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Studio Air by Herman Fluit in 2014 Tutors: Haslett Grounds & Brad Elias


Contents Introduction 4 Experience 4 A1 Past LAGI competition entry review 6 Electric Meadow 6 WindNest 8 Energy Technology Research 10 Solar technique 10 Wind technique 10 A2 Design Computation 12 30 St Mary Axe 12 Arnhem Central 14 A3 Composition vs Generation 16 Digital Grotesque 16 ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 18 A4 Conclusion 20 A5 Learning outcomes 21 B1 Research Field 22 B2 Case Study 1 24 Iterations of Voussair Cloud made with Grasshopper definition 26 Most successful 29 Design potential 29 B3 Case Study 2.0 30 Puppet Theatre 30 MOS Architects 30 The schematic definition 32 fabrication 32

The grasshopper definition 34 B4 Technique: Development 37 Tessellation 37 Model iterations 37 Matrix Technique development 38 Selection criteria 40 Selection 40 B5 Technique: Prototyping 44 Prototype One 44 Prototype Two 46 B6 Technique: Proposal 48 B7 Learning Objectives and outcomes 50 C1 Design Concept 52 Site Location 52 Energy source: Wind 54 Rethinking Design 56 Turbine shape 56 Populating the site 58 Considerations 66 C2 Tectonic Element 68 Support construction 68 Rethinking support structure 72 C3 Final Model 74 Tower structure 82 Turbine ducted 84 C4 Sky mine 92 Endnotes 94

Introduction I am a third year architecture student. The first thirty four years of my life I lived in the Netherlands and have a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. About ten years ago I moved to Melbourne.


I have been making/designing furniture for more than 25 years. Since 2008 I have been collaborating with my wife Lisa O’Flynn in making art installations. The most recent being an installation for an exhibition at Michael Koro Galleries in 2010. For the virtual design studio I designed a body lantern in 2011. Rhino with the plug-in Panelling tools was used in the design process. The shape of the lantern is a response to the under laying bone structure of the body. The finished lantern was part of an exhibition in BMW Edge in Federation Square during ‘The light in Winter’. In 2012 I have used Revit Architecture in two different design studios. I also did a Python programming subject as a breath subject.






01[ The Rietvelt Schroder huis in Utrech 02[ As the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore’, Lisa O’Flynn and Herman Fluit, 2010 03[ Semi-Body lantern 2011 at BMW Edge


04[ Digital Rhino model of Body lantern

A1 Past LAGI competition entry review Electric Meadow

This was a non winning entry in the second edition (2012) of the LAGI competition [1]. The design is based on the use of wind energy in a less conventional way with a lesser visual impact than for instance the more common tall wind turbines (HAWT). The Electric Meadow is mixed within a natural meadow blending the machine-made with the organic. The designers used the location of the site as a direct reference for the design. They chose not to redesign the site but create a kinetic installation that blends into the site tectonics and existing nature. The installation is made of metal rods that represent large reeds. The wind energy is harvested through the movement of these rods. In the base of the rods the energy is converted into electricity. The artificial reed is a small design component which is used multiple times. The positioning of the reeds is done semi-randomly in the meadow to achieve a natural appearance. By putting the reeds in a more gridded way the appearance would change and make the meadow look designed. The Electric Meadow is not about converting large amounts of wind energy into electricity. It is not about choosing the most efficient technique. With an Electric Meadow it is possible to generate electricity close to were you need it without much or a more friendly visual impact. No computational tools were used in this design .


Part A. Conceptualisation





05[ Meadow (source: 06[ Semi-random reeds grid (source: 07[ Rendered images of Electric Meadow (source: 08[ Rendered images of Electric Meadow (source:



For the LAGI 2010 Dubai competition Clare Olsen and Trevor Lee designed the WindNest [2]. They created a sculptural installation which combines wind and solar energy collection. The installation is a collection of wind turbines built in a solar fabric duct. The use of ready available and proven technology creates a installation that will generate 500 MWh annual energy. The Land Art Generator Initiative is working towards realisation of the construction of a WindNest in Pittsburg [3]. This project is an example of a public artwork generating a utility amount of energy just like the 2014 LAGI competition brief asks for. The geometry of WindNest suggest computers were used for its generation with the shape directly dictated by the duct needed for the wind turbines. The overall connection and stacking of these shapes look arbitrary. No signs of optimisation for wind direction or angling of the solar panels towards the sun are evident in the design. The support construction of poles and cables doesn’t seem to be well developed. The use of computational tools could be a way of optimising and solving these two issues.







09[ Solar fabric from FLT (source: http://www.!micro-grid/c1cr) 10[ Ogin turbine, previous Flodesign http://www. 11[ WindNest 2010 (source: LAGI-2010/) 12[ WindNest 2014 (source: blagi/archives/3091) 13[ Principle of the wind cloud (source:


Energy Technology Research A human can output energy between 50 and 150 Watts. An exciting interactive installation can seduce people into physical games and exercise. I remember there used to be equipment at the fairs (in the Netherlands) were you had to hit a ball with your fist or hammer to test your strength. This was most popular and more intelligent and diverse installations can make for an open air gym or playground for the people of Copenhagen. The energy used can be harvested through different techniques. The generated kinetic energy can be converted by mechanical rotation generators or piezoelectric generators. The design guide of the competition outlines the requirement of the installation to generate energy on a utility scale for the city of Copenhagen [1]. This limits the choices of harvesting techniques and brings us back to solar and wind energy .

Solar technique

The Photovoltaic Thin Film Dye-sensitized (DSSC) or the Thin Film Organic Photovoltaic Cell (OPVC) or Polymer Solar Cell have flexible substrates allowing them to be used on more curved and flexible surfaces. The conversion efficiency is only 10 % but because of their low production cost they can be a good economic choice [5]. This material is used by Azuro Technologies in their small scale off-the-grid Indigo systems. The solar cells are made by Eight19 and come on a roll [6].

Wind technique

Currently the use of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) are on the rise. Because these type of turbines can be positioned close together there is a possibility to cover a surface with mini VAWT’s like a field of flowers.








20. 14[ Eight19 Thin Film Solar (source: www.eight19. com ) 15[ Playground equipment (source: www.bodc.tas. 16[ Gym equipment (source: 17[ Fail strong men installation (source: www. 18[ Piezo generator tiles (source: www. 19[ Turbine comparison http://www.oginenergy. com/our-difference 20[ VWAT (source: www.allsmallwindturbines.



A2 Design Computation Computational design goes beyond the use of computers to streamline the building process, creating interesting geometries. To see what computational design entails we will look at two architectural designs: Foster + Partners 30 St Mary Axe (Swiss Re Hq) in London and Arnhem Central by UNStudio.

30 St Mary Axe

The geometry of ‘The Gerkin’ was the result of the wish for a more slender building with more surrounding public space than a conventional rectangular tall building [7]. Optimisation for low wind load and deflection was used as input in the generation of the Gerkin’s Geometry. Foster + Partners set up a special modelling group in 1998 to develop more energy efficient forms with the use of computational design methods [8]. Arup assisted Foster + Partners with the engineering of the structure. Through the use of computer software tools data between the two companies was easily shared. To keep the building light and without internal columns a diagonal steel structure was used. This has become a distinct part of the visual appearance of the building. Studying this building shows how computer tools have shaped the buildings geometry and its total visual image.



Examining this building brings another building to mind: Torre Agbar 2005 from Jean Nouvel in Barcelona. A similar building but based on a purely visual idea of the geometric shape of a geyser bursting out of the ground [10]. When comparing these two designs I found the Torre Agbar building to be pretty and colourful but lacking the depth in design concept that the ‘Gerkin’ shows.



21[ Concept sketch, compraring the wind resistance of a square building with 30 St 24.

Mary, London (source: www.fosterandpartners.


com/projects/swiss-re-headquarters-30-stmary-axe-interiors/) 22[ Concept sketch of the path of light into the building, 30 St Mary, London (source: www. 23[ 30 St Mary, London (source: www. 24[ Entrance facade of 30 St Mary, London (source: swiss-re-headquarters-30-st-mary-axeinteriors/)


25[ Torre Agbar, Barcelona (source: H.J. Fluit)

Arnhem Central

This project by UNStudio started in 1998 and is a example of what is possible with computational techniques. The geometric form of the terminal building was generated based on a fluid passenger flow. They used the Klein Bottle, Twist, Cuts and V-model as conceptual tools in this process [10]. The lighting was an integral part of this design process with Arup as a partner.


Tools developed in Rhinoceros were used to generate achievable geometries for the panelling of the outside skin. A direct relation to fabrication and material constraints was also created resulting in a economic design [11]. The parametric data was also directly fed into the fabrication process.


26[ Conceptual diagrams (source: www.unstudio. com/projects/arnhem-central-masterplan) 27[ Paneling UnStudio (source: AD Navigating the Computationa Turn) 28[ Arnhem Central (source: Projects/Arnhem_Central_Station.aspx)




A3 Composition vs Generation Digital Grotesque

Michael Hansmeyer is one of the designers that looks at nature to generate form. The origin of his folding technique is found in the splitting of cells. In his Digital Grotesque project his computer generated geometry is directly generated into a 3D form with a 3D sand printer [12]. This is an example of a computational design pathway from conception until fabrication. Due to new large scale 3D sand, metal or glass printing techniques possibilities of complex geometrics are expanding. The texture and detail of Digital Grotesque is only possible with the use of computer generating tools and recently developed fabrication techniques. The next step is to use this to design more than just a beautiful and amazing piece of art and help us to make better architecture.





29[ Folded cubes (source: 30[ Digital Grotesque (source: http://www. 31[ Digital Grotesque (source: http://www.


ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010

Another way of driving the generation in design is by integrating physical properties and material behaviour as driving factors. The ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 of the University of Stuttgart is doing just that. The bending behaviour and structural properties of the material used, in this case birch plywood, defines the shape of the pavilion [13]. The material computes and generates the form. The design process resulted in 500 unique plywood strips. Their geometry was directly used in the fabrication process. The assembly process resembled putting together a jigsaw puzzle. This design shows visually its inherited resourcefulness.





32[ Digital model of the plywood strips (source: AD) 33[ Research Pavilion (source: Julian Lienhard -ITKE)


34[ Bending of Plywood strips (source: AD)

A4 Conclusion The brief asks for public artwork that generates a utility quantity of energy for the city of Copenhagen. Tony Fry describes a new design practice in Design Futuring [14]. He argues we have to question the need for what we design and even more importantly the consequences of our designs. For every thing we design and make we change and often destroy something else. In this light I see the LAGI project as an energy generation project disguised as a public art work. It should be an example of how energy generation can be close to our home and not banished to somebody else’s backyard. Most of the past LAGI entries were pretty installations full of symbolism with no net energy profits. This is not what this competition is about and is the opposite of design futuring. Using material behaviours and properties to drive a computational approach is a way to generate a resourceful design. This needs to be combined with performance parameters to fulfil the energy generation criteria. A critical choice of the materials and fabrication methods is also important.


A5 Learning outcomes Looking at and reading about precedents gives an interesting view of the techniques that are used in architecture today. It is surprising to see how far behind architecture is/was in integrating the design and manufacturing process compared to other industries such as aeroplane and car manufacturing and other product design. The idea of generating geometry and structure based on algorithms is interesting but also daunting and reminds me of the possibility that the designers creativity is limited by the very programs that are supposed to free their imagination.[15]. The knowledge of Grasshopper would have been helpful during the Virtual Design studio process. It would have allowed for an easier work flow for fabrication and also made it possible to generate more variations within the limited design time.

35[ Body Lantern Redering , 2011 (source: H.J.






Part B. Criteria Design

B1 Research Field There are different ways to research to topic of generational design. We choose to look at the possibilities of Tesselation. VoltaDom, an installation created by Skylar Tibbits is an example of using tessellation to introduce depth to a panelling surface. See images above. The double curved vaulted surfaces are fabricated from unrolled strips of material [18]. Atmospheric Tessellation, 2013 by Chris Knapp, Jonathan Nelson and Michael Parsons is an light installation [19]. See images right page. It uses a Voronoi tessellation creating organic like shapes close related to the shapes found in nature. The panels are not flat but have an certain depth. The panels are supported by a lightweight support structure Tessellation is a method of breaking up complex surfaces in repetitive/ similar shapes. The examples showed added depth to the panel shapes. An interesting idea is pushing this material system so the shapes become building block and construction elements on their own apart and away from the surfaces they emerged from.

36[ VoltaDom (source: http://designplaygrounds. com/deviants/voltadom-by-skylar-tibbits/) 37[ VoltaDom ( deviants/voltadom-by-skylar-tibbits/) 38[ Atmospheric Tessellation (source: http://www. 39[ Atmospheric Tessellation (source: http://lux.





B2 Case Study 1 For the first case study we choose the Voussair Cloud from IwamotoScott. An installation for the SCIGallery in Los Angeles in 2008. This installation is about exploring an ultra light weight material in a compression structural system [21]. The design draws from the ideas of Frei Otto and Antonio Gaudi. IwamotoScott uses a similar tensile system to create a vaulted geometry. But they don’t use the tensile structure as used by Frei Otto or the mass materials used by Gaudi. Two materials were used to built the Voussair Cloud. Laminated timber was used for the panels and plastic tie-raps were used to assemble the 2300 panels together. To fabricate curved surfaces, they are usually panellised with flat panels with straight edges. This way it is easy to approximate complex surfaces by fabricating (strips of) panels. Voussair Cloud uses panels with curved edges. When bending a flange on the curved edge, the panel will also curve. This effect is used to match the panel’s with the desired vault curvature. Depending on the desired effect the panels have none, 1, 2 or 3 curved edges. Based on material experiments and mathematical models a rhino script was written to predict the bending behaviour.



With the given Grasshopper definition we created different iterations, shown on the next three pages.





40[ Panels of Voussair Cloud (source:http://www. ) 41[ Drawing of the four different curved panels (source: 42[ Voussair Cloud (source:http://www. 43[ Detail of double curves of panels (source: 44[ Connection between the panels (source:http://

25 )

Iterations of Voussair Cloud made with Grasshopper definition

scale of vault: 10%, 30 %, 90% vault length: 2.2

scale of vault: 10% vault length: 9, 4, 0.4

scale of vault: 30%, 98%, 66% vault length: 0.4, 0.4, 10

scale of vault: 30%, vault length: 2.2 force: 0, z=100, x+y+z=100

scale of vault: 30%, vault length: 2.2, force: z=100 spring stiffness: 100, 500, 5000 (standard=1000)


scale of vault: 66%, vault length: 10 force: z=0, spring rest length: 1/2, 1/10

force: z=100 spring restlength: cn, 2

scale of vault: 66%, vault length: 10 force: z=-100

scale of vault: 30%, vault length: 10,5,10 force: 0,0,100 spring restlength: 1/2

altered boundary trim

added radius of voronoi


Added points scale of vault: 30%, vault length: 10,2.2,10 force: z=100,-100,-100

Added points scale of vault: 30%, vault length: 10,2.2,10 force: x+y+z=100,x+y=100,


Most successful

The following four iterations are the most successful. Because we didn’t alter the geometry of the input much, they still resemble the original shape. 1: Sleeker than the original. It is balancing on its tips. Look like it is collecting and funnelling. 2: Looks like a graph out of a science book. The inside surface is coming out. This creates a cavity. The geometry has a smooth feel no hard edges. 3: The vaults are almost gone and the shapes look more like tapered columns. The cracks are inviting you in to investigate what is in there. From the bottom the tapered voronoi tubes resemble skin of turtle or croq. 4: The suggestion of movement. A force (the wind) is pushing against the structure.

Design potential

The definition is creating vaults and these resemble funnels and cylinders. This a shape that can be used in harvesting wind energy. The Kangaroo component is an interesting way of (de)forming a surface based on a tensile/spring simulating effect.


B3 Case Study 2.0 Puppet Theatre

In 1964 Le Corbesier built his only North American building the Carpenter Centre at Harvard University. In 2004, French artist Pierre Huyghe made a puppet show to celebrate this fact. Specially for this show assistant professor of architecture Michael Meredith designed with the help of his students a puppet theatre in/under the carpenter centre [16]. When the plans for the theatre progressed it developed into a shape associated with an egg , a seed , a tumour an alien spaceship and even Le Corbusier ‘s brain. The structure is made out of 500 unique polycarbonate panels braced by aluminium ribs and bolted together by 2000 bolt. The inside and outside surfaces are opposite. The outside of the panels are covered with green rock cap moss but still showing the diamond shaped edges of the panels. The inside is smooth white Polycarbonate diamond shaped panels with some of the panels flipped to break this surface, creating an idea of surface thickness.



MOS Architects

Nowadays Michael Meredith forms together with Hilary Sample, MOS Architects. They use video game engines as their tools to break away from thinking in geometries. The simulated physics found in these engines potentially creates more situational material behaviour. Giving opportunity the misuse of behavioural forces to generate of new aesthetic [17]. So they are not using material behaviour to optimise a design but use a simulated optimisation process to generate without the optimisation goal.






45[ Computer model of shell (source: http:// 46[ Puppet Theatre under the carpenter centre (source: source: http://atelier29.blogspot. 50[ Assembly of Puppet Theatre (source: http://

47[ Outside Puppet Theatre (source: source: 48[ Detail inside skin (source: source: http:// 51.

49[ Inside Puppet Theatre (source: http://

31 51[ Moss on outside skin (source: http://atelier29. (source: http://atelier29.

The schematic definition

Examining the images and relating it back to what we have learned so far about computational design tools we used the following steps to creation a grass hopper definition for the puppet Puppet Theatre.

create a basic cigar/ zeppelin hollow shape

reshape the geometry

populating surface with point grid


Fabrication can be split in the following steps: unfold individual panels with four flange, unfold aluminium braces, laser-cut Polycarbonate panels, fold and weld flange Polycarbonate panels, fabricate aluminium bracing, assemble, bolt together at the location.


creating diamond shape/panels between points

offsetting panels

randomly remove panels on the outside surface


remove opposite panels on the inside surface

loft panel edges

The grasshopper definition

Two grasshopper definitions were made. The first definition closely follows the previous described steps. The second definition uses a mesh and the Kangaroo plug-in to deform the geometry. This means it includes a conversion of surfaces to meshes and after the deformation, conversion back to surfaces. With a bit of fine tuning the definitions could generate the same design as the precedent project. The definition that we made wasn’t developed to just generate this shape of geometry but needed some more freedom to be able to push it away from the design. Differences between the precedent and our definitions are our definitions creates at some location clashing panels and ribs. The panels sizes in our def1 are also different proportions. The diamond panels are not planer surfaces but in the precedent these panels are actually two triangular panels without a flange on the connecting edge.









52[ A: definition 1

B: definition 2

53[ detail model definition 1 54[ detail model definition 1 55[ detail model definition 2


56[ detail model definition 2




grid cells





B4 Technique: Development Tessellation

To get a better idea of what types of tessellations are possible a matrix with 35 different ones was created. This will be helpful in informing us in the next step.

Model iterations

On the next page-spread the matrix of the model iterations is depicted. first rows: Basic geometry is still close to the precedent. The shape of the panels is changed, the offset is pushed until it is no longer a surface. The geometry becomes a collection of sticks. second row: Made with the definition with the kangaroo component by altering the spring length and stiffness. Also changed the start geometry. third row: Changed to a open surface. Introduced random offset and circles as panels. fourth row: Peddle shape as the geometry base, introduced trim of the bottom. fifth row: used a ships bow shape as the base geometry, introduced different polygon shaped panels From the third row down although made with a panelling technique the models are not panelled surfaces. These models are more collections of geometric shapes. In row three and five some of the models are quit lose and open collections of shapes. In row four some of the models look like crystals.


Matrix Technique development

definition 1: he shape of the panels is changed, the offset is pushed until it is no longer a surface. The geometry becomes a collection of sticks.

Kangaroo definition:

spring length stiffness.

Changed to a open surface. Introduced random offset and circles as panels.

Peddle shape as the geometry base, introduced trim of the bottom.

Used a ships bow shape as the base geometry, introduced different polygon shaped panels


panel offset: -10



spring length changed geometry stiffness.


Selection criteria

As our selection criteria we used these three key points of the LAGI Brief [4]: a. Consist of a three dimensional sculptural form that has the ability to stimulate and challenge the mind of visitors to the site. The work should aim to solicit contemplation from viewers on such broad ideas as ecological systems, human habitation and development, energy and resource generation and consumption, and/or other concepts at the discretion of the design team; b. Capture energy from nature, convert it into electricity, and have the ability to store, and/or transform and transmit the electrical power to a grid connection point to be designed by others. Consideration should be made for artfully housing the required transformer and electrical equipment within the project boundary and restricting access to those areas for the safety of visitors to the site; c. Be well informed by a thorough understanding of the history, geography, details of the design site, and the broader contexts of Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, and Denmark;


Point b of the brief stirs us towards the sources of energy: wind or solar. Being the location in Denmark wind energy is the more likely option. Although there is the option of harvesting wind energy by moving objects with kinetic or piezo sensors, this is not yet developed enough to generate any amount more than for small scale applications. This leaves us with the wind turbines. In resent years there is much research on smaller ducted rotor type turbines. These turbine don’t need to be so high of the ground, work with lower wind speeds and are quieter. For our design we want to use a number of ducted wind turbine. This means that our design will have to have enough height to capture the wind an is directed toward the wind direction. The site has an history of heavy labour, tough men ,large ships, machinery and cranes. (point c of the brief). This can be addressed through the form, geometry and material use of the design. Brief point a can be closely related to point c. There is a clear view from the other side of the water towards the site. If we want to use this the sculpture needs to be, because of the viewing distance, of a significant height. With this in mind we short listed three models.


selection one


selection two


selection three


B5 Technique: Prototyping For selection one and two we made a prototypes. A short description of this process follows now.

Prototype One

The triangular shapes were flatted in rhino and then cut out of paper by the Fablab. The cut shapes were then glued into open blocks which were glued together to create the model. The issues discovered were: the lack of surface thickness in rhino made the dimensions of the unrolled surfaces incorrect. lack of connection surfaces between the building blocks. The blocks were hanging in thin air, lack of lateral strength of the model.



57[ paper cut panels 58[ glued panels 59[ prototype one 60[ prototype one





Prototype Two

This prototype was created by hand just based on the image of the model. The cylinders were made from pvc pipe capped with paper. The cylinder were connected to each other with iron wire. The issues discovered were: lack of connection surfaces between the columns of cylinders, makes the construction weak lack of lateral strength of the model, there was no direct relationship between the parameters of the digital model and the prototype. These are all things that need to be addressed in the next model.



61[ cut cylinders to length 62[ capped cylinder 63[ prototype two 64[ prototype two





B6 Technique: Proposal Our proposal is a structure referring to the metal structures used to occupy this part of Copenhagen. This structure will incorporated ducted wind turbines to generate electricity. The direction of the wind in Copenhagen is mainly from the east. The location of the Little Mermaid is to the east of the site. To make it noticeable from the other side of the water the structure needs to be big/ tall enough. The hangar behind it is 66 meter high but from the Mermaid it doesn’t look that tall. The geometry of the installation will direct the wind into the wind turbines. This wind directing geometry can be in the form of a cylinder duct or lose panels.




65[ Aerial view of site


66[ site with rendered sculpture

B7 Learning Objectives and outcomes This subject has been quit intense, stuffed with work and full with learning objectives. I want to highlight two objectives I have learned so far in this subject. 1. Method of generating multiple solutions Because of the use of computational tools it is much easier to generate multiple solutions for a design problem. Through the use of matrix and clear selection criteria the best solution can be selected. This process can be used to select between different concept or for fine tuning a particular model. With this method it is important to generate a large amount of different solutions. Since I am still conquering Grasshopper solution directions are often directed by what I think is possible and I can program. Also my creativity directs the definition direction. 2. I have developed knowledge and skills in the Grasshopper and Rhino environment. This are specific Grasshopper skills and more generic knowledge of parametric design tools. I have used parameters in Revit but have not manipulated parameters through programming definitions before. Also the translation of the digital model into a fabrication method and get it fabricated was helpful.



Part C Detailed Design

C1 Design Concept Site Location

The LAGI site is part of Refshaleøen a man-made island in the harbour of Copenhagen. Historically the site was used by a shipbuilding and diesel engine company B&W which closed in 1996. At the heydays more than 10.000 people were working here. The Island is now being used by small creative businesses, craft workshops, flea market, music venue, adventure sport venue, rocket building organisation and production design company for the royal theatre. For the last five years it is the location for one of the main metal festivals in Europe, CopenHell [17]. The LAGI site itself a bare piece of land located on the waterfront of Refshaleøen. It is opposite to the Little Mermaid one of Copenhagen’s main tourist attractions separated by 500 meter of water. The ship basins and two large 60 meter high shelters are the only signs of Refshaleøen shipping history. The most iconic large cranes have all disappeared and were sold for scrap. Bringing this past glory back to this part of Copenhagen is one of the design goals. Some other facts about Copenhagen are: Half of the people commute by bike. Copenhagen was voted most liveable city, European green capital city and most culinary capital [16].





70. 67[ Historical image of the site (source: Refshaleøen Holding) 68[ Screen shot of Documentary Men and Metal, nov 2013 (source: 69[ Aerial view of the site (source: Lagi project photos) 70[ Little mermaid with site in the background


(source: Lagi project photos))

Energy source: Wind

Around Copenhagen there are a number of wind farms located. The closest is Lynetten wind farm on the north side of Refshaleøen, operational since 1996. With the wind energy data generated with the Resource mapper software [24] was a chart made. This chart give a wind energy per square meter wind for a curtain height. We will use this data in the grasshopper definition to calculate the amount of energy generation of the different design iterations. There is a predominated wind direction at the site between east and east, south-east [25]. Only using the wind from this direction will have the advantage of making the installation more simple but has two disadvantages. Up to 35 percent of the available wind energy is not harvested and the perception by the general public of an inadequate installation not harvesting on windy days.



Wind energy

LAGI site in Copenhagen



Energy in KWh/m2/year




1500 Kwh/m2/year 1000


0 20










turbine height in meters

71. Page 2


71[ Wind energy graph for Copenhagen 72[ Wind direction diagram Copenhagen (source: Danish Meteorological Institute Ministry Of


Transport Technical Report 99-13)

Rethinking Design

After the interim presentation and I decided to change the design, from being single installations spread out over the site, to completely populating the site with repeating elements. This would give the installation more impact and also be beneficial for its energy harvesting capacity. The design element is a ducted wind turbine on a support structure.

Turbine shape

Ducted turbines are chosen for three reasons: smaller rotors and gearboxes which means lower vibrations and noise, less critical for wind direction and more freedom in geometry A grasshopper definition was made to make different iterations of possible turbine shapes. The following four criteria were used to select the most successful shape: work in two directions, aerodynamic (angles between surfaces not to great), individual panels not to great because of lack of stiffness, efficient material use because of weight restrictions.




73[ Iterations of Turbine shapes

Populating the site

The fairly simple turbine shape will populate the site in a logical way. To generate different population options grasshopper was used to generate different iterations. Variations were made in the type of grid (regular, random and circular), grid density, the attractor geometry (site boundary curves, diagonal curves or site centre) and site boundary (water or land). The Grasshopper definition also used the previous mentioned wind energy data to calculate how much energy will be generated in the different cases.

attractor curves

site dimensions

cull points

create point grid

calculate distance information

On following page shows 16 iteration of site populations with there predicted yearly energy generation values.


create ducted turbine

scale / rotate

calculate turbine size and height for each grid point

populate point grid with ducted turbine


create support structure between duct and ground

top view

255 MW/year

360 MW/year

325 MW/year

440 MW/year

east elevation

top view

east elevation


diagonal attraction

305 MW/year

380 MW/year

centre attraction

450 MW/year

575 MW/year


top view

290 MW/year

400 MW/year

255 MW/year

350 MW/year

east elevation

top view

east elevation


random grids

355 MW/year

320 MW/year

different densities

370 MW/year

155 MW/year


top view

810 MW/year

620 MW/year

east elevation


circular grid

430 MW/year



Design diagram 4 was chosen because of the following considerations: The diagonal grid creates interesting view lines from different angles. The view from the mermaid is one of them. The lower height of the structures in the centre of the site creates a central space on the site. The diagonal lines lead the visitors into the site. There is an interesting mix of different heights in structure. The configuration will generate 380 MW per year which is above the average of the different iterations.

74[ Model render of view from Little Mermaid


top view

380 MW/year

east elevation



C2 Tectonic Element Support construction

As a reference to past use of the site the support structure (tower) is modelled after shipyard structures. The first prototype was made of a square braced beam structure. The prototype is made a similar way as the real structure will be constructed but instead of square steel beams balsa wood is used. The steel beam cross section dimensions depends on the tower height varying between 16 and 80 meters. The tallest tower (80 meters high) was modelled scale 1:100.

mitre cut steel beams to length

weld beam in position

attach rotation gear



prewire electrical cables

construct frame turbine duct

clad frame

assemble turbine in duct

lift tower in upright position

marriage tower and turbine


connect services




Rethinking support structure

Construction of the prototype showed that the construction of the tower didn’t have any unsolved issues. It also showed that the design could be more visual interesting. To make sure that the design will still be structural sound I decided to use a new separate Grasshopper definition with Millipede for analysing the structure. The Galapagos component was used so Millipede could calculate all the possible different beam positions and filter out the stiffest structure. The best structure (least material) for pure gravity loads is straight but with an added windload against the turbine on top of the tower and a slightly tapered structure is more suitable. The negatives of a tapered structure is that it takes more ground area, uses more material and they start to look like electricity/power grid mast. Decided was to go make the base 2.5 times larger than the top. The result of the Grasshopper/Millipede definition was plugged back in the main definition through a ordered list of vertices. This was used to construct the beam structures for the 71 individual tower




C3 Final Model Renders of the final ducted wind turbine on a steel beam structure














Tower structure

All the beams were individually numbered and cut. Then according to plan glued together. This is similar as constructing a welded steel beam structure.







1.12 1.10

1.12 1


1.11 1.11.1 1.11




south section 1.10 1.10.1

1.10 1.9

1.9 1.7



1.8 1.8.1 1.8


1.11 1.7 1.7.1

1.7 1.6

1.8 1.6 1.4







1.5 1.4 1.4.1 1.4 1.3




1.3 1.3 1.2

1.5 1.1

1.2 1.2.1






Turbine ducted

The turbine ducted is build the same way as an aircraft wing, a combination of ribs, spars and a skin.














C4 Sky mine The Sky mine is a population of 71 wind turbines with a grass and wild flower park underneath. The actual turbines are enclosed in bright red coloured funnel shaped ducts. The duct are made out of aluminium and composite materials. The turbine support structure is build out of steel beams. The structure height varies between 16 and 80 meter. The estimated annual energy generation is 413.000 Kilowatt



Endnotes 1. viewed on 13/03/2014 2. viewed on 20/03/2014 3. viewed 20/03/2014 4. LAGI-2014DesignGuidelines 5. LAGI-FieldGuideRenewableEnergy-ed1, pag 13-14 6. viewed on 19/03/2014 7. Swiss_Re_Headquarters_30_St_Mary_Axe__Foster_Partners.pdf 8. Recent Developments at Foster + Partners’ Specialist Modelling Group, AD, Volume 83, Issue 2, March/April 2013, Pages: 22–27, Xavier De Kestelier 9., viewed 19/03/2014 10. Typological Instruments: Connecting Architecture and Urbanism, AD, Volume 81, Issue 1, January/February 2011, Pages: 66–77, Caroline Bos and Ben van Berkel/UNStudio 11. Navigating the Computational Turn, AD, Volume 83, Issue 2, March/ April 2013, Pages: 82–87, Ben van Berkel 12. viewed on 23/03/2014 13. Material Behaviour: Embedding Physical Properties in Computational Design Processes, AD, Volume 82, Issue 2, March/April 2012, Pages: 44–51, Moritz Fleischmann, Jan Knippers, Julian Lienhard, Achim Menges and Simon Schleicher 14. Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg) 15. Terzidis, Kostas (2009). Algorithms for Visual Design Using the Processing Language (Indianapolis, IN: Wiley), p. xx 16. viewed 23/04/2014 17. Men & Metal, Nov 2013, 29 min, watch?v=5zXaxcJVZfg 18. 19. viewed on 6/04/2014 20. 21. viewed on 6/04/2014 22. viewed on 13/04/2014 23. Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample Everything All at Once, The Software, Architecture, and Videos of MOS, , Publication date 12/19/2012, 176 pages, ,Rights: World; ( 1,180 .0), pag 16 24. 25. John Cappelen and Bent Jørgensen, DANISH METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT TECHNICAL REPORT 99-13, Observed Wind Speed and Direction in Denmark, Copenhagen 1999



Fluit herman 537929 final journal