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Architecture 101 Final Project Learning Portfolio

Richard Vallejos May 25th, 2012


The Site

6'-0" 4'-7 3/4"

Initial Observations

8"

10th threaded hole

2'-0"

4'

-0

15'-7"

12'-2"

3/ 4"

12'-0"

"

32'-8"

8'-0 1/2"

28th threaded hole beginning of 2nd slope

6"

7'-0"

12'-9"

11'-0"

12'-0"

7'-0"

6'-0"

°

7 7 . 4

" 1/2

12'-0"

2

10'-

18'-0"

11

22.49°

end of 2nd slope

17'-2"

7'-0"

Ø2'-4"

10'-8"

9"

0 ' 4

N

" 4 / 1

1

9"

As Patrik Shumacher describes in his Autopoeisis of Architecture: “Every society needs to utilize articulated spatial relations to frame, order and stabilize social communication.” On the most basic level our task became to frame the salient features of the site, enticing a passerby with a fresh response to a commonly overlooked sculptural landmark. We wanted the space to be enclosed and redefine the viewing of the face panels in a more intimate experience.

4'-0

Framing as a jumping off-point

0"

18'-1 1/4"

end of 1st slope

1/2"

The sun The wind Budget Coverage of area The brief

9'-3

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6'-0"

°

We also to took into account other issues:

17'-6"

.73

Grid lines: Grid lines marked into to the floor, made up of six by six foot squares. The planter square is aligned within one of the squares defined by the grid lines.

beginning of 1st slope

4'-

6'-0"

132

5.

6"

Threaded-holes: A four by fifteen array of 3/4” threaded-holes, spaced two feet apart in both directions. The array is broken up by the face panels.

4. Rain gutter: A rain gutter with a round, eight-inch wide curb, offset from the wall by one foot.

0"

00°

3.

1'-

45.

2. Planter square: A six-foot planter square. Surrounded by a 1/2’ wide, 1/2’ inch tall concrete barrier.

" 0" 4'-

1. Face panels: Six, four-foot square panels with the faces of former students cast in concrete.

9' -7

Within the bare site we observed five salient intrinsic features (listed in order of interest):

1'-0"

During our first meeting we discussed the site in terms of what was given. Our site was the northwestern half of the courtyard, defined by a retaining wall and the edges of a planter square.

R32'-8"

1st threaded hole

Courtyard Plan 1/2” = 1’

24'-0"

We felt that the planter square could also be cleaned up and given tectonic intention.

0

R32'-8"

1’

2’

5’

10’

Richard Vallejos April 23, 2012


Lightweight and Adaptable Structure “The search for the minimal in architecture is simultaneously a search for the essence of material form.� -Frei Otto From a purely practical perspective my task was to figure out how to span an area of 303 square feet, and potentially enclose a volume of as much as 4667 cubic feet. All, under the following constraints: The material had to portable, lightweight and compact enough for one person to carry using public transportation. If I were to be the one leading the erection of the structural grid, I wanted to be sure to be as self-sufficient as possible, so as to allow for a nimble testing process and to begin deployment at the drop of a hat.

Tensile Cavern

It was perhaps half way through the construction process that we realized that we had been approximating the idea of grotto. When we first discussed the path that would bring a visitor into the central node, our ideas were very funhouse like. I recall getting excited about the idea of building a staircase leading to a bent plywood slide which would be the only point of entry. My early drawings were very much like the digestive tract.

Though the symbolism of caves and caverns is alive and well in the popular imagination, its architectural imitation, the grotto, is a somewhat forgotten trope in landscaping and garden design. Grottoes in ancient times were natural caves which were built into and ascribed spiritual significance. In the renaissance, they were reinterpreted as places to counterpoise to The design system had to be adaptable to different the beauty of the rest of the landscape, enshrining the spatial configurations. This implies the need for the mysterious aspects of nature, permitting murkier forces grid to be developable. In the early stages of the de- a space to revel in. Through the many transformations sign process the exact shape of the path that would of the grotto throughout history, a couple features relead to the central node was not fully defined. The mained consistent: Grottoes usually housed sculptural form had to be easily re-sizable, to conform to even- relics from the past and there was usually a real or imtual placement of the vertical cardboard strips. plied source of water. If the retaining walls were imagined as a sheer cliff Due to the temporary nature of the project, the face, a cave could be created by either digging into the building components had to be reusable after diswall or adding an extension of the wall outward tomantlement. To allow for this, I felt it was important ward the center of the courtyard. We built outwardly. to use the fewest number of screws, staples, nails, In choosing for our cavern to begin with a tunnel, narbolts, adhesives or any other fasteners extraneous to row and forbidding in appearance, the passage way the flow of forces. This would also keep waste to a would force those entering to slow their pace and conminimum. sider their next step.


Tensile Space Grid Rope Net One of our design objectives was to provide a large, open space at the central node to evoke a feeling of magical awakening after navigating a threatening passage. We all thought it would be important not to use columns in the middle of the space as they would interrupt visibility as well as confine movement. We settled on an overhead rope grid under tension. Using real-time physics computer modelling, I was able to determine that the grid would not have to be regular, thereby we could use less material to achieve same form factor. The non-rectangular aspect of a continually shifting grid would suggest a disassociation with rationality. To make the most of the rope’s tensile capabilities, we interwove the rope to create the net. Weaving is a reticulate system in which a loaded member is partly supported by all others. The sag of each individual rope is reduced and the applied load on the anchoring points is more evenly distributed. If a rope were to break the net as a whole would still support loads. The purpose of the rope net was to undergird the tensile membrane and to have this bit of redundancy assuaged some of my safety concerns. The next concern was how to shape the membrane over and under the rope.

Double-Layer Grid? Initially, it seemed clear that in order to support a tensile membrane we would need to construct a doublelayer grid to keep the masts that project the membrane from shearing under wind loads. In the wooden model, I included a second rigid layer. The fabric we end up using proved to be so forgiving that the second layer was unnecessary.


The Sun

For example: At 8:00 am, May 17, 2012, the azimuth was 68° and the sun’s elevation was 22° above the horizon Predicting Available Daylight and the shadow ratio was 2.55. Since one of our objectives was to frame the face panels, we thought it would be important to ensure the I then mapped this data into a 3D model by drawstructure itself was not casting any unwanted shadows ing lines projected from the site location to the coronto the faces. responding location of the sun at some fixed far-off radius. Treating the sun as a point-like light, I drew With the Helios Sun Calculator (an iPod app, which utilizes algorithms developed by the National Renew- light cones emanating from each sun location point to an ellipse containing the face panels. In this way we able Energy Laboratory and the National Geophysical Data Center) we were able to input the site’s exact could predict whether the sun would shine on a given area at a given time. geographic coordinates and the exact date and time of our presentation to calculate the sun’s eventual With this mapping we shaped an oculus that would path overhead. The software outputs the azimuth (α, allow for maximal sunshine on five of the face panels the horizontal angle between magnetic north and the during the 3 hour window in which our presentation sun), the sun’s elevation (ε) and the shadow ratio, in could occur. ten minute intervals from approximate dawn to approximate dusk.

Shadow Predictions for May 17, 2012 12:00 PM. Shadow ratio: .43

Shadow Predictions for May 17, 2012 1:00 PM. Shadow ratio: .33

Shadow Predictions for May 17, 2012 2:00 PM. Shadow ratio: .4

Shadow Predictions for May 17, 2012 3:00 PM. Shadow ratio: .59

Time: 15:00 Azimuth: 228° Elevation: 59° Time: 15:30 Azimuth: 236° Elevation: 54°

α = 68°

Time: 14:00 Azimuth: 202° Elevation: 68°

Time: 13:00 Azimuth: 161° Elevation: 72°

Time: 12:00 Azimuth: 123° Elevation: 67°

Time: 11:00 Azimuth: 101° Elevation: 57° Time: 10:00 Azimuth: 87° Elevation: 46° Time: 9:00 Azimuth: 77° Elevation: 34°

Time: 8:00 Azimuth: 68° Elevation: 22°

May 17, 2012 Latitude: 37.727291 Longitude: -122.449234


The Construction Documents

Courtyard Mesh - Warp Curves 1 inch = 2 ft

The following are the documents we used to keep ourselves organized on site.

F

F, W9

1.63”

2.62”

3.54”

4.57”

F, 10

F, 11

F, 12

F, 12

5.46”

6.47”

7.42”

F, 14

F, 15

F, 13

11.2”

8.46” 9.175” 10.26” F, 18

F, 16 F, 17

F, W10

Dimensions for the placement of anchor points

E

Layout of the nodes

E, 3

E, 1 E, 2

E, 8

E, 5 E, 6 E, 7

E, 4

D

B A

C, 1 C, 2 C, 3 C, 4 C, 5

B, 1 B, 2

B, 3

1.10” A, G7

A, 8

E, 14

E, 15

E, 16

E, 17 E, 18

D, 19

3.11” A, 10

A, 9

B, 8

B, 9

4.15”

5.16”

A, 11

B, 10 B, 11B, 12

6.25”

A, 12

A, 13

7.21”

B, 13

B, 14 B, 15

8.30”

9.25”

A, 14

A, 15

E, 20 E, 21

E, 19

D, 21

D, 22

C, 20

C, 21

C, 22

B, 16 B, 17 B, 18 B, 19

B, 20

B, 21

C, 6 C, 7 C, 8 C, 9 C, 10 C, 11 C, 12 C, 13 C, 14 C, 15 C, 16 C, 17 C, 18 C, 19

B, 4 B, 5 B, 6 B, 7

2.62”

E, 13

D, 9 D, 10 D, 11 D, 12 D, 13 D, 14 D, 15 D, 16 D, 17 D, 18

D, 1 D, 2 D, 3 D, 4 D, 5 D, 6 D, 7 D, 8

C

E, 10 E, 11 E, 12

E, 9

D, 20

E, W12

B, 22

A, G8

The Raw Data

7 A7: 0 B7: 1.238586 C7: 2.645479 D7: 4.259782 E7: 6.109358

8 A8: 0 B8: 1.18914 C8: 2.489206 D8: 3.958947 E8: 5.532516

9 A9: 0 B9: 2.403597 C9: 3.791865 D9: 5.228079 E9: 6.625285

10 A10: 0 B10: 3.22623 C10: 4.818596 D10: 6.343867 E10: 7.788719

11 G11: 0 B11: 5.975817 C11: 8.104866 D11: 9.977717 E11: 11.733534

12 13 G12: 0 G13: 0 B12: 5.393281 B13: 4.7709 C12: 7.72424 C13: 7.133055 D12: 9.87408 D13: 9.462337 E12: 11.86575 W13: 12.129744

W11, 22 D, 22 C, 22 B, 22 G14, 22

22

5.50” 4.06” 2.66” 1.17”

F, 21 W10, 21 E, 21 D, 21 B, 21 G13, 21

21

3.57” 2.34” 1.11”

4.70” 5.50”

W9, 20 E, 20 D, 20 C, 20 B, 20 G12, 20

20

6.06” 4.73” 3.57” 2.38”

E, 19 D, 19 C, 19 B, 19 G11, 19

19

1.18”

F, 19

5.94” 4.82” 3.69” 2.51”

E, 18 D, 18 C, 18 B, 18 G10, 18

18

1.28”

F, 18

5.93” 4.94” 3.86” 2.70”

C, 17 B, 17 G9, 17

17

1.41”

F, 17 D, 17

E, 17

5.04” 4.02” 2.87”

C, 16 G8, 16

16

B, 16

1.71”

C, 15 B, 15 A, 15

15

1.56”

F, 16 D, 16

E, 16

5.00” 4.06” 3.00”

D, 15

E, 15 F, 15

4.10” 4.87” 3.25” 2.32” 1.26”

A, 14 B, 14 C, 14 D, 14 E, 14 F, 14

14

0.80” 1.61” 2.41” 3.17” 3.89”

A, 13 B, 13 C, 13 D, 13 E, 14 F, 13

13

0.60”1.20” 1.90” 2.61” 3.31”

A, 12 B,12C, 12 D, 12 E, 12

12

F, 12

0.37”0.75” 1.40” 2.13” 2.92”

F, 11

3.05” 0.31”0.62”1.32” 2.13”

A, 11 B, 11C, 11D, 11 E, 11

11

E, 10 A, 10 B, 10 C, 10

D, 10

F, 10

4.14” 3.15” 2.17”

10

B, 9 A, 9

9

0.55” 1.30”

E, 9 D, 9 C, 9

2.04” 1.00”

5.87”

F, 9

6.26” 4.50” 3.18”

E, 8 D, 18 C, C, 8 B, 8 A, 8

8

6.04”

W8, 8

7.05” 5.45” C, 1 2.68” 1.36”

7

G7, 7

G6, 6

6

6 A6: 0 B6: 2.568393 C6: 4.342451 D6: 6.30247 E6: 8.266488

W7, 7 E, 7 C, 7 B, 7

1.92”

B, 5 G5, 5

5

5 A5: 0 B5: 4.080729 C5: 6.369726 D5: 8.9964 W5: 12.528084

4.02”

4.92” 3.48” 1.92”

3.48”

D, 5

D, 7

E, 6

4 G4: 0 B4: 6.962822 C4: 9.852125 D4: 12.785526 W4: 16.119516

C, 5

2.83” 1.45”

C, 4 B, 4 G4, 4

6.25” 4.89”

E, 5

5.40” 4.12”

E, 4

4.54” 2.31” 1.16”

4

3

G3, 3

B, 3

C, 3

D, 3

D, 4

E, 3

3.45”

W3, 3

4.84” 3.89” 1.91” .92”

2.91”

W2, 2 C, 2 B, 2 G2, 2

2

D, 2

E, 2

4.41” 1.71” 2.64” 3.54” .81”

G1, 1

1

.89”

1.84”

D, 1 C, 1 B, 1

E, 1

2.96” 3.71”

4.59”

W1, 1

5.60”

W4, 4

6.74”

W5, 5

7.56”

W6, 6

Courtyard Mesh - Warp Curves 1 inch = 2 ft

3 G3: 0 B3: 5.653351 C3: 8.246518 D3: 10.786392 W3: 13.487488

8.06”

2 G2: 0 B2: 3.815971 C2: 5.820831 D2: 7.779172 W2: 9.689928

6.40”

1 G1: 0 B1: 3.67329 C1: 5.907648 D1: 7.400037 W1: 9.160371

D, 6

D D1: 0 D2: 2.634816 D3: 5.245984 D4: 7.93203 E D5: 10.763473 W5: 0 D6: 12.357438 E6: 3.261513 D7: 13.796489 E7: 5.248049 D8: 15.33752 E8: 7.089219 D9: 17.015413 E9: 9.13766 D10: 18.66478 E10: 10.918407 D11: 21.922156 E11: 14.800677 D12: 25.084194 E12: 18.278 D13: 28.378086 W13: 22.321117

C, 6

C C1: 0 C2: 1.995997 C3: 4.557403 C4: 7.199298 C5: 9.804642 C6: 11.045147 C7: 12.309232 C8: 13.707995 C9: 15.204121 C10: 16.703875 C11: 19.592646 C12: 22.588664 C13: 25.898367

B, 6

B B1: 0 B2: 2.253575 A B3: 4.997938 G4: 0 B4: 7.674996 A5: 4.123679 B5: 10.299047 A6: 6.2276 B6: 11.537599 A7: 8.288404 B7: 12.787078 A8: 9.824907 B8: 14.1417 A9: 12.298242 B9: 15.577875 A10: 14.212123 B10: 17.012797 G11: 18.220924 B11: 19.708493 B12: 22.658395 B13: 26.108525


Materials Become Structural Components Rope We tested many types of rope, comparing material strength, price and textural connotation.

Fabric The fabrics we tested: 1 Netting: By far the cheapest, it came 72” wide and was $.79 per yard. The main issue with it was We ended up using manila rope because of it’s rustic that it tore easily. aesthetic qualities and strength relative to price. We bought two thicknesses to correspond to both the hier- 2 Ripstop nylon: Strong and flexible but expensive. Would have required extensive testing and pre- archy of structure, as well as program. stressing to get the pattern to fit snugly over The quarter inch was the most commonly used across the masts. Also would have picked up wind re- the grid. Being woven together, the ropes supported quiring tighter connections to masts. Could have themselves in a coöperative network. varied the lighting conditions by making the tun The half-inch manila would serve a structural role in nel black and the center white. the four portals, in that they would have to bear the 3 Muslin: Cheap but not very strong or flexible. greater tensile loads. Programmatically, the differentia- Same wind issue as with the ripstop nylon. tion in thickness would visually define the four orific- 4 Stretch Illusion Nylon: Cheap, graceful, and ef- es, two of which are passage ways, and the two others, ficient: we used only 8 yards to cover the whole lightways. structure.

Hollow Polyester 1/4”

1

2

3

4

3

2

Cotton/Nylon Core 1/4” Polypropylene 1/4”

Polypropylene 1/2”

Manila 1/2”

For all of the rope joining we used bowline knots. A mnemonic for tying a bowline: “The rabbit comes out of the hole, goes around the tree and back into the hole.”

Manila 1/4”


Construction in Timelapse


In Detail


Reflections Working with Manon, Eric and Kaitlyn was a rich and rewarding experience. We all contributed extensively to different aspects of the design, which we then integrated into a coherent and stimulating vision. Eric designed the hanging panels which were originally intended to be a subtractive sculpting of much larger panels. Through many revisions and a fruitful collaboration with Manon, they created a densely patterned, interactive pathway that playfully hampered visitors’ entrance to the inner node, disorienting and causing the visitor to slow their pace in preparation for another mind state. Kaitlyn and I worked on the gel panels, which would cast colored light onto the array of concrete faces, drawing attention to this overlooked gem of City College’s cultural landscape. The light served as an enticing lure to the curious passerby. Our group dynamic was strong. We are all designers, committed to our own visions, but also to helping each other realize these visions.

Eric reflecting on the shape of the path.

We came together to slog through more the difficult and painstaking elements of the construction process. Measuring, marking and cutting the rope and the panels were two such endeavor that was made easier working as team. Kaitlyn and Manon have cars and were invaluable to the logistics of getting materials to the site.

Kaitlyn lashes the supporting rope to the oculus rope ensuring the that anchor points remain fixed.

Manon, hiding behind the vertical strips.

Inspired by Professor Lum’s design suggestion, we drilled perpendicular dado cuts into 1 inch dowels to fashion nodes for retaining the rope intersections as well as attaching the projecting element to the grid.

I am proud of all that we were able to achieve, in such a compressed time frame. We learned so much about the design process, materials, coordination, team work and collaboration. Thanks to CCSF architecture department and Professor Jerry Lum for all the support, and guidances. Kaitlyn and Manon, in sync as they tape up the edges of the cardboard strips.

Manon cuts chain to suspend the vertical cardboard strips.


Final Learning Portfolio: Richard Vallejos  

Richard Vallejos - Arch 101 - Final Project Learning Portfolio, Professor Jerry Lum, Tuesdays and Thurdays. Spring, 2012.