The columns will be backlit at night
these input parameters. Starting from Craig Reynolds` Boids simulation we added some boundary constraints in order to respect the usable area requested and guarantee the creation of safe routes. Then we added a specific feature to optimise the general distribution and increase the overall covering effect of the columns. For each simulation frame, the system evaluates the visual permeability and each agent moves the associated column with the goal of reducing this global parameter.
THE TEAM Building Façade and Canopies Architect: Steven Chilton Architects Client: Sunac China Holdings Ltd. Theatre Consultant: Auerbach Pollock Friedlander Show Design: Dragone LDI: Tongji Architectural Design Bamboo Concept: Steven
Chilton at Stufish Why did you decide to use white columns? Canopies Concept Engineer: Our client is interested in creating architecture with a Buro Happold Engineering broad appeal and is attracted to concepts that embody recognisable elements of local culture. Our challenge, as architects interested in modern, minimalist, generative design, has been to find an approach that delivers the essence of a local cultural reference without mimicking it. We purposefully seek to avoid designing in the mannered, literal sense, instead favouring an approach to materials and structure that seeks to identify geometries and combinations that hold the potential to abstractly evoke the central theme. This generative approach to design enables us to build in
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factors such as structural efficiency, repetition of nodal geometry and the reduction of material waste. In the best instances it leads to abstract effects that are more resonant with the central theme because we employed these various optimisations. The distribution and orientation of the louvres in the shade canopy are a good example of this. The organic sense of randomness we’ve achieved is largely the result of a variety of parameters that were fed into the algorithm to maximise material efficiency and the distribution of reflected light and to ensure year-round shade over the curtain wall.
What do you expect to be the most impressive element of the theatre? We hope visitors and users will enjoy the experience of moving through the forest of columns and will consciously (or unconsciously) appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of the architecture that surrounds them. Certainly, at night, the theatre should be a magical place to be. We’ve taken a simple approach to the lighting whereby the columns are mostly backlit. We hope this will give the structure an iridescent, lantern-like quality. ●