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Digital Design - Module 01 Semester 1, 2018 Jonathan Stathy

914203 Xiaoran Huang | Studio 8

Week One

Reading: Zeara Polo, A. 2010. Between Ideas and Matters.

According to Zeara-Polo, the diagram does not play a representational role in the design process but provides an organisational and can have a performative quality depending on how it is deployed. Explain how Diagram is different from Signs and Symbols? (100 words Maximum)

Signs and symbols assist the viewer in construing the characteristics and functionality of an object. They describe an idea or concept in “short hand” form, enabling the underlying message to be more easily understood. On the other hand, a diargram is a “tool” which is relevant to a specific design or space. A diagram clarifies and defines technical information from a design or space.


Week One

Precedent Analysis

Column Height Detail

Image of Southern Exterior

North to South Footpath Study of Ceiling + Floor Plan



I analysed these five precedents to inform my decisions when modelling this pavilion. The section was important because it initially helped me to understand that there was a controlled factor to the topography and organic form of the pavilion. I further investigated this by researdching the image, where I was able to discover the individual heights of the design’s 115 columns. From here, I was able to extract the necessary information, as well as scale information from NearMap in order to create an accurate model. On the other hand, the pavilion’s construction and landscape elements were essential to my understanding of the overall design because they enabled me to derive the pavilion’s thresholds. For example, images of the Southern exterior and footpath, which cuts through the design, disclose how human traffic is separated out and channelled through the pavilion.

Week Two

Reading: Hertzberger H. 2005. The in-between and The Habitable Space Between Things, from Lessons for Students in Architecture. Herzberger discuss how design should not be extreme in its functionality. Use your precedent study to explain how the pavilion allows for an appropriation of use. (100 words Maximum)

This reading introduces the functional elements which accommodate the pavilion’s thresholds. The pavilion embraces a broad central theme that it is a vast and open space with great “accomodating potential”. However, it is quite clear that it is a nuanced design with contrasting elements. To explain, it accommodates a series of spaces which are partially encompassed by a glass curtian wall. However, while the desing is largely transparent, it allows for a number of private and intimate spaces, including the lowest-lying point under the roof. On the other hand, the design is not subject to functionality, and there apprears to be a lack of focus on the threshold of the skin of the roof. Imagine the degree to which the utilitarian potential of the design could have been expanded if it enabled climbing? To some extent this potential may be seen as expressed in the almost “unseen” element at the low-lying point of the design, as people appear to use this area to lay down. These various appropriations are consistent with Hertzberger’s view that the pavilion’s multi-faceted form embraces changing circumstances, while maximising the design’s spatial features.


Week Two


SANAA - Serpentine Pavilion - 2009 cutout and slab accordingly. I, further, added the columns to create an average diameter of 50mm, as per the technical drawing provided by the precedent I sourced information online through research where I learned that each column had a different height. From here, I found the height of each column, as well as the size of the pannels. That is, the height of the columns ranged anywhere from 1000 to 3500mm, while the panels had a dimension of 1500 by 3000mm. This was reproduced in Rhino, where I allocated points at their respective heights in order to quickly generate the columns in the design. These points were later used in order to generate a “patch” which emulated the topography of the pavilion’s roof. On the other hand, the panels were generated by projecting an array created from a series of 1500 by 3500 rectangles. Meanwhile, I used the images from the precedent study to approximate the height of the screens as well as the form of gravel landscaping which act as major facilitators of thresholds in the design.

I started by modelling the general shape of the pavilion. I used Interp Curves and the rebuild command with control points to generate the overal slab and roof shape using the provided plans. Next, I scaled themodel with the assistance of tools on NearMap. I measured the length of the site at Hyde Park and compared it with the size of a line on Rhino, scaling the


Overall, images of the Pavilion’s structural and landscaping elements, acted as the key concept of the precedent study and facilitated the thresholds in my reproduction. They identified SANAA’s strategic placement of pathways and gravel to facilitate a directional circulation of pedestrians throughout the design. Whereas, the glass curtain walls and low-lying end of the pavillion facilitated spaces of privacy and intimacy.

Week Two Diagrams

Circulation Diagram (Left) The columns in the design facilitate the shape of the roof’s skin, but also define the design’s spatial character. The footpaths around the structure are key to the structure’s overal threshold. That is, they create primary thresholds and the entry point along the North-East end of the pavilion.

Thresholds and Pedestrian Movement (Right) This diagram represents the pavilions interior thresholds created by glass curtain walls. It also analyses the potential pedestrian movement that occurs as a result of the design’s thresholds. I also considered how the gravel surrounding the exterior directed the circulation of pedestrians around the design.




Study of Floor + Gravel Layout

Render Experiment in V-Ray

Raw, Final 3D Model in Rhino

Interp-Curve Trace of Roof Shape



Perspective Renders, Spatial Arrangement


JCS | DD | Design Journal Module 1  
JCS | DD | Design Journal Module 1