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Design Studio Shelly Verhoeven - 614521

Architecture Design Studio AIR

Shelly Verhoeven 2013 Tutors David & Michael

Content 1 Introduction 1.1 Who I am

1.2 Previous work

2 Expression of Interest 2.1 Architecture as a discourse

2.2 Case for Innovation 2.3 Computational architecture 2.4 Parametric modelling



1.1 Who i am I am Shelly Verhoeven, I am 21 years old and I am from The Netherlands. I am an exchange student and I will study at The University of Melbourne for one semester. I am in my third year of studying architecture and this exchange is my minor. I have always wanted to become an architect. And as soon as I heard of the opportunity, I wanted to study abroad. Like many, many other architects, my biggest dream is to design and build my dream house. At least one dream is being fulfilled right now!

I am very interested to see if there is a big difference in the approach to architecture in Holland and in Australia. I have done a couple of projects in Holland in which computer programs where used. I am very fond the use of these programs and I think they can bring architecture up to an higher level. I participated in a trial BIM project, using Revit, in which we examined the pros and cons of BIM. I also visualized a lot of creative projects in Sketch Up. In the last year I learned to work with Maya and make good quality renders. In one course, I designed a soundproof wall using Rhino and Grasshopper. I will talk about this project later on. I am curious to find out whether this design studio is taught any different and if the view on computational architecture is different.

1.2 Previous work

As I mentioned before, in a previous project in Holland, I designed a soundproof wall using Rhino and Grasshopper. Before starting on the actual design, we were first introduced to Rhino and Grasshopper with three tutorials. The three renders on this page show my outcome of the tutorials.

In this course, we had to design a wall for ‘Gistterrein’ in Delft, that had to block the sound and sight of passing trains. I designed a wall with ‘spotlights’. The main goal of this wall was to find the right proportion of openness and closeness. I wanted to create a maximum transmission of sunlight and a minimum transmission of sight and sound. I designed a wavy wall with openings in Grasshopper to examine the right balance. I did this making five variables; the number of waves, the size of the curves, the thickness of the wall, the size of the openings and the number of openings, i.e. the distance between the openings both horizontally and vertically.

The first render is used as a standard model, with which the variables are compared.

In the second render, the thickness of the wall is changed. The wall is thinner, therefore it lets more sunlight through, at the same time the blocking of sound and sight is slightly diminished.

In the second variant, the number of openings is less and the openings are bigger. Again, a lot of sun is coming through and the blocking of sound and sight is way lower.

Here, size of the curves is changed. The curves are smaller. Therefore, there is less shadow and more light. The blocking of sound and sight is only a little less.

In the last render, the number of waves is lower. The effects of this change are quite similar to the previous one. Only the transmission of sunlight is slightly less.


Expression of interest

2.1 Architecture as a discourse What is architecture? I think that everyone has an idea of what architecture is. But as we really start to think about it and try to explain what architecture is, a lot of different answers will come up. Can you say that every building is architecture? Is the design of a dollhouse architecture? And what about an arcade or a bridge? Is a city architecture or does a city just contain architecture? If a building design has not actually been build, does that mean it’s not architecture? According to Richard Williams, “architecture needs to be thought of less as a set of special material products and rather more as range of social and professional practices that sometimes, but by no means always, lead to buildings. But, above all, architecture needs to be analyzed as a discourse. It then becomes possible to think about architecture as something in which all can participate.�

2.2 Case for innovation When we think of skyscrapers, we think of massive static buildings. Building that have nothing to do with nature. And everybody knows: they don’t move. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Architect David Fisher designed the first building in the world that is in motion. He created ‘The Dynamic Tower’ a rotating skyscraper that is to be self-powered and 90% prefabricated. The tower’s form is ever changing, as each floor independently rotates around the core in response to the wind and the sun. So now, the skyscraper is ectually part of the environment and has a lot to do with nature. As Fisher states: “Today’s life is dynamic, so the space we are living in should be dynamic as well, adjustable to our needs that change continuously, to our concept of design and to our mood, buildings will follow the rhythms of nature, they will change direction and shape from spring to summer, from sunrise to sunset, and adjust themselves to the weather, buildings will be alive. From now on, buildings will have four dimensions, the fourth dimension is ‘Time’ to become part of architecture.”

Rotating Skyscraper, Moskow. By David Fisher

Dynamic Tower, Dubai. By David Fisher

Aside from the concrete core, the entire building exist of prefabricated units. These units are completely finished and include flooring, water piping and air-conditioning when they arrive to the construction site. This means that the construction time will be very fast and way less workmen will be needed. If this is sustainable in every aspect is questionable. Looking at the social aspect of sustainability for example, less workmen means that more people will be unemployed. Looking at the images, it is also clear that the ability to rotate is not used to gain a perfect position towards the sun, and use the sun or shadow to create a nice environment inside of the building and reduce the use of heating/air-conditioning. As the floors are all facing in different directions in the image on the right. However, the horizontal wind turbines between the floors would be capable of generating both the power required to keep the building in constant motion and to power the functions inside the building, which off course is very sustainable. The constant change of your view when looking out of the window or standing on the balcony is is a very nice and innovating aspect of Fisher’s creation. However, it might not always be as fortunate. For example, if Ms Baily wants to spend her free Wednesday on her balcony sunbaking, she might just find herself sitting in the shadow all day, depending on the position of her floor. Overall, David Fisher’s Dynamic Tower is a very innovative and futuristic creation that changes the concept the skyscraper and will (constantly) change the look of cities.

2.3 computational architecture In computational architecture, designers construct models and create design tools. But more importantly, computers can be used for exploring alternatives, i.e. design space exploration. ‘Computational designers generate and explore architectual spaces and concepts through the writing and modifying of algorithms that relate to element placement, element configuration and the relationships between elements.’ (De Kestelier & Peters, 2013)

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