Page 1

ABPL30048 Architectural Design Studio Air 2013 SM1

Yii Wei HOU 526685 Tutorial Group 12-13 Tutor: Tom & Finn

Introduction Previous Work

3 4

Part 1 Case For Innovation


1.1 Architecture As a Discourse

7-11 8 9-10

1.2 Computational Architecture

12-16 13-14 15

1.3 Parametric Modeling

17-20 18 19-20

Son-O-House Beijing National Stadium

Patricia And Philip Frost Museum Of Science Port Authority Bus Terminal Zentrum Paul Khee Swissbau Pavilion Reflection

Part 2 Design Approach Matrix Exploration

21 23-49 24

Responsive Surface Structure I Responsive Surface Structure II

25-26 27-28

Matrix Exploration


Polish Pavilion For Shanghai Expo 2010 Impossible Curve Sculpture The Morning Line

31-32 33-34 35-36

Reverse Engineering Process


Model Prototype

42-46 43 44 45-46

First Prototype Modified Prototype Details Reflection

47 1

Table Of Content Part 3 Project Proposal


Design Concept


AA Fractal Pavilion


Patterning Block Form Model Prototype

55-56 57 58

Form Finding Process


Tectonic Elements


Paper Model Prototype


Site Analysis


Digital Model Final Model

79-82 83-86

Driver’s Experience Night View

87-88 89-90

Learning Outcome




My name is Yii Wei Hou. I am a third year environments student majoring in architecture. I am from Malaysia and I came to Melbourne 2 years ago when I first started my course here in University of Melbourne. I took Virtual Environments in Year 1 which exposed me to digital design technique that will be useful for Air Studio.



Virtual Environments 2011 SM1 Design with digital media is different in many ways and it is indeed something new and foreign which can take time for people to recognise, accept and practise broadly. Digital design is about conceptualising opportunities, testing them and bringing them to reality. Studying the product of design and the way it is conceived, generated and materialised in the digital media will be one step closer to fully understand the digital design process. Past concept models like representation, precedent-based design and typologies are being replaced by new advanced concepts related to models of generation, animation, performance-based design. Digital design is an important aspect for the fundamental of architectural education due to the fact that technologies are constantly changing as we change the way we think and communicate, creating new demands of requisite knowledge and skills. This leads to reconsideration of the theoretical basis, its design methods and related knowledge in relation to the ever-changing digital technologies.


Part 1

Case For Innovation

1.1 ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE Architecture is often seen as buildings but it is more than that, architecture is a system of communications; a system of communications that consist of knowledge, professional practice and artefacts which are interlinked. 1 This system of communications is introduced by the concept of autopoiesiswhichmeans self-production. 2 Thus, architecture as a system of communications is a progressive process that continues to innovate over time, constantly searching for better solutions for the problems encountered.

Architectural communications are composed of a wide range of items, including non-built and built, for example published mass communications (magazines, books, blogs and websites), drawings, photographs, sketches, renderings, CAD drawings and buildings; buildings are merely one of many types of architectural communications. Built architectural works are exposed to the outer network of autopoiesis of architecture and they are also within the architectural discourse as points of critical reference. 1 Every architectural communication is seen as a contribution to the architectural discourse, regardless of the influence it has on the discourse, it changes the discourse. And, a change of discourse is considered an achievement in any architectural work. Architecture discourse is ever-changing as new challenges/problems present themselves, requiring attention for new ideas and turns of argument.

Reference 1 Schumacher, The Autopoiesis of Architecture, A New Framework for Architecture, 2011, p. 1-28. 2 Humberto R Maturana&Francisco, Varela, Autopoiesis and Cognition, The Realization o f the Livings D Reidel Publishing Company (Dordrecht, Holland), 1980



Location: Son En Breugel, The Netherlands Building type:Public pavilion Architect: NOX

Son-O-house is more than just a piece of architecture; it embodies both architectural environment and interactive sound installation which makes it an interactive sounding architecture. This works through the constant generation of new sound patterns activated by sensors picking up actual movements of the visitors. The purpose is for the sound to influence and interfere with the perception and the movements of the vsitors, thereby, creating a permanent interaction between the architecture, the sound and the visitors. The structure is derived from a choreographed set of movements of hands, limbs and bodies which are inscribed on paper bands as cuts, and the interaction between these bands results in natural curves. The basis of curling is used in the remodelling of the analog computing model to produce the extremely complex model of interlacing vaults which lean on each other or collide with one another to create dynamic shapes.

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Beijing National Stadium

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m Location: Beijing, China Building type: Stadium Design team:Herzog & de Meuron, CAG Design Institute Beijing, ARUP, Beijing Urban Construction Group, Bouygues France

Beijing National Stadium, commonly known as “Bird’s Nest” has a rather traditional concept of Chinese ceramics, which later evolved to bird’s nest appearance in its façade design. The combination of the concept and innovative materials used sets new definition of modern architecture. Steel structural members are concealed within a network of steel lattice exoskeleton enclosing a concrete core. The steel structure may appear to be random but every element is carefully integrated. According to Herzog & de Mueron, the combination of the elements creates a “spatial effect... (that) is novel and radical and yet simple and of almost archaic immediacy. Its appearance is pure structure. Façade and structure are identical.” Design of the stadium takes into account of the seismic activity, resulting in the concrete core to be constructed in eight separate zones. Each zone acts like its own building with its own stability system, yet at the same time, all zones act as a body in resisting seismic loads. Sustainable features are integrated into the design of the stadium through environment-friendly features like use of solar power, harvesting rainwater and natural ventilation and lighting to create a sustainable powerhouse.



The advances in computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) techonologies change the revolution of building design and construction practices. Extremely complex forms which seemed impossible to design , produce and assemble in the past have been made possible through these technologies. Digital technology has become a paramount tool that directly integrates conception and production. Computational design systems have assisted designers in many ways through taking care of smaller and larger elements of the design process. They are composed of drafting and modelling systems (speed up design process through drawing lines and other geometrical entities), analytical systems (provide rational appraisal of designers' solutions) and knowledge-based design systems (propose design solutions). 1 Although each system is useful to designers, the systems have difficulties to communicate with one another due to their vastly different objectives, however, their asistance in communation among designers is inevitable via design information storage and query capabilities and systems. 1 Through the use of digital technologies, design information can be extracted, exchanged and utilized readily.

Aesthetics and conventions of style which once served as basis of architecture are now insignificant, as designers are more intrigued by the transfomations of forms that respond to functional influences and complex contextual. The advance in computational design like parametric design gives rise to new possibilities that enables architects to explore infinite variable potentialities, thus rejection any sort of fixed solutions as architects are designing a set of principles encoded as a sequence of paramatric equations in which design can be generated and varied as needed instead of the conventional way of designing specific shape of the building. 2 Contemporary computational approaches to design embrace non-linearity, indeterminacy and emergence that often have outcome of creative transformation and invention which is a great constrast to the tradtional conventional design method which adopts stable design conceptualization and monotonic reasoning. 2 Often, conventional design method is seen as problem solving and contemporary computational design method as puzzle making. Architects are actually more involved in the making of the buildings when dealing with complex forms to ensure that they are in control throughout the buidling process. Therefore, architects play a key role in the construction of buildings via communicating and controlling the information shared betweeen different parties involved.

Reference 1. Kalay - Architectures New Media (2004), p 1-25. 2. Kolarevic - Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing (2003), p 3-62.


Patricia And Philip Fr

Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science is a 250,000 square-foot complex that houses a planetarium and the Living Core (a standalone aquarium and wildlife centre). Through the use of a combination of computation programs such as Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and Revit, the form of the Living Core was developed in which the structure necessary to house the living support systems and flexibility required of the museum programming were taken into account along the process. The geometry of the end product is composed of curved, vertical and inclined walls in seamless transition. The surface is covered in tile cladding and it is supported by a bent steel grid that spans between structural floor components. The size of tiling remains constant to express the monolithic nature of the Living Core, while at the same time varying in concavity and convexity to create areas of dappled reflection which changes throughout the day. Due to nature of Miami climate, heat differential expansion joints to connect the tile cladding are given extra thought. This results in the development of a patterning process which is able to sustain the form's double curvature and test for maximum areas of deviation of a standardised pattern through a meshing sequence, simplifying the control joint pattern to a series of duplicate parallelograms which can be cut from the rolls of tile and applied with ease.

Initial pattern-generatio

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rost Museum Of Science

Location: Miami, USA Building type: Museum Architect: Grimshaw Entrance

on progress


Living Core envelope form

Detail view of tiling pattern and control joint


Port Authority Bus Terminal

" while physical form can be defined in terms of static coordinates, the virtual force of the environment in which it is designed contributes to its shape". - Greg Lynn

Lynn integrated the use of particle emission in the protective roof and the lighting scheme for the Port Authority Bus Terminal in order to visualize the gradient fields of "attraction" present on the site, created by the surrounding forces like movement of buses and pedestrians. This phenomenon is the result of dynamic simulation where the forces that do not originate within the system itself have an impact on the motion of objects within the system. In other words, surrounding forces are fundamental to the form making in architecture.

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1.3 Parametric modeling

Parametric modeling creates endless opportunities for designers to explore a wide variety of forms that will result in unique characteristic of each design created. This is made possible as parametric systems enable a new set of controls to overlay the basis controls, a great contrast to conventional systems that provides mathematically motivated controls. 1 Architects are not professional mathematicians; therefore, they do not fully understand the underlying mathematics to effectively create a new model. Hence, it is common to find designers to reuse existing work because readily available code reduces the job of making a model significantly. Also, editing and changing code is much easier compared to creating a whole new code from scratch. It is more efficient to start with a working model and progress in steps to ensure that the model always works along the process than creating a new model. Parametricism developed as a style when the global economy was good, and many architects thought the parametric designs were possible to be built due to unlimited budgets. However, in reality, many parametric designs remain unbuilt due to the high cost of construction. 2 Parametric buildings often lack consideration in integrating into the surrounding environments, in which users may find them out of context in the real world. Perhaps buildings with parametric design are more suited in the virtual worlds.

Reference 1. Woodbury, Elements of Parametric Design (2010), p. 7-48. 2. Adam Nathaniel Mayer, Style and the Pretense of ‘Parametric’ Architecture.


Zentrum Paul Khee

Location: Bern, Switzerland Building type: Museum Architect: Renzo Piano

Zentrum Paul Klee’s design consists of a series of waves situated on concentric circles. This design idea makes the geometry of the roof extremely complex which requires the unique rendering of each individual metre of 4.2 km steel girders. Also, each series of the steel arches is inclined at a different angle. To tackle such complex project, Piano tested for several alternative solutions within the scope of his idea in order to achieve the best optimal outcome. During the design process, a parametric model of the steel structure was developed. And, this was used to map the geometry of the curved I-beams into two-dimensional plans for the steel contractor. 3 The steel contractor was able to produce individual sections from steel plates through the use of highprecision computerized instrumentation and each section was welded together by labour. 4 The sections were welded together by hand as the curvature of the steel girders made machine welding impossible. Image source Reference 3. 4.



floor level an its size and an flexible as the ing or deleting is exported to remaining dig

In 2005, The CAAD Swissbau Pavilion was constructed at Swissbau fair in Basel to investigate the potential of the continuous flow of digital chain from Computer Aided Design (CAD) to Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). The project followed functional rules in which optimized geometry for a given environment was created through a self-organizing process.5 The geometry of the pavilion resembles very much of a traditional coffered dome but it is vastly different in terms of the placement of the openings; the size and angles of the quadrilateral wooden frames (the components that form the structure of the pavilion) are adapted to produce asymmetric placement of windows.

A script reads and 3D-mode geometries of A second scr numbered on for drilling hole G-code (the is the final ou a medium in and where to CAM process.

An interactive software was programmed in Java to creative this adaptive geometry that stimulates a quadrilateral mesh growth on a sphere. The edges have to be aligned with the positions of the predefined openings and the

Image source Reference 5. F. Scheurer, A Simulation Toolbox For Self-Organisation In Architectural Design, in: S. Sariyildiz, B. Tuncer (Eds.), Innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Computing (AEC), Vol. 2, Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Rotterdam, NL, 2005, pp. 533-543. 6.

Pavilion Location: Basel, Switzerland Building type: Pavilion Architect: ETH

nd also, the mesh should attempt to optimize ngles as mentioned.6 The end product remains structure can be easily altered by simply insertg meshes. The geometry of nodes and edges o an XML file and this is used as a base for the gital chain.

s the XML file into CAD-software Vectorworks el of the pavilion is generated with the exact f 320 wooden frames (1280 parts). 6 ript arranges the parts that are automatically n the raw board for milling. Detailed information es and milling the unique part is included when production code for the CNC-machine that utcome of the digital chain in which it acts as instructing the machine which tool to choose o move it) is exported for the board, easing the .6


Reflection There is a typical perception on designing in a conventional way, namely the through traditional media which relies largely on sketching, 2D representations and physical models for design exploration. However, there are limitless potentials through designing in degital media as the designers gain benefits from design exploration like better understanding of kinetic design and design involving complex geometry which seems impossible to do through conventional way. The use of digital tools in conceptual design involves reconceptualising the design process itself in a way in which design with digital tools is perceived as involving an inherently different process. Therefore, digital technology is more than a design tool and should be conceived as a design medium. The generative and creative potential of digital media, together with manufacturing advances are opening up new dimensions in the architectural field. The computational advances like computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technologies have great influence on building design and construction practices. They aid in the construction of more complex forms, opening up new opportunities, unlike in the past where they were too expensive and difficult to design using conventional construction technologies. Through digital producing, communicating and controlling the information exchanged between numerous parties during the construction process, architects have an opportunity to regain more control and power amongst the parties involved. Through this studio, students are able to sharpen digital design skills and we are more exposed to the current digitally-designed projects in the architectural field. This serves as advantage when we are out in the professional world.


Part 2

design approach

Matrix Exploration

Our group is interested in biomimicry and we started off with exploring with voronoid based on Spanish Pavilion case study by Foreign Office Architects.


Responsive Surface Structure I

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Project: Responsive Surface Structure I, ICD Research Project Designer: Steffen Reichert Year: 2006

This project explores the changes of wood when exposed to different level of humidity in the environment. The main goal of this project is to produce a surface structure which is able to adapt the porosity of its skin and related cross-ventilation in response to the surrounding humidity without any sort of mechanical control device. Once exposed to changes in relative humidity the opening and closure of each local component results in different degrees of porosity over time and across the surface, which is both structure and responsive skin. This high level of integration of form, structure and material performance enables a direct response to environmental influences with no need for additional electronic or mechanical control.


Responsive Surface Structure II

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Project: Responsive Surface Structure II, ICD Research Project Designer: Steffen Reichert Year: 2008

The second phase of the research project focused on the development of a more integral system that combines both the reactive skin and load bearing structure within one material system. Material used is wood laminate and through variations in local thickness and fibre direction, a system of opening and closure of each component in relation of surounding moisture content, adjusting its skin porosity over time. Similar to the first phase of the reserach, no additional electronic or mechanical control is required for the system. Our group abandoned this biomimicry concept because it is too complex to work out an algorithmic definition in the Grasshopper that will calculate/determine the curving of the wood veneer. So, we decided to go with another direction which is patterning.


Matrix Exploration

Our group did this matrix exploration based on the biomimicry concept behind the Responsive Surface Structure. We explored different type of form of the individual component, however, this biomimicry concept was abandoned because it is too complex to work out an algorithmic definition in the Grasshopper that will calculate/determine the curving of the wood veneer. So, we decided to go with another direction which is patterning.


Polish Pavilion for

Location: Shanghai, China Building type: Pavilion Architect: WWAA Architects

The pavilion features a perforated façade, inspired by traditional Polish folk-art paper cutouts. The cut-out patterns has not only aesthetics value but also illustrates Poland’s history, culture, economy and every-day life. The cut-outs change from folk forms into organic ones, then into a citymap and industrial patterns (a metaphor of migration of people to cities from countryside. This purpose is also one of the interests of our group through patterning in terms of showing the significant features of Wyndham city such as its history and culture to the gateway users.

The pavilion also provides an exceptional experience when visitors enter the interior space by shaping/manipulating the outer skin patterning in such a way that the sun rays shining through would chisel , by light and shade, the space under the vault. This concept can be applied to the gateway project in which through patterning, the contrast between light and shade will create a visual impact on the gateway users.

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r Shanghai expo 2010


Impossible Curve Sculpture

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Designer: Adam Brucker Year: 2012

This art piece consists of parabolic curves created from straight lines. The process to create these curves is through physical algorithm. The string is derived from one point to another in which each point is either the origin or the end of the strings. This theory gives rise to the inspiration for our patterning for the gateway project which will be explained later.


The Morning Line

Location: Various (Seville, Istanbul, Vienna) Building type: Pavilion Designer: Matthew Ritchie, Aranda\Lasch

The Morning Line is both ruin and monument, the blackened frame of a cathedral-like structure; a drawing in and of space; an ‘anti-pavilion’. Unlike traditional architectural pavilions, The Morning Line takes the form of an open cellular structure rather than an enclosure.The Morning Line looks into fractal patterning in which each component grows and multiplys to build up the structure. We are intrigued in the growth of the component to generate an interesting form, thus, we will further explore this aspect for our future direction.

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We started off with a basic shape of hexagon and explored different pattern that can be generated through hexagon as a basis. The scale of the hexagons were altered and they were rotated to create some interesting forms. Also, the hexagons were aligned at the centre of the previous hexagons to generate recursive patterning.


Reverse Engineering Process

These are the final outcomes in which each pattern has its distinctive form.


This is the matrix exploration of the form that the pattern sits on, derived from The Morning Line case study. Different parameters were explored included extrusion point, number of sides of the polygon, mirroring, as well as the radius of the trim edges. This exploration has led to forms that are far too complex to integrate in the pattern, so we moved on with experimentation of simpler geometry.


Reverse Engineering Process

This is the exploration of the geometry, different iterations were experimented, including the type of polygon and the radius of trimmed edges.


Surface panel

The pattern shown previously is placed on the surface of the geometry in which a great contrast between nature (organic patterning) and man-made (geometry) can be expressed through the design. The organic patterning integrated in the design aims to reflect Wyndham City’s goal in creating a sustainable environment through continuous work in conservation and preservation of nature. On the other hand, the geometry reflects the advanced technologies in supporting Wyndham to achieve its goal to become a greener city. The patterning gives rise to the play between light and shade, creating a strong visual impact, which in turn attracts more visitors to Wyndham, as well as providing a different atmospheric experience to the users of the gateway.


Model Prototype

First Prototype

This is the first prototype made and there are few flaws in it. The notching didn’t join perfectly, leaving gaps between the joints. So, this model had to be put together with the aid of superglue. Also, the patterning thickness was way too thin, making it more prone to breakage; a few snapped when being assembed together. Thus, we modified the notching, taking into account the thickness of the MDF board which was neglected the previous time, as well as, increasing the number of joints for a more stable connection. And, the patterning thickness was made thicker to give a stronger structure.


Modified Prototype





Based on the feedback, we will continue to work on our design, particularly in terms of integrating the patterning to the whole structure, rather than to individual component (the prototype). This allows the patterning to be more visible to the users from a distance in a large-scaled structure. But first, we will have to figure out the form of the whole structure because at the moment, we have only worked out the individual components. We have to start thinking about the relationship between these individual components and how they would come together in a harmonious way. As mentioned, we are intrigued in the growing form generated through patterning in The Morning Line case study and this is where we will draw inspiration from in generating an interesting form that reflects Wyndham as a rapidly growing municipal and creates strong visual impact which subsequently attracts more visitors to Wyndham.


Part 3

Project Proposal

“We will create a healthy, safe, vibrant, proud and harmonious community, while respecting our environment.� -Mission for The Wyndham City Plan 2010-2014


Design Concept



Visual Impact

Wyndham is a municipal that has continuous work on conserving and preserving the nature including the wetlands,grasslands and forest areas. This important goal of Wyndham is recognised and incorporated into our design through the expression in patterning which is the main interest of our group. We believe that the generation of patterning that is somewhat organic and raw is ideal to the gateway project, sending signals to the public that Wyndham’s focus on the sustainability of its environments is significant despite being a rapidly growing municipal. Wyndham is able to gain its own identity instead of becoming a cluster of continuous suburbs with no special character or possibility for reflection on its place history through the gateway project in which its identity is vastly differentiated from the rest of the municipals. We also hope to achieve visual impact through patterning, as mentioned in the precedent of Polish Pavilion for Shanghai Expo 2010 where patterning creates a strong visual impact through the play between light and shade. The visual impact is aimed to attract new visitors to Wyndham city, as well as to encourage the return of existing users to experience what Wyndham has to offer.


AA Fractal Pavilion

Location: London, UK Building type: Pavilion Year: 2005-6 Architect: Dana Behrman, Amandine Kastler, Tessa Katz, Eli Lui, Jess Randzio, Evonne Tam, Hiroaki Toyoshima, Naiara Vegara, Simon Whittle, William Yam

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This pavilion was designed and built by a group of Intermediate Unit 2 students of AA (Architectural Association) with the goal of exploring advance techniques and uses for timber construction. Based on the proportions of the golden mean, a fractal pattern of repeating flanges and beams spirals outward from the top of the structure into the smallest leaves. Generation 0 is the top beam and flanges parallel to the ground just below the canopy. Some manipulation of the basic script allows the third generation flange to extend downward into the ground, where they act as the structural legs of the pavilion. Generations 0-3 are structural elements and Generations 4-9 are decorative elements. The idea of fractal patterning inspires us to look into the concept of recursive subdivision. Starting with just one block of the model prototype and through a recursive script, we hope to achieve a form that follows the rule of recursive subdivision.




The pattern starts off with a polygon. The polygon is divided and the vertices are used as reference point for the next one, this process is repeated to obtain a continuous curve of polygons. The polygon is scaled and rotated based on the previous polygon in a recrusive manner.


Block Form

These are the exploration for the form of the individual block to apply the patterning on. The first exploration led to forms that are way too complex to apply on patterning. Hence, this inspires us to look into more basic geometry in the second exploration. We are intrigued with the idea of the contrast between the soidity of basic geometry and organic delicate patterning.


Model Prototype


Form Finding Process



Form Finding Process

These are the various forms generated through the recursive subdivision script, with three genrations for each iteration. We started with a basic tetrahedron, followed by determining the start and end of the recurisive curve, where each tetrahedron is scaled and rotated in a recursive manner along the curve. The form generated is copied and repeated using the previous generation, creating recursive subdivision. Although these forms may seem alien, they look pretty familiar because they mimic the natural forms in our surroundings, for example, antenna, coral, tree branching and DNA form. This script allows us to generate infinite amount of outcomes that are vastly different from one another , and it is able to adapt to the client’s preference and liking.

The script within each cluster in the script above.


Form Finding Process The final form chosen for the gateway project is the second generation form shown here. This form is an ideal form as it looks like a flowing, 3D spiral form that would complement the patterning when the patterning is applied onto it. The reason we didn’t pick the third generation form is due to the extreme complex and dense form generated; this would overpower the patterning applied onto it, in which the users are unable to view


A single block is composed of the components shown which includes four polygon faces and four triangles that close up the edges. Dovetail joint is chosen to assemble the parts together as it has a strong bond and it is an efficient way in terms of material usage. The series of pins and tails are cut accordingly (the red edge fits into the green edge) to ensure all parts fit together perfectly.


Tectonic Elements

We did another experiment with the dovetail joint in which the concept of recurisive subdivision is incorporated. The size of the pins and tails varies from one end to another, it gradually decreases towards the middle part and returns back to its orginal size on the other end. We discovered that the recursive joint has a stronger bond compared to the normal dovetail joint, making the overall structure more stable and strong, aside from the aesthetics effect it adds to the structure. The next 2 pages lay out a range of photos on the detail of the recursive joint.


Tectonic Elements


Tectonic Elements

These are the bracket joints that would hold the individual blocks together. The angle between the blocks varies, hence bracket joints with different angles are used. Two bracket joints are shown here: top one is for narrow angle while the bottom one is for wider angle. The drawing on the left shows how the bracket joint would be attached to join 2 blocks together.



Paper Model Prototype

We tested some prototypes before fabricating the final model. The patterning was not applied onto all the blocks due to time and budget as the fabrication of the patterning will take a lengthy time and it is too costly.


Landscape can be thought of as an aesthetic term – a view through a window, or through a camera lens, or a landscape painting. Humans stand objectively apart from landscape, as the subject gazing at the object. Although it is an aesthetic term the bond between the ‘viewer’ and the landscape is interconnected. -Wyndham City Lanscape Context Guidelines March 2013


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Site Analysis

We did some research on the population density of Wyndham and Melbourne. The density map shown on thel left identifies the population density starting to increase from Wyndham city to Melbourne city. A concept of the way the gateway is positioned on site is developed through this research. The structure is placed on site in a way that the less dense portion (larger blocks) is situated facing Wyndham and more compact portion (smaller blocks) is facing the direction towards Melbourne city. It is positioned in this way because we want the gateway to symbolise the journey where the drivers experience traveling from more rural area to urban area. In other words, the gateway represents a threshold between rural Victoria and urban Melbourne. Also, the gateway is situated on the highest point of the curve along the freeway. This enables the drivers to view the gateway from multiple angles when approaching it, further maximising the visual impact of the gateway.


Site Analysis

A photomontage of the final model on the site plan, showing the position and orientation of the whole structure on site.


Digital Model


Digital Model



Final Model


There is a problem present in the final model in which it is unable to stand on its own. We have considered the fact that the structure might be too heavy, so the unnecessary parts are taken out, leaving just the frames to provide structural integrity. However, that didn’t solve the problem.


Final Model

Further exploration on the footing system is carried out in order to support the whole structure of the gateway. Two concrete paddings are placed at the points where the structure meets the ground to support the load. Concrete piles with reinforced steel connect the concrete paddings to the concrete footing.


Driver’s Experience

Our gateway project looks entirely different when viewed from a distance and close up. From far, the effect of recurisve patterning in the geometry is more visible to the drivers. However, as the users get closer to the gateway, the effect of recursive patterning is further emphasized in the patterning applied on the the individual tetrahedrons (Refer to the series of photos on the left and the video attached in the dvd). There is a sense of duality and layering in the project which is expressed through the overall form of the structure and the patterning.


Night View

The play between light and shade is visible during nighttime as well, aside from during daytime. With the installation of the LED lights, the visual impact is made possible, bringing a whole new level of experience to the drivers at night. Also, the lighting creates a slightly different atmosphere to the users in comparison to the effect of sunlight, which is able to attract more users to the Wyndham through the gateway.


Based on the feedback from the crits in the final presentation, there is a problem with our focus in which there is too much attention given to the experimentation and too little given to the direction/path of the project. We were too intrigued by the infinite possibilities, or rather the unknown outcome that the script is able to generate, that we lost the design direction. The unknown factor is not necessarily considered a disadvantage, however design with a clear direction would have a greater impact that demonstrates characteristics like individualism and uniqueness, the qualities that Wyndham is seeking. Hence, we should gain more control throughout the design process which will be reflected in the final outcome through control in the script used. In our design, some blocks are intercepting which poses a problem. Our next step would be to further develop the script that we have created to generate a more controlled form. Also, we should include the site parameters into the definition if more time were given, instead of arbitary form finding exploration so that the design would be more related and specific to Wyndham


Learning Outcome

Computational systems are becoming more significant in the contemporary design practice today compared to the past. Parametric design is a computational method, acting as a generative design tool in architecture, as well as analytical method. Parametric design has the potential to expand the design exploration space through the use of variables of the algorithm as parametric systems are essentually based on algorithmic principles. An algorithm is defined as a finite set of intrustions with an aim of fulfilling a purpose in a finite number of steps. That means that an algorithm takes one or a set of values as inout and produce an output through a series of computational steps. Algorithmic design has the ability to discover new areas of unpredictable potential through exploration of generative processes. Algorithmics is able to generate and manipulate a range of design entities including design variables, mathematical expressions and operations, logical operations, geometric form and many others. This enables the designers to gain greater control over their design as an algorithm deals with complexities of design much beyond form with precision. The generative and creative potential of digital media, together with manufacturing advances are opening up new dimensions in the architectural field. The computational advances like computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technologies have great influence on building design and construction practices. They aid in the construction of more complex forms, opening up new opportunities, unlike in the past where they were too expensive and difficult to design using conventional construction technologies. Through digital producing, communicating and controlling the information exchanged between numerous parties during the construction process, architects have an opportunity to regain more control and power amongst the parties involved. Some are attracted to the buildings produced by the digital technology; the others think they provoke established formal conceptions of architecture. Buildings that are complexly shaped or patterned are affecting in novel ways our perceptions of surface, form and space. In many recently completed projects, patterning is primarily decorative that serves little or no function; technically, it is largely superficial, which leads to questioning of the social, economic, political and cultural significance of the ornamentation of the buildings. The difficult part would be making some basic distinctions about different kinds of ornament in architecture in which the challenge is to avoid creating a singular, outstanding form (the effect) but a subtle, contextually responsive and responsible experience (an affect); this is essentially what we would like to achieve in our gateway project.


Finaljournal 526685 yii wei hou  
Finaljournal 526685 yii wei hou