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Research Cluster 2 Colletti Marjan and Lee Guan

by Francois Mangion & Shuchi Agarwal

MArch Graduate Architectural Design Bartlett School of Architecture 2013


by Francois Mangion Shuchi Agarwal


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1. Twisting light by Alan Jaras, Reciprocity’s photostream Flickr. 2. Digital material simulation, analysis of caustics through ice. 3. Material study, analogue photography of light caustics through ice. 4. Julio Le Parc - Soleil Froid at Palais de Tokyo [artaban.com] 5. Analysis of caustics generated through curved surfaces similar to Le Parc’s Soleil Froid.

References Caustics In The Field of Art


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1 & 2. A physical prototype of a refractive caustic generator produced from acrylic glass. [Kiser, T., Eigensatz, M., Nguyen, M. M., Bompass, P., & Pauly, M. Architectural Caustics; Controlling Light with Geometry. EPFL and Evolute, Vienna] 3.Pgilippe Bompass, Love Shack Design

References Caustics as an architectural application


Name: Francois Mangion

Name: Shuchi Agarwal

Research Title:

Research Title:

OPTICAL ARCHITECTURE Reverse The Virtual

Optical Architecture research is an architectural philosophy situated in the argument between the analysis of light caustics and the rules of optics. Throughout this research the main goal becomes the understanding of light caustics as a phenomenon and its elegance in intricate patterns resulting from its simple interaction with a given material. The desire to question the potential of such caustic patterns in the realm of architecture pushed this research to challenge the use of technologies available in the architectural field, overcome any historical limitations and conceive an all-round tool of form, function and experience. It aims to reach a complex level of design, seductive yet mysterious in integrating a one responsive architectural tissue and explore a new form of relationship between caustics and architecture. Traditionally Architecture assumes that light comes after the creation of form, this research attempts to overcome these boundaries. Can an “immaterial matter�, like light, generate a new form of architecture?

THE PHONETICS OF SPACE

The dominance of the visual in architectural discourse and design has resulted in a regrettable overlooking of the aural. Architecture, at its best, enables dreams and shapes the imagination. Could it be that the space of imagination is best accessed by sound, rather than sight? Most architects concern themselves with the perfect play of light and volumes, but this thesis will examine architecture as a perfect play of sound and volumes, and the effectiveness of this approach. Although people have been trying the understand the connection between music, sound and architecture for thousands of years, the role of acoustics continues to plat a fairly secondary role in the process of design of architectural projects. It has been mostly relegated to band- aid condition that is applied after the building has already been designed, or worse, left to chance. I hope to challenge the idea that architecture is a primarily visual art, driven by the belief that we are not primarily visual beings by exploring the influence of sound on architectural form and the aural quality of spaces it can create.

Team Interests


Caustic Architecture

Synaesthetic Architecture

Choreography of Light

Digital Simulation

Analogue ANalysis

Photography

Geometric Shapes Analysis

Evolution of Caustic Curves

Caustic Network Analysis

Fabrication

Archiglace

Part 2


Hunting The Light

Ripple (2013) by Studio Shikai and Poetic Lab A project for the Beyond Object exhibition at Salone Satellite 2013


What are Caustics?

“ An example of a caustic pattern that may be familiar is the bright line seen in a coffee cup on a sunny day. As an idealization, consider the sun as a point source of light and construct rays according to the laws of geometrical optics.� The reasons of the bright parts is that it represents the intersection of the caustic surface with the surface just like it happens on an other possible recording screen. J.F. Nye, F.R.S (1999). Natural Focusing and Fine Structure of Light: Caustics and Wave Dislocations: University of Bristol.

Catacaustics Formation

Diatacaustics Formation


Analogue Research Analogue analysis of refraction patterns formed when light passes through various shapes and everyday objects made of plastic or glass. By control and manipulation of light, orientation of objects and different types of light sources we started forming semi-regular patterns and delicate tracery. Also the integration of liquid and coloured plastics into the tested objects, modifies the way the plastic refracts light and hence the associated varies. Here we are using digital cameras to capture the light projected by the object itself onto a surface.


Pattern


Caustic analysis through patterned glass


Pattern


Digital Simulation Most modern rendering systems support caustics. Some of them even support volumetric caustics. This is accomplished by raytracing the possible paths of the light beam through the analysed material, accounting for the refraction and reflection. The focus of most computer graphics systems is graphical rather than accuracy and hence we are using a computer generated tool, usually used for its aesthetic potential, to obtain a more accurate study. Caustics are analysed through basic geometric shapes of curvature and recording the shift in the projected caustic curves, position of object, light source and angle of incidence. In the region of study sufficient information is recorded to further understand what shapes give which type of caustic curves, determining if there is a direct path to the light source and how this changes.


Digital Simulation Data Log

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Some computer graphic systems work by “forward ray tracing� wherein photons are modeled as coming from light source and bouncing around the environment according to optical rules. The basic geometric curves are recorded, the shift in the projected caustic curves, position of object, light source and angle of incidence are recorded. In the region of study sufficient information is recorded to further understand the evolution of caustic surves, determining if there is a direct path to the light source and how this changes with distance and direction.

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Reniform Light Rotation and light inclination at two different positions


Top View of Reniform Light Rotation and light inclination at two different positions


Star Light Rotation and light inclination at two different positions


Top View of Star Light Rotation and light inclination at two different positions


Hastate Light Rotation and light inclination at two different positions


Caustic Evolution


Caustic Curve Evolution through Horizontal Record Plane Shifting


Caustic Curve Evolution through Horizontal Record Plane Shifting


Caustic Curve Evolution through Vertical Record Plane Shifting

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Caustic Curve Evolution through Horizontal Record Plane Shifting


Caustic Curve Evolution through Vertical Record Plane Shifting

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Fabrication 1.0 With the aid of grasshopper, the analytical caustic curves were used as deformers hence obtaining a 3 dimensional representation of the light curve itself which, in turn, gives us the ability of further form and material analysis.


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Using computer simulation, caustic curves are mapped and analysed through a consistant shifting of both the x and y-planes. The basic geometric curves are recorded, the shift in the projected caustic curves, position of object, light source and angle of incidence are recorded. In the region of study sufficient information is recorded to further understand the evolution of caustic surves, determining if there is a direct path to the light source and how this changes with distance.


Caustic curve chosen to generate


GLASS FABRICATION


Glass surface 1 tested over light


Above: Possible tile formation using an arrangement of only 2 different types of caustic tile design.

Left: Possible tile formation using an arrangement on only one elongated type of caustic tile design


ICE CAUSTICS ANALYSIS


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1. Ice tile (1200mm X 300mm X 20mm) 2. Material study, analogue photography of light caustics through ice. 3. Ice caustics detail 4. Digital material simulation, analysis of caustics through ice.


Archi-Glace Finding a way to build incredible structures using just ice. In an attempt to find light caustics with ice structures this practice led to specific technique of working exclusively with “tiles” of frozen water. The ice structure starts off with only 4 different types of frozen “tiles”.


TILE A

TILE B

Size: 220mm X 220mm Thickness: 20mm Curvature: 77mm

Size: 220mm X 220mm Thickness: 20mm Curvature: 129mm

TILE C

TILE D

Size: 220mm X 220mm Thickness: 20mm Curvature: 130mm

Size: 220mm X 220mm Thickness: 20mm Curvature: 93mm


Individual ice tiles ready to be put together


The tessellation of the surface modules is further enhanced by achieving the thinnest thickness of the ice possible for the eventual surface to be self-supporting. This coherence approach in size and thickness creates a sense of continuity in the finished surface. ICE_SURFACE consist of a finite number of tiles each of them with a distinct curvature yet interdependent, the tiled surfaces are not textured yet the subtle natural crystallization pattern within the ice itself affects the overall finished surface. This aspect of inner crystallisation of ice was made possible by the rapid freezing process of the tiles inside a freezer. Customized techniques and methods of coloration were analysed but not implemented to further define the abundant material effect of these thin ice tiles.


The success in the construction of the ICE_SURFACE exemplifs the premise that the usage of only ice as a material for construction is feasible with the extensive study and experimentation between the design and properties of ice.


The Caustic Tool


WIND

SOUND GENERATION

CAUSTIC LIGHT CURVE

Further Caustic Networks

Computational Caustics

Computational Caustics

Flow

Synaesthetic Museum

RESEARCH Our methodology SHAPES, FORMS and USES light. We developed a way of analysing light down to ray principles in constant movement and change to create a dynamic architectural tool. Through the analysis and application of light projection to both surfaces and 3 dimensional geometric shapes. The caustics generated shape the light rays below and the resulting forms of light are generated with respect to caustic, refraction and reflection principles. Even if light distortion might seem random caustic principles are actually precise and the slightest movement of the in the surface and/or light will completely result into a different caustic pattern.. The ambient created within the representation of the light rays is constantly changing with varying intensities and build-ups of intensely packed light rays representing the caustic patterns to be generated. Affecting most of the human senses this architectural language follows the rules of light, represents its behaviour and proposes a porous almost ghostly hologramic space of reflection upon the affects the natural world has on the way we live and how, more then before, now light can form our architecture. Our control over light looks to manipulate the dynamic form of the potential architectural space generated. By the movements and forms generated through light caustics. A more intense space has represents more movement, whilst less intense spaces would require less movement. The light is directly converted into an architectural language, caustics become experiential spaces and light generated the architectural proposal itself.


Further Caustic Networks The basic geometric caustic curves are recorded depending on the surface generated from. In the region of study sufficient information is recorded to further understand the transition of caustic curves, determining if the end result was direct combination and repetition of caustic curves or if a proper caustic network was generated.


Two way ondulated surface Caustic Networks


Light Rotation

Light Rotation


Caustic Networks projected from alternating bumps surface


Projection Screen

Light Motion


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The main parameters for this tested surface are the introduction of irregular geometry and distortion of the tested surface. Also, the actual surface was designed to have substantial detailed texture generating the caustic networks. The modelling of distortion and undulation was conceptualized within the terms of the potential caustic capabilities. The surface bumps produce varying caustic patterns. The fold and deformation generates varieties in the projection.


Computational Caustics


Computational Caustics The aim of the ‘Caustic `tool’ project is to research and develop computational design methods, in order to design a new intricate type of architecture using light. The process sought inspiration from optical form-creating systems and caustics. Our design process is a fluent, yet at the same time complex, three-dimensional representation – a Light ‘sculpture’. The design process aims for the creation of an ICE Museum; whilst design methods must be carefully selected and considered to support the manufacturing methods, the key is to find the delicate balance between light complexity and computational rigid representation. A simple line and point based geometric object is the output giving birth to 3dimensional value to caustics. The algorithm itself follows the complex nature of light hitting the object and how caustic light is derived through its natural rules and in with its multiple iterations. This creates intricate and elaborate geometry. This ‘Caustic Tool’, represents an architectural vision and creative digital form finding, combined with the possibilities of design through rules of nature and manufacturing methods.


DIRECTIONAL LIGHT SOURCE

RADIAL LIGHT SOURCE

POINT LIGHT SOURCE Light Source

Light Source

Light Source

Dynamic Surface

Dynamic Surface

Dynamic Surface

Refracted Light (3D Caustics)

Refracted Light (3D Caustics)

Refracted Light (3D Caustics)


Computational Caustics Through Solid Shapes

Caustic Curve SImulation of the torus shape


Caustic Curve SImulation of the cone shape


Computational Caustics Through Dynamic undulating surfaces_ WATER

Water Surface

Refracted Light Rays

Dynamic Caustic projections

Light Source

Water Surface

Refracted Light Projection Plane


Point Light Source Analysis

Caustic ray-tracing analysis of changing water surface using point light source


PLAN VIEW Caustic ray-tracing analysis of changing water surface using point light source


Directional Light Source Analysis

Caustic ray-tracing analysis of changing water surface using directional light source


PLAN VIEW Caustic ray-tracing analysis of changing water surface using directional light source


Radial Light Source Analysis

Caustic ray-tracing analysis of changing water surface using radial light source


PLAN VIEW Caustic ray-tracing analysis of changing water surface using radial light source


Caustic Generated Surfaces The algorithm used to generated ray-tracing seeks for end points of each and every ‘light ray’ and points generate vectors flowing out according to the certain light angle. These endpoints are made to seek for a distance based relation hence are attracted to the various neighbour points in different distances three dimensionally. It simulates a close logic to the emitted light flowing to generate varying light intensities which in 3 dimensional terms generate a complex tessellated morphology.


Overlay analysis of generated data in relation to volumetric and architectural properties towards generation of archi-caustic surfaces


PLAN VIEW Analysis of the conception of architectonic forms in relation of individual points generated by the Caustic tool using Radial Light


Overlay analysis of generated data in relation to volumetric and architectural properties towards generation of archi-caustic surfaces


Raytracing Caustic Surfaces Using a combination of Rhino and Grasshopper, and through the full application of the computational caustic modulator, one was able to generate tangible, physical form for the very first time. The designer can control the form, curvature and thickness of these architectonic surfaces through the manipulation of the light parameters generating the caustic performance. Fabrication of the surfaces was not easy, the geometry resulted to be complex and hence overlapping and internal surfaces had to be prevented in order to preserve the original surface design while at the same time make it possible for fabrication. SLS Laser 3d printing prototyping was used as the main fabrication method. SLS, somehow, complimented the level of effect these prototype surfaces wanted to fulfil specifically because it makes them translucent when put against light obtaining a complete inverted representation of the caustic pattern it was generated from. Materiality and choice of fabrication method were constant variables in understanding what would have represented RCS best. The density of the 3d printing material affects the way in which light filters through the surfaces and the denser it was, the more opaque and dark it became. This project informs all the research by offering a method to incorporate caustics and explore the ways in which they contribute to the creation of form. Raytracing Caustic Surfaces offer only one example of infinite possibilities. The next big test for these prototypes is to be fully fabricated from clear glass and attempt to bring caustics one step closer to being generated once more.


The aim of the computational caustic modulator project is to research and develop computational design methods, in order to design a new intricate type of architecture using light. The process sought inspiration from optical formcreating systems and caustics. The design process is a fluent, yet at the same time complex, threedimensional manifestation – a Light ‘sculpture’. The design process aims for the delicate balance between light complexity and computational rigid representation. A simple line and point based geometric object is the output giving birth to the 3 dimensional value in caustics.


Raytracing Caustic Surfaces


Back light analysis


Flow Freezing light rays at a point in time reveals light properties never perceived before, spaces of virtual light curtains deriving from questioning the boundary between inside and outside, between physical space and perceived boundaries. Representing light behaviour between the physical barriers of the light source and the refractive surface, this method contributes deeply in getting a step closer towards architecture with no precedents. The human experience in a space potentially generated through the rules of “optical gravity’, somehow, recalls Speer’s ability to transmit space rather then creating it, yet the computational caustics push that same language further achieving a volumetric caustic ‘engine’ and reverses the relationship between air particles and light so that caustics remain ethereal yet generating spatial qualities.


Surface Under Test

Reflected Light

Reflected Light

Refracted Light

Refracted Light

Link Flow

Light Flow from Refracted to Reflected


Reflected Light


Analysis model of light flow generated from the relation endpoints of refracted and reflacted light rays.


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Architectural Concept Studying the play of light caustics and sound, the museum heightens ones awareness of the essential role the human senses plays in the built environment. Re-thinking how light can evolve into inhabitable spaces, the museum will attempt to redefine how people occupy the built environment through sound and not only the typical visual aspects, hence experiencing a homogeneous correlation between the volumetric qualities of both light and sound. Following our study of caustics, light reflection and refraction from surfaces and shapes the next challenge becomes its implimentation architecturally. Our design represents the visual analysis of light as a phenomena, but in principle our architecture represents a study of caustic light performance, in particular caustic generation and how light is scattered in a space. Both light and sound can be analysed with ray and string tracing. The simulation generates a series of light rays (depending on the type of light chosen) and through bounce (after the reflection) or bend (after refraction) the displacement vector is found. Rays and strings as part of our architectural language provides a language to express our simulation which is important to be able to quantify and visualize the results of the simulation and further analyse its architectural value.


F = FREQUENCY L = LENGTH INCHES D = DIAMETER INCHES T - TENSION IN POUNDS %BS = Percent Breaking strain for the string %Bs of WR STR is for the string with wrapping


Butterfly Caustic Curve


Cusp Caustic Curve


1. String Suppor 1 p tinf Structu u re & S Soun d Chamber r 2. Harmonic Stri 2 S ng 3. Caustic Surfa 3 u ce Sound Chamber

Harm(o)ptica This architectural investigation explores the synthesis of spatial proportion and form generated from light into generating sound. This project is an initial step towards interpreting the intelligent proportions of the harmonic instruments to design an architecture performance through sound into expressions of formal proportion in architecture. The goal is to be able to translate and re-interpret combination of sound and light through form; to better understand how to create atmosphere and effect, to compose a one unique per-formative experience.


Æolian Harp The Æolian harp is a musical instrument which is set in action by the wind. According to a generally credited opinion, it is to Father Kircher, who devised so many ingenious machines in the seventeenth century, that we owe the first systematically constructed model of an Æolian harp. We must add, however, that the fact of the spontaneous resonance of certain musical instruments when exposed to a current of air had struck the observers of nature in times of remotest antiquity. Without dwelling upon the history of the Æolian harp, we may say that in modern times this instrument has been especially constructed in England, Scotland, Germany, and Alsace.

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1. KIRCHER’S ÆOLIAN HARP 2. FROST & KASTNER’S IMPROVED ÆOLIAN HARP 3. ÆOLIAN HARP IN THE OLD CASTLE OF BADEN BADEN (Source: Scientific American Supplement, No. 483, April 4, 1885)


fig fi g.11 Quebec City Wind Speed Que The average daily minimum, maxim imum um, and nd aver average av a wind d spe s ed with percentile bandss (in (inner er band b nd fro f m 25th to 75th percentile, outer band and from m 10t 1 h to 90th 10 percentile).

fig.2 Yearly Wind Direction n The fraction of time spent with th the wind blo bl wing fro from m the the various directions over the enti entire re year. year. Val Values ues do not n t sum to 100% because the wind nd dir directi ection on is is undefi undefined ed when the wind speed is zero.

fig.3 g. Fraction Frac tion of Time im spe spent nt per per wind wind dire directio ction n The frac fraction fra tion of timee spentt with wit thee wind blo blowing ng fro from m the vari various ous di directionss on a daily basis. sis. Sta Stacked cked val values ues do not not alway always su s m to 100% becausee th t e wi wind nd direc direc-tion is unde und fined when the he wind speed d iss ze zero..


Harmonic Strings

Sound Chamber

Harm(o)ptica Aeolian Harp Prototype Design


Conceptual visualisation of the spatial exploration of form generated through the architectural caustic surfaces and optical line geometry.


Caustic Landscapes Initial try in fabricating Caustics Generated surfaces. The goal of unlocking the visual language is not to display truth or beauty- but to be able to translate and re-interpret combination of caustis light through form and depth; to better understand how to create atmosphere and effect, to compose a better light generated architecture.


3mm milling bit (1st milling layer)

Black Translucent Acrylic Layer [Perspex Neutral 923]

1/16’’ milling bit (2nd detail layer)

Fully Clear Acrylic Layer

2 Part Acrylic Cement (lamination or 2 layers)


Caustics based generative model designed through the knowledge in terms of how to turn an immaterial medium, such as light caustics, towards a more detailed and highly specific generation of form and geometry.


3mm milling bit (1st milling layer)

1cm Translucent Acrylic Compound Panel 1/16’’ milling bit (2nd detail layer)

[2X Perspex Neutral 923]

2 Part Acrylic Cement (lamination or 2 layers)

Hidden within one another, light caustics and material, somehow, blur and evolve through form and formless; the virtual light formation in conjunction with the physical matter. Caustic Landscapes represent the combination of these two polarities, it advocates and evolves an architecture through the interaction of the material and the immaterial – light caustics.


THe second version of caustic landscapes involves a synaesthesia of sensory experience where light, form and space fuse together into each other. The richness of translating a hologramic quality of lightt and matter become ideal and appropriate for its engagement in generating Architecture.


Museum Prototype 1 Initial Architectural Vision and computational form finding


Internal Rail Geometry

Optical Ruled String Geometry

Harmonic String Geometry

Caustic Landscape


This project is an initial step towards interpreting the intelligent proportions of the harmonic instruments to design an architecture performance through sound into expressions of formal proportion in architecture. The spatial and functional implications of the Synaesthetic Museum become key requirements for it to function both as a museum and an Aeolian building. Structured round several prototypes and investigations in harmonic proportions, the design explores various tectonic analysis related to both the architectural language, through caustics, and the inclusion of fully functional harmonic strings. Applying how light can evolve into inhabitable spaces, the museum attempts to redefine how people occupy the built environment also through sound and not only through the typical visual aspects, hence experiencing a homogeneous correlation between the volumetric qualities of both light and sound.


Skkin Enclosure Skin Enclosure

Internal Rail Ge G ometry ry

Harmonic String Ge G om omet e ryy et

3 Layer Organisation


INTERNAL ENCLOSURE SKIN

EXTERNAL ENCLOSURE SKIN

TYPICAL EXHIBITION ENCLOSURE

Multiple Layer Skin System


External Skin Mesh

Internal Enclosure Skin

Multiple Layer Skin System


Multiple Layer Skin System


Synaesthetic Museum Final Design proposal


Quebec-Traverse Quebec - Levis

Citadelle of Quebec Quebec City

Boulevard Champlain

Musee des Beaux-Art du Quebec

Site Analysis


Main Road

Coast Road

Existing Coast Line

Car Parking

Missused Field

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Queb

Ferry Terminal

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Queb

Multi-Purpose Filed

Masterplan Development


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1. Aeolian Harps Orchestra Open Theatre 2. Main Synaesthetic Museum 3. External Synaesthetic exhibition space 4. Outward Looking Quebec City Open Theatre 5. Regeneration of the coast as a pedestrian promenade.

Proposed Masterplan


Projected Caustic Morphology


3mm milling bit (1st milling layer)

Opaque Deformed Surface

Black Translucent Acrylic Layer [Perspex Neutral 923]

1/16’’ milling bit (2nd detail layer)

Fully Clear Acrylic Layer

2 Part Acrylic Cement (lamination or 2 layers)

Fully Clear Acrylic Layer

Fully Clear Acrylic Layer

Opaque Deformed Surface


Light Generated Form


Projected Pattern onto Surface

Region of Pattern Covered

The trend of movement and transition of the caustic pattern was studied through meticulous data mapping of the interaction between the initial caustic pattern and its projected caustic pattern. Relation between the light source, the initial pattern and its protected pattern onto a designed surface was studied based on the data collected through the physical model and the phenomena of caustics. Each light source was computed individually, thereby providing a full collection of arrayed curves used for form generation. Combining with the human scale, structural possibility and the relationship with the environment, the projected arrays of the caustic pattern were further refined and optimized.

Intersection Between Light And Pattern

Point Light Source


External Envelope

Internal Space Divisions

Seafront External Envelope

Synaesthetic Museum Design Logic


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1. Main Entrance / Lobby 2. Indoor Exhibition Hall 3. Semi-Enclosed Exhibition Hall 4. Outdoor Exhibition Space 5. Caffe Area 6. Enclosed Exhibition Space 7. Semi-Enclosed Exhibition Area.


SECTION AA’ Scale 1:200

Section Detail

Exhibition Space

Harmonic Pavillion 1. Aeolian Harps O Orchestra O Open Theatre Synaesthetic 2. Main Syna y esthetic Mus Museum eum 3. External Synaesthetic exhibition space 4. Outward Looking Quebec City Open Theatre 5. Regeneration of the coast as a pedestrian promenade.


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Through its purely generated design, the museum will feature a striking presence in itself as a modern work of art. The environment and experience becomes as beautiful as the artwork that the museum displays, through its heavy intertwining with the display spaces and light. The ice and water become complimentary, as the water reflections enhance the spaces. Ice forms the delicate undulating walls, physically ice becomes a boundary, a protection from the outside, but visually there is no boundary between outside and inside. There is also the light that comes through the ice that indicates a lack of boundary and would make its presence felt on the inside. Light becomes the key in the design of the museum, with an emphasis on both refracted and reflected caustics through natural light.

Internal View of Exhibition Space Artist: Gabey Tjon

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ART Repetition at My Distance

The Exhibit


Caustic Landscapes Final Caustic Landscapes Proposal


See Next Page Detail

Overground Ice and Water Landscape Layer

Main Synaesthetic Museum Building

Second Layer of Landscape Features

Caustic Landscapes Design Arrangement


solar-powered LEDs on rods

water spouts of various heights

Snow and Ice formation in Winter

Rods Scafold Organisation in Summer

Summer >>> <<< Winter


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1. Main Entrance / Lobby


3. Semi-Enclosed Exhibition Hall

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