X1 – Agbar Tower, oriented louvers

Agbar Tower, Barcelona by Jean Nouvel proposes a double facade, a structural envelope on the inside and a glas-panels system on the outside. Those last are oriented and materialized regarding the sunlight incidence, while the envelope is covered by color squares.

You can download the Rhino-file (base curves) over here.

The first sketch explores the possiblities of partition of one panel (about 3 unit squares height). Once divided, each subpanel can be rotated to follow a given orientation.

Rhino screenshot

Grasshopper screenshot
Grasshopper file

The second sketch studies the envelope partition to get each panel. It proposes a way to set the color of the panel regarding height (red) and sunlight direction (blue).

Rhino screenshot

Grasshopper screenshot
Grasshopper file


  1. Error: Unable to create directory /var/www/html/piraeus/wp-content/uploads/2019/05. Is its parent directory writable by the server? Nathaniel says:

    I made some small changes to your GHX file links. If you copy the link directly from the webSVN you get something you don’t really want. To link the file itself you should find the local file on your computer and copy the URL from within its Properties -> Subversion tab. There may be two versions, you want the one that substitutes HTML code for unsafe characters, e.g. ‘%20′ for spaces.
    Since your definitions rely on some specific geometry in Rhino, you may want to either include a link to a Rhino file (host on my.epfl if it’s too big for the SVN) or give specific instructions of how to set the geometry, for example “set any closed curve ~10 units in width”. This is sometimes more tricky because scale often does matter.

  2. Error: Unable to create directory /var/www/html/piraeus/wp-content/uploads/2019/05. Is its parent directory writable by the server? Nathaniel says:

    It looks pretty good. For the first sketch you are setting all louvers within a panel to the same rotation angle; is that the way you want it to work? For the second sketch it took a while to figure out how to set the curves. Right now your geometry must be centered on the origin to behave in a predictable way. You should be able to solve this problem by extracting the centroid of your input curve(s) and using that as a reference within the algorithm.
    It seems entirely possible to now put the two sketches together. Similar to the means by which you are setting the color, you could set the rotation angle for all the louvers on each panel. Instead of having two channels (red, blue) you may need to set an equation that weights your two feedback criteria and returns a single value within a reasonable range of rotation. You may also have some small issues with relative position versus absolute position similar to what we saw with the table example I showed at the beginning of the second workshop.
    I added a small bit in your facade element sketch that solves the warning you were having and committed it to the SVN.

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