‘precedent exercises’ Posts:

x4 joints

work in progress for mid term

This are the 2 difinitions i was working on the charette week, and the base on which i worked for the mid term.

x5 Faceted tower

The original tower is wrapped in an envelope that is adaptable and flexible. It provides an in-between space used for the creation of public spaces, fire stairs, terraces and double-skin climate system. The skin of the tower does not act like a barrier between the public space and the private space, but lets room for the establishment of more public areas inside the tower. Therefore, a continuous cavity goes through the whole building.

x5: perforated facade vs. panels

Work in progress poster dating from the 1/4/2010:

pdf version

Glass panel wrapping

Origami tower – structure

The skin of the tower derives from the idea of a folded plane. The facets of the skin vary in size and orientation.

The grid applied to each facet depends on the spatial orientation of the longest edges. Therefore, when the angle between the two edges is small, the visual connections to the outside is limited, whereas bigger openings are get by a large angle.

The structure can be seen as an independant element in 3 dimensions, composed of the triangulation of the edges : each of the sides converge to one point which is linked to the slabs. The system is made rigid by both the addition of vertical elements by using the support of the existing pillars and by the steel grid that supports the glass.

At the end, the structure acts as a whole  by creating more complexe stresses where each 3d unit is supporting itself as well as the whole system.

Some external elements would then influence the skin :

- The Skin would react to the sun by the application of a sun factor depending on both the orientation of the tower and the angle of incidence which derives from the inclination of the facets. Where sun protections are needed, an expanded aluminium mesh will be added according to the sun factor that would be evaluated.

- The views would be generated by a random factor in order to get a multiple orientation. Some bigger openings would be created, as well as perforated ones to provide some space for terraces.

As a result, the skin pattern would react on both the facets and the site.

Piraeus “CLH”(X4 and X5)

Here is a summary and a development of my general ideas

General concept, on development.

These fore diagrams show the main idea of opening on two axis. The first one is a condition where all the windows are closed. On the second one, the frame and the window rotate on the X axis. On the third one, only the window rotate on the Z axis and on the last one, both axis are used to create a “diagonal” opening.

Physical model showing those three condition: closed; one axis open; two axis open

Section on two floors showing different condition of openings.

This research is a direct response to the reading of the site and of the Piraeus tower. See the post Esquisse. It is the idea that reflexion is a concept that can: integrate’s the tower frome a close point of view, desintegrates the tower from a midd point of view and generate a symbole from far away: the CLH tower.

Study of the places where the Piraeus tower is visible on three scales

This study is a continuation of a previous post. Click here to understand better the concept of crystallized glass.

The reason why I took some distances from the work of Barkow on the Trutec building is that the close point of view is much more important in the case of this building than it is on the Piraeus port. It seems that fragmented glass is a really good solution on a small hight building. The effect of reflexion is really power full on a small distance but as the Piraeus tower is 10 to 12 floors higher than the rest of the surrounding buildings and because the view on a small scale is not so important, the solution of a one window “rotatable” seems to fit on the concept. The effect of crystallization is the same from a midd point of view.

Juncture of a Media Facade

Media Facade on Piraeus Tower

I analysed the structural elements of a typical media facade to find a potential parameter in the system, to adapt to environmental factors like view and orientation. Instead of enwraping the tower with information and cutting the inside of the context, I want to open the facade at some points, by keeping the media facade as one surface.

The LED bars can be placed horizontally and vertically. In my process study I analysed first the horizontal LED bars.

LED bars orientation in the vertical direction

Applied on Piraeus Tower

x4: windows, glass panels

To analyze  the joints and junctures of the facade of the Forum 3 building by Diener & Diener I marked the key elements in section and plan. (source)

Worth mentioning is that the carrying structure starts on the ground floor at the inside of the weather barrier and switches on the first level to the outside. Where the bearing columns are on the outside the loads of the horizontal beams have to go through the facade . This demands a joint that is resistant, waterproof and thermally insulated. A reduction of columns the ground level demands larger beam in the ceiling. These larger beams however don’t have to perforate the weather barrier thanks to the shifting of the windows.
The metal bars that hold the glass panels are suspended from the top of the steel structure and invisibly anchored in the concrete foundation below the ground. Metal clamps fixed at the edge of each slab hold them in place.

In the plan a problem due to the corner geometry appears: The vertical metal bars of the exterior facade are not equidistant anymore. Other than that the building corner is very simple and reduced.

Piraeus facade detail drawing:

The perforated facade layer does not have to be load carrying because it is directly attached to the skeleton. It can be cast in insulating concrete which is less resistant but more insulating thermally than normal concrete. The glass panels are attached at big vertical bars. These pars are attached to the concrete facade from time to time, for example through balconies. The floor of the baconies as wella s the railings are made in glass to maintain a high degree of transparency and lightness.

Up to now, the rhythms of the perforated facade and the glass panel screen were completely independent. If the balconies take a structural role, these two rhythms have to be related somehow to guarantee a big enough number of joints.

x3 Ouvertures


Dans le bâtiment Dior, les ouvertures sont de simples trous découpés dans la façade. Elles sont alignées sur une bande horizontale et une bande verticale. Leurs positions sont définies par les panneaux de construction, tout comme leurs dimensions.

Superposition et perspective

La façon dont sont crées les ouvertures des vitres / fenêtres ne me semble pas être le détail significatif de ce projet. Par rapport au projet de Piraeus, j’ai préféré me concentrer sur l’autre types d’ouvertures présentes dans le projet de Ginza: les percements des panneaux de la façade.

Ces percements ne permettent pas un rapport entre l’extérieur du bâtiment et l’intérieur, mais créent un rapport visuel entre la première couche de la façade et la couche inférieure.Elles permettent de mêler les motifs propres à chaque couche (analysés dans x2), et de créer un effet de profondeur en trichant sur la perspective.

Landmark, intégration, distances

C’est l’idée de jouer avec la perspective qui me paraît particulièrement adaptée au projet de Piraeus.

Ce projet est caractérisé par la contradiction entre le rôle de «landmark» que doit prendre le bâtiment et son intégration dans une ville où  la construction de tours n’est pas encore (encore) bien acceptée par la population. La tour en tant que landmark s’adresse à une grande distance, tandis que l’intégration dans la ville se fait à une plus petite distance. L’idée est donc de jouer sur la distance, en créant une façade qui vue de loin souligne le sommet de la tour en tant que landmark, alors que vue de plus près soulignerait les volumes existants, dans lesquels se trouvent différentes fonctions, et casserait la verticalité caractéristique d’une tour.


Une façon d’avoir une façade changeant suivant le point de vue est d’utiliser un effet de moiré:

Le principe du moiré fonctionne sur le principe de la superposition de deux motifs identiques possèdant des «ouvertures» et d’un décalage qui fait que les ouvertures se retrouvent superposées ou en opposition.

Si les deux motifs se trouvent dans le même plan, le décalage peut être dû à une translation d’un motif par rapport à l’autre, une rotation ou un agrandissement.Les deux motifs peuvent aussi ne pas être dans le même plan. Dans ce cas, le décalage peut simplement résulter du fait que l’observateur ne les regarde pas perpendiculairement. A cette raison peuvent encore être ajoutées les mêmes que celles de deux motifs dans le même plan. Le bâtiment de Ginza n’utilise pas un effet de moiré car seulement une des couches de la façade possède des ouverture!

Soleil et vues

Idéalement, la façade de Piraeus devrait être composées de plusieurs couches qui, vues depuis une grande distance, attireraient le regard sur le haut de la tour, alors que vue de près l’effet se porterait plus sur l’ensemble de la tour, et permettraient toujours de voir à l’extérieur si l’on se trouve à l’intérieur.

En plus de donner un aspect «symbolique» au bâtiment, ces différentes couches pourraient former une protection contre le soleil, qui est une des plus grosse contrainte sur  le site de Piraeus.