and the main materials used is concrete. There are number of contributing factors that make this building monumental. Firstly it is symbolic and a place of religion. It is also built in this complimentary landscape and at a specific orientation so that it stands out and can be admired by people for its beauty. Additionally, the roof of the building is without any doubt the monumental trademark of this modernist structure. This roof was designed and constructed rather interestingly, which relates to the idea of architecture being ambiguous as well as a discourse. It is a known fact, that despite modernism and the new digital age at the time, Le Corbusier designed all the curves of this building freehand.6 He had the skills and the opportunity to design and perhaps, perfect them to a computational standard, but he did not. It is to be noted however that despite his preferred traditional methods of hand drawings, high technology had to be used in order to make this complex roof possible. This does makes one wonder; how should an architect balance hand drawings and the unique character that freehand designs can offer to a building, with the abilities and efficiencies of computation and high technology? Would such a monumental and organic form lose its ‘sincerity’ and ‘humanity’ were it to be designed computationally? These wonderings will be further elaborated in the following section (Part A2). Moreover, it should be mentioned that Le Corbusier at some point in his later career, was accused of “dehumanization”7 which strongly relates to these arguments. Furthermore, viewing architecture as a discourse, there are other disciplines to be considered outside the design environment. One main issue in this case is the controversial social perspectives on the chapel. The idea of a place of worship relates to customs and traditions, which contradict modernism. Nevertheless, along with Le Corbusier, other architects such as Tadao Ando, intricately challenged this concept, successfully proving that a religious place can be modern and still maintain its sacredness.


Le Corbusier: Chapel Notre Dame du Haut



This monumental residence was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in Chicago, United States in 1910. This is one of the early buildings to showcase modernism in such an innovative manner. The main material used is brick, specifically Roman brick. The latter is a more horizontal form of brick, which tends to optically elongate the structure, creating the illusion of a wider horizontally span. Frank Lloyd Wright was all about innovation, exploration and taking risks with materials. He was without any doubt a modernist who caused several controversies in the architectural world. The client specifically wanted his house to be built so that he could see neighbours without being seen himself. This problem was ‘solved’ by Wright as he created the large cantilever that floats over the west porch of the house, which provides the client with the privacy he desired without obstructing his view. If this problem had to be solved digitally today, creating the west wall using a computational design method would surely lead to an aesthetically dynamic wall composed of mathematically calculated and positioned bricks. Such a wall, if carefully designed, could allow the client to view his neighbours while his own privacy would still be maintained. This is definitely possible with the computational developments and building technologies available in this day. Despite the regularly and uniformity of the exterior Roman brick walls, the heavy-weight cantilever required high technology (relative to that time) so as to hold itself up structurally. To create the architectural intricacy and visual effect of a ‘floating horizontal overhang’ Frank Llyod Write used discreet steel beams.8 This home is very interesting indeed as it includes very noticeable modern and technological elements, such as the skeletal structure itself, yet is a simple house, is homely and warm for people to feel comfortable living in. This suggests similar issues as Le Corbusier, as observed in Part A0.1: not only does Le Corbusier create a balance between ambiguity, free-hand design, computation and technology, but he also strongly relates the intended function of a building to its structure and geometry. It can thus be stated that Frank Llyod Wright and Le Corbusier have certain attributes in common.


We can clearly see how innovative architects such as Le Corbusier and Frank Llyod Wright took a step further as modernists and challenged their time. As the famous computer-aided design expert, Patrik Schumacher may state, they were ‘transitional architects,’ our gateway to computational architecture today, or more specifically, to parametricism (Refer to Part A3.0).

Frank Lloyd Wright: Frederic C. Robie House


“The computational way of working augments the designer’s intellect and allows us to capture not only the complexity of how to build a project, but also the multitude of parameters that are instrumental to building formation. ” 9 Computational architecture without any doubt, facilitates an architect’s work, and in addition allows one to explore and experiment freely while mistakes are automatically being adjusted; and needless to say, there is a level of precision and accuracy that one achieves through computation that is beyond human capacities. It is in our human nature to want clarity in our lives, and especially in our work. Computation provides a sense of complete clarity as well as control. It has its own language to communicate in a straightforward manner whereby every answer is clearly ‘black or white,’, and nothing in between, giving humans direct and final answers instantly and leaving little room for assumptions and vagueness. This notion is contrasting to the concept of ambiguity in architecture (previously explored in Part A1.0). It can hence be stated that, to a significant extent, digitization suppresses ambiguity. Computation involves communication. Interestingly, there are significant differences in the way that this communication takes place and this may sometimes be problematic. In order for computation to be successful, humans have to possess the abilities to not only understand the responses from the computer, whether it is textual, numerical, diagrammatic or graphical; but they should also possess the skills to perform these ‘command tasks’ effectively, to which the computer can respond to.10

“CAD might conspire against creative thought “ by encouraging “fake” creativity.11


This statement, made by Bryan Lawson in 1999, is a rather common opinion. Digitization provides one with the ability to not only solve design problems, but also to create design concepts from scratch by using computation to the point that high technology itself is a source of inspiration for aesthetic designing. It is thus a popular view that these technologies result in “fake” creativity. However, from a critical point of view, a computer is a machine and design programs are simply virtual tools. Therefore the humans are the ones that are responsible for the ideas, creativity and decision-making as the computers do not possess the abilities to do so. Their abilities, although extraordinary, are after all limited to the commands given to them by humans.

Commonwealth Games Competition

Can architects today work without such a heavy reliance computers? Technically speaking, architects could carry on and work without a high reliance on computers and hence, without computational architecture. This statement, although slightly controversial, can be backed up by the fact that they did in the past and thus they can do so in the future. In fact, before the Renaissance period, buildings were “constructed, not planned.�12 Nevertheless, computation has induced fascinating progress not only in the architectural field, but to countless other ones. Therefore it is likely that although humans have proven in the past to create buildings without computation, the opportunities and technologies developed today should be used to their advantage in order to facilitate, speed up and improve their work as well as aid and inspire them throughout the design process. It is after all up to the designer to choose his path, whether it is an equal balance between computational design and nontechnological means of design such as hand drawings, or a leniency towards one of them. Computation will be an interesting approach for the Wyndham Gateway Project as it will allow designers to use the technological resources available today to their advantage. It should also be noted that there is a cost budget for the project which ought to be respected. Designing computationally is an economical method, and thus it is a rational option in this case.



This public installation is quite exceptional as it is the first brick wall to be built on-site by a robot. It was designed by Swiss architects Gramazio and Kohler. It is located on Pike street, and hence the name Pike Loop, in Manhattan, New York and was built in 2009. It is 22 metres long and contains more than 7000 bricks that were positioned and fixed based on mathematical algorithms. The loop form relates strongly to the algorithmic aspect of the design as, “in changing rhythms the loop lifts off the ground and intersects with itself at its peaks and valleys.”13 Hence the structure is based on these mathematical intersections. The robots have the skills to build this complex and intricate structure with accuracy, strength and speed. The past few years, architects have used 3D printing and CNC milling to digitally build small-scale models of their design.13 For this reason, it is impressive that the Pike Loop has been built digitally at a 1:1 scale, and on site as well.

“The continuous form and homogeneous expression of the structure can only be achieved through on site digital fabrication ” 14 Once again, this may raise the highly disputable question of whether this installation is architecture or engineering. There is without any doubt a sophisticated level of structural engineering involved in this process, from the initial design stages up to the end of the fabrication process. Nevertheless, the architects Gramazio and Kohler have controlled every single detail of this design and programmed their robot, which they named R-O-B, to perform this production accordingly. Therefore it would be difficult, if not impossible to categorize this structure as a piece of architecture or engineer. Perhaps society should accept computational architecture as a recently independent domain which involves essentials skills from both the disciplines.


As for the incredible abilities of robots, how far can this go? Technically speaking, if they can build a 22 metres long structure, we could soon have robots fabricating complete buildings independently from start to finish. It would then be a concern for the future generations’ architects, engineers and construction workers as the robots may take over their jobs. On the other hand, this situation is also likely to create new disciplines as skilled people will be required to develop these robots as well as to design specifically to these fabrication methods.

Physical Installation Gramazio & Kohler: Pike Loop

Rendering of fabrication by Robot, Gramazio & Kohler: Pike Loop



The Constructive Geometry Pavilion is a computational design structure created by students of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, Portugal. The concept of the project was the use computational designing methods so as to “conceive and materialize geometrically adaptive design solutions, by exploring mass customization logics and intensive collective collaboration. ”16 The fluid dome-shaped honeycomb structure consisted of 185 hexagon cells and 185 panels which were then organized for prefabrication.17 The material used is corrugated cardboard which, due to limitations within the university project, were cut out by hand to form the final structure. There is no doubt that producing such a model by hand-drafting would be have been close to impossible, and even it after a tremendous amount of time and effort it was made possible, inaccuracies are highly likely. This is simply because the success of this model is significantly based on mathematics and geometry. While the designing aspect, namely the form and the shape are equally important, they are ‘adaptable’ to the geometry in the sense that there is more freedom involved where design decisions is concerned. Additionally, one may design this form by hand, perhaps to aim for a more organic shape and add a ‘human touch’. However, it is certain that the abilities of computational architecture would be vital at the later stages of the design process, to not only calculate and adjust every single panel mathematically, but also to organize them in a way that they may be cut out for production, as seen in the image. The Constructive Geometry Pavilion, as well as the Pike Loop (Refer to Part A2.1) are definitely inspirational public installations. They are both computational and innovative. Understanding their concepts and processes will be helpful for the Wyndham Gateway Project.


Digital Model, University of Porto: Constructive Geometry Pavilion

Cardboard Installation, University of Porto: Constructive Geometry Pavilion


The word ‘parametric’ is a mathematical term which can be defined as “a set of equations that express a set of quantities as explicit functions of a number of independent variables, known as ‘parameters. ’”18 —Weisstein 2003 This mathematical relationship is parallel to the relationship between the inputs in parametric design and their impacts on the final design, or the outputs. It is very difficult, if not impossible, at this point in time to provide a definition for ‘parametric design.’ This design approach is a relatively recent and modern concept for which, despite the numerous arguments and debates caused by its ambiguity, no official definition has been derived. Nevertheless, the term is generally referred to as a highly technological method of designing whereby the form is defined by algorithms and parameters. Parametricism has not yet been ‘perfected’ in the architectural world. It is still rather an experimental style of architecture that seems to be at its peak growth stage. It is however, still a fairly understood process by designers and is practiced within the architectural and design fields today. In parametric design, making variations to the design is almost effortless. The programming inputs or parameters simply can be changed and this will automatically adjust the design so that it works mathematically, structurally and functionally. In 2010 Patrik Schumacher stated that parametricism will be the “great new style after modernism,” adding that “Post-modernism and deconstructivism were mere transitional episodes” 19


The idea that modernism was simply a ‘transition’ suggests that parametricism, in Shumacher’s opinion, is likely to bring about more extraordinary changes to architecture and design than modernism did. Making such a statement will, without any doubt, lead to high expectations from the general society from the results that parametric design shall bring. If it is going to be ‘bigger’ than modernism then it will be, to some extent, an architectural revolution and will eventually re-establish our built environment as well as our general society.

Parametric Structure



290 Mulberry Street was built in 2008 by SHoP Architects. It is situated in Manhattan, New York and consists of commercial as well as residential spaces. The most interesting feature of the building is the external façade. It is a visually impressive and innovate method of producing a brick façade. The “undulations” created by the specific position of the bricks relative to one other were only possible because of code parameter which also determined the spacings between the bricks.20 SHoP Architects faced a challenge due to the parametric design concept. They wanted to achieve maximum “undulations,” or in other words, maximum ‘calculated protrusions’ of the bricks, while maintaining a minimum thickness of the type of brick used so as to reduce the load.21 These calculations had to be extremely accurate in order to produce the best visual results without compromising the structural and economical aspects of the façade. It can thus be stated that parametric modelling programs are extremely important, if not absolutely vital, so as to achieve such tricky design concept using a more rational, accurate and technical approach. This building is a physical evidence of the efficiencies of the systematic performance achieved through parametric design and is a source of inspiration and motivation for the design of the Wyndham Gateway Project. The Gateway Project, through parametric design, is likely to achieve innovative and accurately calculated designs while being economically and structurally functional. The designers of the Gateway Project will have a full control of the ‘design system’ as to what goes into the design and its limitations and will make rational choices and alterations based on the computationally generated results.


As Patrick Schumacher previously stated that modernism was simply the ‘transition’ to paramaterism.22 This idea can be observed in the case of the 290 Mulberry Street Building. The brick appears to have a ‘movement’ and a certain dynamism and asymmetry to it, all of which are typical characteristics of modernist buildings. However, SHoP architects, clearly inspired by modernism, uses bricks innovatively to take ‘modernism’ to a whole new level, by applying calculated geometries and mathematics to it, or ‘code parameters.’ Schumacher’s statement seems to apply in this case.

Render, SHoP Architects: 290 Mulberry Street

Physical facade, Architects: 290 Mulberry Street



This monumental church is currently under construction in Barcelona, Spain and was designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. This famous building has been under construction since 1883 since which Gaudi’s decease took place, as well as the Spanish cival war and to make matters worse, there was destruction of models and documentation for the project, all of which contributed significantly to the delay.23 The whole concept of the church is based on computer-aided design, and more specifically, parametric design. In fact, Gaudi’s innovative concept for this church is known as his “own generative system.”24 This term is quite interesting as it suggests that the concept is a ‘system’ which technically relates more to the domains of mathematics and engineering rather than of art and design. One may wonder, does Gaudi’s “generative system” simply require computational programming skills? Or is there more to it that is perhaps generally overlooked due to the fascination with new technologies? As for digital communication, the Sagrada Familia project reveals the extent of the clarity of computational language as even after Gaudi’s death, the design and the construction processes are able to be fully understood without any sense of uncertainty or doubt. This is simply due to the straightforward and mathematical nature of parametric design. However this advantage may also be a disadvantage as observed in the case of Gaudi. He made a few minor mistakes in the Sagrada Familia which led to severe complications. It was difficult to solve these problems without his presence as the computational design system is complex and highly detailed. Basically, the precision and accuracies of the computer induce a serious responsibility to humans as their inputs to the software must be free of error. Even the tiniest mistake could cause significant inconsistencies.


It is quite interesting when considering a parametric approach to the Wyndham Gateway Project. The first-time parametric designers will be exposed to these technologies and will have a better understanding as to what extent their design is a ‘generative system’ or not.

Antonio Gaudi: Sagrada Familia


The architectural environment is and has always been an ever-changing one. It can also be stated that it will surely continue to evolve even more. Over the past few years, technology has skyrocketed and its abilities and capabilities today are almost unbelievable. What one thought years ago would have been impossible, such as a robot building a bricks structure independently on site, is now possible. Furthermore, these advancements are not considered to be final achievements, but rather as ‘steps’ on the digital ladder. The new computational possibilities and successes are always challenged and taken further and further for constant improvements and developments. ‘Achieving the impossible’ always seems to be the target. It is thus interesting to consider parametric design as one of the recent successes of the computational architecture field, which may soon be widely regarded as the turning point in the digital component of architecture.



Despite still being in a relatively early stage of the semester, the fourth week, I have definitely learnt a lot in this subject so far. I have attempted the Rhinoceros and Grasshopper tutorials and along with the rest of course, specifically the readings, lectures and tutorials, I am starting to develop a whole new perspective on architecture. This new perspective has created quite an impact on my view of architecture as a student, as I now have a much more informed knowledge on computer-aided design, how it works, and how the transitions and changes took place in the field. This course so far has also encouraged me to question the way that things work in architectural firms and how structures are designed. Grasshopper has also helped me understand the vital basics of parametric design and how humans control the mathematics behind geometrical structures as well as the relationships between the numerous individual components that combine to create a ‘rational’ design. I believe that my understanding of these principles and my new approach to computational design will contribute positively to the next part of the course, namely the Wyndham Gateway Project.


REFERENCE LIST 1. Hill, Jonathan (2006). ‘Drawing Forth Immaterial Architecture’, Architectural Research Quarterly, 10, 1, p.4 2. Robert Venturi, ‘Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’, < seminar_07/Complexity%26ContradictionArchitecture.pdf> [accessed 12 August 2013] 3. Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), p.3 4. Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), p.3 5. Hill, Jonathan (2006). ‘Drawing Forth Immaterial Architecture’, Architectural Research Quarterly, 10, 1, p.4 6. Germaine Greer, ‘A concrete vision of dizzy rapture’, in The Guardian <> [accessed on 12 August 2013] 7. Mayer, Adam Nathaniel (2010). ‘Style and the Pretense of ‘Parametric’ architecture’, p.1-5 8. Adelyn Perez, ‘AD Classics: Frederick C. Robie House’, in Frank Lloyd Wright <> [accessed on 15 August 2013) 9. Peters, Brady (2013). Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought from Architectural Design (AD) Special Issue - Computation Works V83 (2) , p. 10 10. Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), p 3 11. Lawson, Bryan (1999). ‘’Fake’ and ‘Real’ Creativity using Computer Aided Design: Some Lessons from Herman Hertzberger’, in Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Creativity & Cognition, ed. by Ernest Edmonds and Linda Candy (New York: ACM Press), pp. 174-179 12. Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), p8 13. Sebastian Jordana, ‘Pike Loop, a robot-built installation in NYC’, <> [accessed on 13 August 2013] 14. Sebastian Jordana, ‘Pike Loop, a robot-built installation in NYC’, <> [accessed on 13 August 2013] 15. ‘Pike Loop, Manhattan, New York, 2009’, <> [accessed on 13 August 2013] 16. Lidija Grozdanic, ‘Constructive Geometry Pavilion Investigates Dome Structures Through Mass-Customization’, < http://> [accessed on 16 August] 17. Lidija Grozdanic, ‘Constructive Geometry Pavilion Investigates Dome Structures Through Mass-Customization’, < http://> [accessed on 16 August] 18. The University of Melbourne, ‘Lecture 3 – Parametrics’, in Architecture Design Studio: Air, Melbourne, Australia 19 The University of Melbourne, ‘Lecture 3 – Parametrics’, in Architecture Design Studio: Air, Melbourne, Australia 20. SHoP Architects, ‘Brick Construction: 290 Mulberry New York, NY, <http://lgbegen.files.wordpress. com/2010/11/29mulberry-final-presentation.pdf> [accessed on 17 Aug`ust] 21 The University of Melbourne, ‘Lecture 3 – Parametrics’, in Architecture Design Studio: Air, Melbourne, Australia 22 The University of Melbourne, ‘Lecture 3 – Parametrics’, in Architecture Design Studio: Air, Melbourne, Australia 23 RMIT, ‘Sagrada Familia – Barcelona’, <> [accessed 17 August 24 RMIT, ‘Sagrada Familia – Barcelona’, <> [accessed 17 August]



Part B. EOI II: Design Approach


Grids and Lattices: PKO Bank Polski Patterning: Jiufen Zao Xiang Shi

Two complimentary parametric approaches have been adopted to design for the Wyndham City Project. This allows for variety and monumentality through a unique ‘fusion’ of parametric design. However, more importantly, this blend illustrates the complexities that this design concept intends to evoke. The design concept is inspired by the existing natural environmental conditions of the Wyndham site, so as to respond to it in the most effective and rational manner possible. The environmental conditions of the site consits in principle the acid rain, high salt content, humidity and high pollution due to the highway. These factors will be incorporated into the design, rather than defied. There will be no attempt to conceal these conditions, although several of them have negative environmental impacts. The Wyndham City Project shall remain true to its natural state and build with it rather than against it. This notion, being controversial, is likely to attract attention which will contribute to the social impact of parametric architecture. From a social point of view, the people in the Wyndham community are of great importance to this design. According to Shigeru Ban, an architect should design “for the people”. Hence the idea of ‘nesting’ is significant in this project. Additionally, the structure will also incorporate nesting for the countless birds in the area through parametric design, once again responding to the natural conditions of the site: the fauna.


PKO Bank Polski

The PKO Bank Polski is an inspirational precedent for Grids and Lattices as the use of parametric software is clearly noticeable in the grid wall shown in the image. The grid of lines subtly converge into one point which appears to be in the centre of the wall. The parametric technique used in the wall, although simple, is an elegant way to create a sense of movement and grab oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention without taking over the rest of room. This approach will be used for the Wyndham City Project: the design shall stand out from its landscape but to some extent, also blend with it and appear to belong to this specific site. Manipulating grids and lattices parametrically is hence a great way to achieve this.

Jiufen Zao Xiang Shi

In order to make the Grids and Lattices approach more monumental and impactful from an aesthetics point of view, Patterning will be used. While grids and lattices tend to perform mainly structural functions, a pattern envelops the structure and generally performs as its external skin. Shigeru Banâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jiufen Zao Xiang Shi is a perfect example of how a carefully integrated pattern may complement its structural grid or lattice. Such a system will be adopted for the Wyndham City Project as limiting the design to a grid or lattice may not create such an impact. This fusion is essential to reflect how different materials may perform when they are structural or aesthetic. The idea of the Wyndham City Project is to remain true to its materials which is the fundamental principle in modern architecture. The parametric architecture in this design shall maintain this notion, and further modernize it by applying the computational techniques that are possible today. `



Species 1

Species 2

31 Species 3

Species 4

These matrices represent the numerous iterations obtained from inducing numerous alterations to original definitions. The Grasshopper definitions for Species 1, 2 and 3 are obtained from the provided case study files. Species 1 reveals the most contrast between mutations within the same species. The alterations, although rather minor, express the obvious changes in the relationships between the sequences of lines and points and the ways in which they connect. There is also some exploration involving points within the form which tend to induce the extremities of the form to ‘close up’ on each other, as well other iterations whereby they are being ‘repulsed’ by each other, creating opposing yet similar outcomes. Species 2 explores changes between the flow of the lines as alterations are made, shifting from straight and almost rectangular shapes to curved and graph-like shapes, followed by rectangular shapes again. Species 3 explores how the depth of surface, the form and patterns vary in relation to radii and placement of circles. The definition for Species 4 is obtained by creating and adjusting steps, changing radius and rotation, inserting graph inputs and controlling the sliders. The purpose of this species is to explore how form varies according to the effects of sound.



B3.1 Shigeru Ban: Paper Tower

The Paper Tower, by Shigeru Ban is a 22 metre tower built from compressed cardboard tubes. The triangular gridshell is angled and curved inwards in such as way so as to meet at the top centre, forming a uniform cone shaped tower. This is a relevant precedent for a simple grid structure and is an appropriate starting point to understanding how to reverse engineer and manipulate grids and lattices.

1. Create surface Lofting from Curves


3. Diagrid

2. Create Surface Points with Surface Divide

4. Adjust U and V points

5. Create Pipe Connect Diagrid ‘Lines’ to Pipe ‘Curve’

6. Connect lofted surface to (new) Surface Divide

7. Connect Surface Divide ‘Points’ to Polyline ‘Vertice’

8. Adjust U and V Points Connect Polyline to Pipe

Loft surface



The triangular gridshill strucutre obtained is of great interest to the design for the Wyndham City Project. It provides a strong structural foundation as well as a lot of potential where design and form are concerned. The jonting between the interesting members of the grid is also an interesting component, which will be further explored in section B5 (pages 40-41).



B3.2 Archi Union Architects Inc: AU Office and Exhibition Space

The Au Office and Exhibition Space by Archi Union Architects is a perfect parametric precedent for monumental patterning. The textured facade consists of concrete blocks, as seen in the image. The blocks are stacked up at specific angles in relation to one another so as to achieve the effect of silk undulating in the wind, which is the concept of the design. The parametric processes used to achieve this effect are impressive as a combination of smoothness and rigidity are expressed simultaneously. Additionally, the positions of these blocks on the facade allow for play of light within the building.

1. Create curves and points. Loft.

2. XY Plane contour to control and create lines

3. Horizontal Frames to create surfaces

4. Centre box to create wall surface Cull Nth to arrange in List


5. Use Area to find Centre points

Loft surface

Horizontal Frames

6. Attractor points and create rotation Control direction and angles of wall surface

Centre Box

Attractor points

The idea of layered blocks is very relevant to creating a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;monumentalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; structure for the Wyndham City Project. The concrete blocks create a heavy weight effect which is balanced out by the light and flowy texture obtained through parametric design. This contradiction of heavyweight yet lightweight suggests a unique and modern perspective towards monumental architecture, which is traditionally recognized simply as heavyweight architecture. The Wyndham City Project is likely to receive attention for this innovative approach. As explained in B1 (pages 29-30), two cases were chosen, namely Paper Tower (pages 3334) and AU Office and Exhbition Space so as to explore the two different design approaches that will be adopted for the Wyndham Project: Grids and Lattices, and Patterning.



Species 1

Species 2


Species 3

Species 4


Species 5

Species 6 - Final species

Species 1 represents the effects of the circle pattern created when a focus point is moved, within the form as well as outside the form, along with changes in the individual radii of the circles and distance between their centres. This is an interesting exploration for the parametric grid structure intended to be created into the design for the Wyndham City Project. Applying such a technique will allow a specific point to be set on the grid that all the members of the grid will have an algorithmic relationship to, creating to some extent a natural form structure. Species 3 explores the patterning of the block wall, which is a useful technique for the parametric patterning approach towards the Wyndham City Project. Species 5 explores the multiple repetition of one random shape onto a continuous surface. However the uniformity is rather monotonous and hence may not be as inspiring from an aesthetic point of view.


Species 6, which is the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;concluding matrix speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, is created by incorporating the effects of twisting a grid tower. The numerous parameters are widely altered so as to achieve contrasting variations within the species. This is the most interesting and final matrix species as it relates the closest to the concept and expores various elements such as different grid systems, a variety of tower forms, rotation manipulation and twisting, as welll as thickness of materials and texture.


The appropriate selection of materials is vital to any design. Extensive research was undertaken so as to choose the right materials for the Wyndham City Project. The CORTEN steel prototypes, seen below, are the results of their reaction to diluted acid. This experiment was conducted so as to demonstrate how the CORTEN steel samples, which were brand new, changed their appearance drastically to appear as they would have naturally after a few months or years (refer to time/colour chart). This experiment suggests that CORTEN steel is an interesting material choice for the Wyndham Project as it will keep changing over time and be a reflection and a reminder of the environmental conditions of the site.

The images below represent hand baked monumental material prototypes, limestone and cement. The experimentation involved varying their sand content to test mechanical properties such as relative weight, elasticity, jointing potentials and problems. Another part of the experimentation involved the reaction of the limestone and cement with diluted acid, as previously done with the CORTEN steel, so as to explore the reactions of these materials to the environment over time.


This is a joint from the previously analysed Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban. In the grid structure of the design for Wyndham City Project, a similar type of steel connector will be used as a jointing system for the individual members of the grid. This type of joint is advantageous for the design as it is rigid yet flexible.

This prototype model illustrates the main concept of this design. The structure will be a tower, consisting of an internal grid structure made from steel. Externally, the patterning part of the design takes place as the white hollow boxes, attached to the grid, are placed at various angles forming a continuous facade.

This prototype model focuses on the jointing of the hollow boxes to the internal grid steel strucutre. The jointing system used is similar to the one used in the Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban (as seen above) and is an appropriate choice for this structure.

Prototype model of Steel Grid

Prototype model of Steel Grid



The concept is highly innovative as it fits well within its surrounding site and also reflects the current environmental situation in the area. The changes in colour of the material to be used (CORTEN STEEL) portray as a clearly visible evidence, not only of the age of the structure, but also of the pollution. Additionally bird droppings on the site will have a significant impact on the structure. The droppings contain uric acid which will cause further reaction with the steel. The concept of a structure reflecting pollution is controversial and this will attract a lot of attention which will be advantageous for the popularity of the structure. One drawback is that the structure may have to be rebuit over time and hence not be labelled as a ‘permanent’ structure. The way that this could be turned to an advantage would be if the pollution in the area is controlled and decreases over time. As a result, the changes in appearance of the new structure will occur at a slower pace than the previous structures. If this is achieved, the structure will be a very powerful and feel-good reminder that the environment is getting cleaner. Moreover, the idea of grids and lattices complimented by patterning is highly innovative and more interesting than other parametric techniques as this particular combination of technique will evoke ‘monumentalism’. This is ideal to achieve a design that truly stands out and that will have a remarkable impact on society on many levels.

External Facade Proposal

Internal Structure Proposal





The mid semester presentation feedback relates mainly around the idea of ‘blocks’ which can be improved. Instead of using a hollow box, a more interesting shape can be used. Additionally, the idea of ‘nesting’ for birds should relate to a more organic shape rather than the strict geometrical shape, which is currently a cube. Further explorations in different shapes are required to improve this design and connect it more strongly to the concept. The research and computational tasks in this course so far have highly improved my understanding of parametric modelling. There is also a significant improvement in my technical skills due to the weekly Grasshopper exercises and especially after the explorations conducted for Part B of the EOI. My approach and thinking towards a design has changed as I find that I am now able to break down a design into the individual elements that combine to create the overall design. This ability to break down the various elements involved as well as the way that they relate to each other, allows me to identify more easily which components I may need to use in Grasshopper, as well as how they may relate to other components to obtain the desired output.


Part C. Project Proposal


According to feedback from the crit jury, the weaknesses of our design were: 1. The cube shapes are rather monotonous. These simple boxes need to be developed further. The main reason behind this being that while humans require their habitats to be composed of flat and regular surfaces, birds do not have such requirements. The feedback allowed us to understand that we have more opportunities to explore different geometries. 2. It seemed that the placement of the boxes was not planned out enough. This meant that our design had to change in a way that the boxes become more controlled and that their placement of each box is more specific. The boxes need to be more organized and hence broken down in a specific way rather than in random clusters. 3. The different rotation of the boxes were not defined specifically enough. They need to rotate in more particular ways that reflect the concept more clearly. For the precedent AU Office and Exhibition Space by Archi Union Architects Inc, for example, it can be observed that their boxes are positioned at calculated angles and these rotations have a purpose; to add smoothness to the otherwise flat and rigid facade.1 Of course, these boxes are also functional as they frame views and control lighting but focusing exclusively on the parametric design effect of the boxes in this situation, we should consider the following: How can the boxes in our design rotate with a purpose so that each rotation can be justified? ` How can we achieve Patterning with more specifications and achieve more parametric control?


The techniques used can be improved in several ways. Responding to the weaknesses, the improvements to be made are the following (in the respective numerical order of weaknesses) 1. The idea of responding to the birds of the site suggest numerous geometrical possibilities. The boxes will be altered in a way that the cube geometry is maintained for the overall design while incorporating new geometries into the boxes. That is, only the external face of the box will represent a box, while the internal form of the box will vary as that is where the birds will nest. 2. In order for the boxes to be more planned, controlled and organized, they need to be broken down. One interesting way to do this, relating strongly to the birds of Wyndham, is to break down the boxes based on the different species of birds in Wyndham. The organization of boxes according to the species of the birds will lead to a more refined concept and hence more planned and controlled parameters. Additionally, the people who encounter the installation on the Wyndham site will get a better sense of the computational aspect of the design if the relationships between the boxes are evident and clearly expressed. 3. So as to achieve Patterning with parametric design as observed on the facade of the precedent AU Office and Exhibition Space by Archi Union Architects Inc, the boxes will be manipulated so as to rotate more smoothly while complementing the form. The rotations in the overall form will be based on the sound wave of the most popular bird of the site. Hence the overall form will be created by this sound wave, which will directly affect the angle of each individual box. This will allow the positioning of each box to be more controlled. Basically, the rotation of the boxes will be influenced by the rotations in the tower form while the rotations within the tower will be influenced by the sound wave. Achieving such an effect will be impactful on people driving to and past Wyndham. This combination of techniques and the dependent relationships between the progressive elements of the design shall stand out to oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes, even when driving and giving a quick glance to the tower from a great distance. Moreover, as previously mentioned, the controversial issue of the deterioration of materials reflecting the pollution on the site will be much more apparent using this approach. Limestone will be used for the boxes, as mentioned in Part B. As there is a more consistent â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;flowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the general form and the placement of boxes, a limited number of faces for each boxes will be exposed depending on the rotation of each box. This will lead to a patterned deterioration of the limestone. This will be very interesting, not only visually appealing, but also socially appealing as it will capture a lot of attention which will guarantee the success of the tower and the popularity of the Wyndham site.



The internal grid structure is an essential part of the tectonics of the design as it supports the boxes. Without an internal structure, the patterned surface would not be able to support itself. Therefore it is vital that an appropriate tectonic system is used. At the end of Part B, a few proposals were made for the internal structure and the developments are shown below.

Internal Structure 1

The Internal Structure 1, shown above, was further developed to form a “disc” tectonic system whereby steel plates are stacked up and connected by vertical steel pipes that start under the ground and go through each plate. Each disc then connects to the all the boxes surrounding it at that height. Screws and steel connectors are used, as seen in Shigeru Ban’s Paper Tower.2

Internal Structure 2

This is further elaborated to the final tectonic system, which is the most developed and strongest response to the issues addressed on pages 47-48. The new and improved technique can produce a structure with a resolved tectonic system which performs structurally, of course, and supports the boxes while defying the monotony and regularity of the stacked up steel plates. The numerous beams that “spin” around the steel pipes are actually space trusses. The tip of each space truss is will be connected to a “steel ring beam” through which each box will connect. The individual tectonic elements are further elaborated on in detail in Part C2.2. Internal Structure 3: Final System



Contour component

Calculate distance and dimension of boxes for stacking

Function Component: Divide 36 layers to 6 groups of boxes External Facade

List item compoment: set 6 geometries, one for each group External Facade Workflow Diagram

Surface Component: build 3 branches for each layer

Space truss 1 Component Internal Structure Workflow Diagram

Internal Structure



Geometrical concrete cubes precast from moulds Image showing casting concrete fabrication process

Limestone finish applied over surfaces of concrete blocks

Asssembled on site to steel space truss system. Each row of blocks assemslbed to the one steel ring at that particular height. A similar jointing system will be used, as shown in the image below. Construction will be explored more in depth in the next stage in Part C2.2.

After the explorations and experiments with materials, the internal structure, which is now the space truss system, will be fabricated from CORTEN STEEL (material shown in image above). The reasons for this choice are structural, aesthetic, environmental as well as social (see Part B5.0) . 51

Individual blocks transported to the Wyndham site by truck. Each block measures 500 x 500 x 700mm and thus transporting them is easy.

Precedent: Frank Gehry Model A similar cracking effect will be created on the limestone blocks over time. These cracks will be encouraged as they give an interesting texture to the facade of the tower, as observed here on Frank Gehryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s building.3


Tbe installation will be located on Site B which is shown in red on the image above. Given that it is a tower and has a strong sense of verticality, it will be located in the narrow part of the site as it will stand out the most there. This specific area is marked by the yellow circle. Additionally, by being in this particular area, the tower will also be closer to the two streets encasing that area, namely Princes Highway and Princes Freeway. This will be a create a more enriching experience for people driving on either side of the streets as they will get a closer view rather than if the tower was placed at the centre of the site, for example. Moreover, it will be in close proximity to the Caltex Petrol Station, where a lot of people will get out of their cars. This location choice is based on the specifications of the design brief, particularly the one highlighted in red below. â&#x20AC;&#x153;3.0 THE DESIGN BRIEF The site for the Western Gateway installation is located near the edge of the Wyndham urban growth boundary where future residential and commercial developments will meet the undeveloped plains of the west. It will primarily be viewed by motorists travelling at high speed and provide the first indication of arrival into metropolitan Melbourne. The backdrop of the large scale service centre and associated signage will require serious consideration in the design and location of the installation.â&#x20AC;?




Precedent: Holocaust Memorial, Berlin Peter Eisenman

The concrete blocks are the main components of the concept. They represent potential nesting spaces for the birds of Wyndham. As for the design, they form the cladding of the tower as the individual elements come together to form a single external and continuous skin through the whole surface of the facade. Looking back, the box form is a great choice for the Wyndham Project as it is essential according to the design requirements that this installation is iconic and monumental.5 Taking into consideration that monumentality is our area of focus, the blocks are appropriate shapes to convey the idea of a monument. Inspiration was taken from the Holocaust Memorial by Peter Eisenman whereby an individual block although somewhat monumental, is unlikely to have any effect whereas the repetitive use of this same block, with variations in dimensions and placements, can have an incredible smooth and striking effect.6 A similar effect is desired for the Wyndham Project: solid geometrical blocks that when combined, create a smooth surface.



The Prototypes 1 to 6 were fabricated for experimental purposes. A few conclusions were derived based on the results. The materials did behave as expected, for instance the responses to the cracking and to the burning were expected. Also they are quite brittle and the pointed edges are prone to crumbling and breaking off, as predicted. These models are thus highly representative of the materials to be used for the final installation at a 1:1 scale, namely concrete and limestone.

Prototype 1 (at 1:5) Showing cracking of surface based on Frank Gehryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model (See Part C1.4)

The fabrication for the actual boxes will be precast concrete, whereby concrete will be poured into moulds of the geometries (see Part C1.4). Prototype 6 was made to experiment with the deteriorating effects of pollution and bird droppings on limestone. For the test, we used acid to react with the limestone. This was done to accelerate the natural process that would occur over a long period of time on the site. Once again, the material reacted as expected as some deterioration occurred on the surface of the facade. Although the fabrication of the prototypes was done by hand and with the aid of moulds, the final model will be 3D printed at a 1:100 scale. Hence these prototypes are helpful for guiding our research into the functional properties and aesthetics of the material for the actual installation to be built at 1:1. However these prototypes might not have contributed as much to our fabrication research for the model at 1:100.

Prototypes 2, 3 and 4 (at 1:10) Showing different geometries for three types of boxes

Prototype 5 (at 1:10) Showing burning into the material, as seen in the Klaus Field Chapel by Peter Zumthor

Prototype 6 (at 1:5) Showing deterioration of limestone



One of the limitations of 3D Printing is the lack of structural jointing system (further analyzed in Part C2.3), which is why the joint of the system is an equally important core construction element that should be expressed clearly through illustrations and explanations, in order to compensate for their absence in the 3D printed model.

Jointing System for Nakagin Capsule Tower

Precedent: Nakagin Capsule Tower, Japan Kisho Kurokawa

Kisho Kurokawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nakagin Capsule Tower, Japan is an important precedent for the Wyndham tower, not only for design and concept but also for its construction method. The idea of boxes for people is a similar concept to the idea of boxes for birds. The jointing system of the boxes of the hotel is illustrated above.7 Each box, or room, is connected by 4 high tension bolts onto a steel and concrete core. Researching on this kind of system is essential before creating our own jointing system. Drawings 1 to 5 represent the ring beam that is the connecting element between the internal space truss and the external box facade.

Drawing 1: Steel Ring Beam

Drawing 2: Part of Steel Ring Beam


Drawing 3: Connecting two Steel Ring Beam Parts

Drawing 3: Jointing of Steel Ring Beam Parts

Drawing 4: Steel connector plate and screws used to join steel ring beam parts

The Drawings 5 to 11 below are further illustrations of our explorations of potential contruction methods and jointing systems that according to specific research, can be guaranteed to be successful for this type of design.

Drawing 5: Internal Space Truss joint system

Drawing 8: Concrete Geometry form and dimensions

Drawing 6: Detail of Space Truss Joint Connector

Drawing 9: Internal Structure of concrete geometry

Drawing 10: Steel Ring Beam Joint to Box

Drawing 7: Space Truss Part

Drawing 11: Steel ring beam joint to Box and another part of steel ring beam (not shown)

Based on the high strenght of the rather simple and minimal jointing system of the individual capsules Nakagin Capsule Tower, it can be said that this jointing system illustrated above will be an effective method to joining the boxes for the birds to inhabit. The internal steel cyclinders support the space truss (the Final System illustrated in Part C1.2), which in turn supports the steel ring beam. The steel ring beam supports each individual box using screws and steel connector plates as illustrated in the drawings above and in the jointing system of the Nakagin Capsule Tower. The cost and time fabrication will be feasible as well as the steel jointing system inexpensive and is relatively faster than other jointing methods. Additionally, the amount of steel used is minimized as the steel ring beam are designed to be as slender as possible yet very strong and rigid. There are also other cost cutting methods used such as using hollow steel cyclinders for the internal structure, or pipes, rather than solid steel cyclinders, which reduces cost but does not compromise its structural stability. 56


Why 3D Print? 3D Print is our choice of fabrication method for the final model for several advantageous reasons. However, the constraints must also be addressed.

3D Printing Process


Advantages over other fabrication methods and limitations of 3D Printing It gives a realistic effect and allows much more detail to be expressed. It also gives very accurate results. Another issue with our design was that it involves a large number of elements, more specifically, over 700 boxes for which the fabrication is not feasible given the time constraints. Therefore 3D printing is a great choice as it is a relatively fast process. 3D printing gives the impression of the structure and the overall effect of the design.1 However, it does not express the construction or assembly method2, which is why an additional section has been added to compensate for this drawback (Part C2.2). However, this may not be such a significant problem in this situation since the focus is “Patterning”. Hence the overall impression is perhaps the most important aspect of the model and this is achieved accurately through 3D printing. Moreover, 3D printing is expensive and hence there are cost constraints, which is why the model is at a reasonable 1:100 scale, as opposed to a very expensive 1:50 scale. However, the accuracy of the printing and the high level of detail more than compensate for the reduced scale. Lastly, there are also size constraints as the maximum printable volume is 200 x 200 x 200mm which means that if the model exceeds those dimensions, it will have to be printed into a few different pieces which can later be joined together. Luckily, our model managed to fit just under 200mm in height at 1:100 and hence one piece was sufficient. 3D Print in relation to the Wyndham Project design brief For this model, it was extremely important to get an understanding of the overall effect of form as well as the striking design details. It can be said that these characteristics were much more important to stand out for this model rather than jointing because the final installation will mostly be viewed by people driving past it. The idea of “speed viewing” the model means that people may not focus on the jointing system but rather, it is the overall effect that needs to be impactful at a quick glance. It is unique placement of boxes that needs to stand out, which 3D printing represents best. It creates a precise and continuous flow between the boxes and allows the computational skills behind the patterning effect to really stand out even from a quick glance at a distance.

Necessary alterations In order to prepare the files for printing, numerous changes had to be made to the final design based on the requirements of the 3D printer. For instance, the minimum printing width is 2mm, which given the 1:100 scale was larger than some of our dimensions. This meant that some of our widths had to be increased to 2mm, such as the edge thicknesses of the opening face of the boxes for example. This also leads to another drawback as the printed model will have a few minor differences from the actual design.

Parametric Solutions to incorporate last minute changes These last minute changes to prepare the files for 3D Printing are the evidence that computation allows for quick and easy changes. Although here these changes were made due to the fabrication limitations of the 3D printer, similar changes can also be made for design purposes. This is one example where parametric design and computation allows for the whole design to be changed completely in a short time, simply by altering a few parameters.



Explosion of the different systems integrated into the design

Exploded Assembly Diagram (Refer to Part C2.2 for detailed jointing systems for each step)

1 Construction of Steel Space Truss System


2 Assembly of Steel Ring Beams to Space Truss System Each Ring Beam assembled to 3 Space Truss Connectors 36 Ring Beams in total



3 Assembly of Boxes to Steel Ring Beam 22 Boxes assembled to each Ring Beam

4 Completed Assembly 792 Boxes in total, assembled to 36 Ring Beams





Explorations with Form for Tower



This design process has without any doubt been a challenging and enriching one. It is really fascinating to not only see what computational design can do, but also having the opportunity to use these tools. Our concept deals with a lot of different issues, such as the fauna of Wyndham, pollution, acid rain, bird droppings, controversy of expressing the negative environmental effects, social issues, achieving aethetics through deterioration of materials, combination of different materials, and so on... Having this many issues to combine into one single element to create one final design is quite challenging and one can easily lose their sense of direction within the concept. Parametric design has allowed for all these issues to be addressed in a logical and orderly fashion. This is because with parametric design, the step-by-step computational process, in some way obliges one to break down their design intention into single individual tasks. This allows one to reflect about each action, or more specifically, which component to use for that task, why to use that component and how to use it in the appropriate way (as the options are endless). This learning process has definitely been a challenging one as it is hard to draw the line between designing the tower ourselves, or allowing the computational programs, namely Grasshopper and its plugins in this case, to design the tower for us. The form of our tower was derived by sound waves, while the orientation of each individual box was determined by the rotations in the tower. This does make one wonder to what extent is the computer the designer of this tower? After some deeper reflections on this particular wonder, it can be stated that despite the parametric solutions easily available to us, we are after all the ones choosing which solution will actually work for our specific design. The countless possibilities of the program are not directly relevent to our design, but rather just a few carefully chosen ones are relevant. It is up to us to use computational programs in such a way that we maintain the integrity of our design intention and use the program as an aid for problem-solving. 76

REFERENCE LIST 1. Arch Daily 2013, ‘AU Office and Exhibition Space/Archi Union Architects Inc’ <> [accessed on 29/10/13] 2. Designboom 2012, ‘Shigeru Ban: Paper Tower’ <> [accessed on 29/10/13] 3. The University of Melbourne, ‘Lecture 10”, in Architecture Design Studio: Air, Melbourne, Australia 4. Wyndham City: Western Gateway Design Project Brief 5. Wyndham City: Western Gateway Design Project Brief 6. Sarah Quigley 2005, ‘Holocaust Memorial: Architect Peter Eisenman, Berlin 2005’ <,-Berlin-2005-2.66> [accessed on 31/10/13] 7. 2013, ‘Nakagin Capsule Tower’ <> [accessed on 01/11/13]




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