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∏-raeus rippling waves working model

Some pictures of a working model, done with MDF, using the milling machine:

1) photomontage using the model

2) the roughed MDF

3) the finished MDF

4) horizontal roughing of the MDF

∏-raeus rippling waves feedback system

The feedback system is production-oriented. In the first phase, a set of water textures of different scales and blur are used to generate different facades. The influences of the scale and blur factors are evaluated according to:

1) The visual effect of the results: it is important that the pattern is able to create an interesting image both seen from the outside (at the building scale) and from the inside (scale of one floor).

When the pattern is too complex, the reading of the façade as an image of rippling water is lost.

When the pattern is too simple, the variations are not easily perceptible from the inside of the building.

2) The range of different twisting angles needed to create the pattern and the possibility of introducing modules of different twists as well as the repercution of this regularization on the former visual effet of the façade.

∏-raeus rippling waves facade

This is the midterm presentation panel:

Rippling Waves facade.

I.Main Concept

a.Iconic re-branding of the tower as a symbol of Piraeus.
i.The tower is a very strong landmark in the skyline of Piraeus, visible from every hill in the city and from the sea. Among many others, the 3 million annual visitors of the Acropolis and the 20 million passengers transiting through the port of Piraeus every year get to see this Iconic building. The port activities have always been a main development factor for the city of Piraeus, this is why the Rippling Waves facade should express this strong connection to the sea by referring to the water imagery.

b.Combinatorial optimization of potentially conflicting contextual concerns

-The structural rhythm of the existing building provides a rigid material module that should not be ignored.  The proposed system subdivides the structural module to obtain a suitable material module for the system’s components.  In this way, the waste of material is minimized.

-Heat gain is a primary concern in the Greek climate, especially for a tall glazed building with southern exposure. The system wraps the glazed envelope with a layer of louvers to deflect solar radiation before it reaches the building’s thermal enclosure thereby preventing the overheating of the building, minimizing conditioning loads, and improving both the economical and ecological performance of the facade.

-The tower offers unique views to landmarks in Athen’s urban fabric:

SW/SE_Church and park
N_ Piraeus market

E_Piraeus Stadium
SW_port entrance, opening to the sea

The louvers are used to frame desirable views thus creating visual connections between significant portions of the building’s interior and the context.

-As mentioned before, the Piraeus tower throughout its dimensions is a visible icon in Athens skyline, and works as a landmark for the port of Piraeus. When observed from various hills in Athens or from the sea, the relation of the tower to the sea is quite clear. However, the   iconic branding of the tower from closer viewpoints has to refer to the larger context.

a.Material description
i.Inner skin = glass and steel frames.
1.Clean and simple weather barrier that resolves both the scale of the existing structure and the dimensionality of the system’s materials in order to minimize waste.
ii.Outer layer = DuPont Corian® louvers
1.Oriented to minimize heat gain
2.Rotated to frame views
3.Twisted to provide iconic reading
b.Flagship demonstration of the properties of DuPont Corian® such as translucency, continuity, smoothness and its capabilities of transformations: thermoforming, milling, etc. reinforces the iconic performance of the building.

a.The Rippling Waves facade is a parametric design derived from following analysis: existing structure & new facade components modularity, climate, solar radiation, view and iconic perception.

Midterm_Rippling Waves facade


Current GHX definition

I finally remembered my password for the SVN!

here is my current grasshopper definition,

The first part is about the unfolded facade of the tower part. It allows to extend it in order to have a fire escape stairway, allow to subdivide the current grid to get to a typical corian panel dimensions, etc. The  point grid indicates a lot about the material constrains: of course there is the Corian Panels size, but also how much we want to bend it: if the distance between the control points of the vertical curve get smaller, the bending radius gets smaller as well..

the second part is what allows to bend the vertical stripes according to an Image. This image should contain the following parameters: structure, sun radiation, view.

one of the next steps is to give the panels a thickness, to find the right amount of control points for the cruves, to find out whether it’s better to treat each façade indepedently, to check if it’s better to have one image for each parameter (sun, view, structure) or one image combiningall of them.. Now also the stripes are made of two mirrored curves, it is clear to me that I don’t want only this, I’m more interested in having stripes made of one strait vertical curve and one bendend one, a bit like the signal box façade of Herzog & de Meuron, just not horizontal

Eyelids tower Engine

Eyelids tower

The proposal is meant to be a demonstration of the possibilities of designing with data and parameters (The eyelids façade reacts to parameters such as sun radiation, view, to the existing structure and to the chosen material: DuPont Corian), with a given material, it’s inherent properties (translucency, continuity, smoothness), production dimension (3600×980x8mm), and capacity of transformation (thermoforming, milling, led insertion).

‘Corian® super-surfaces’ feature wall by amanda levete architects

DUPONT™ CORIAN® Material Study

Details source: DUPONT™ CORIAN® book, page 34.

Hexaraeus Process

source for the reference images:

Why am I interested in cable-membrane tensile structure/skin?

1) Structural: The structure of Piraeus tower has not been protected for the 30 last years. Maybe we can’t afford adding a heavy façade. The “cable-membrane tensile structure/skin” is very light.

2) Economical: Economical situation in Greece is not at the best. Are the materials of a “cable-membrane tensile structure/skin” cheap? To be verified.. But it is possible to create large formal variations with the exact same pieces.

3) Formal: The membrane is capable of taking “complex” shapes with a very simple process

4) Comfort/Ecology: Looking at the interior photographies of the tower, they seemed pretty dark: it seems that the sunlight is not so strong. But still we know that in summer, the sun in athens is very hot, and a glass façade could result in overheating. These translucent membranes don’t block light, but offers a protection to sun rays.

[.3dm] available: 3d Model Piraeus Tower

I did a new 3d model of the tower using the plans/section/elevations.

This model should correspond to the physical model scale 1:100 we will have. It means if you want your façade to fit on the model you should use this 3d model to work on.