‘process’ Posts:

hidden info tower – or the crystal world

Main idea

It’s about using the surface of the Piraeus tower as a screen, to display information to the people taking the ferry, entering the city of Piraeus or the people walking through the neighborhood. It can display any kind of informatin, which  suits the best the area it is facing. Because of its size and its placement at the port the tower can be seen from far as well as from close by. Moreover the tower has been unoccupied for around 30 years and a modification of the inside is not yet plannified. Which makes the facade more valuable than the interior space.

The most valuable surfaces for information areas on the tower, seen from important viewpoints as street crossings, the park, the market place, the ferry arrival, a café…

The info area on the facade has to be seen as a perfect rectangular from a chosen viewpoint. With an anamorphosis effect the imageis acctually distorted, but seen from one point perfectly perpendicular.

The image has to be inscribed in the silhouette of the tower and use as much space as possible on the tower. It can neglect the geometry of the tower, thanks to the anamorphosis deformation.

Which means, some images will be supperposed. The geometry of the facade elements has to adapt to such moments. Will be explained later… Diagram of the information/ image areas on the four sides of the tower.

Sun radiation analyse to design a parametric louver system. It protects from the sun at a certain time of the day. The side oriented towards east will be protected from 10 to 12. This creates a gradient of different width of louvers and different moments in the interior space.

Diagram of louver disposition on the four facades.

Supperposition of the two diagrams.

The louvers become the structural part of the facade and ‘carry’ the LED lights of the media surfaces. Where a LED has to be placed on a louver, the louver changes geometry. So the LED will be oriented towards the viewpoint of the image. Wher two images are supperposed, the louver has to adapt to the two viewpoints.

Geometry manipulation in grasshopper. The different possibilities.

1. red and green points correspond to two different images. shows the areas where a LED light has to be placed on the louver or where the louver has to deform.

2.the louver inclines, perpendicular to the view axis.

3. case of two deformations towards two view axis: where the different points are to close, the folds change geometry from rectangular to triangular, so they can’t overlap.

4.when a light point doesn’t intersect a louver, later has to shift back to catch the light point.

detail drawings of the system: the louvers become a 3d body witha straight back and a folded front. the led lights are placed at the back and shine on the front. a projected point from the led will be seen on the folded surface of the louver and therefore only visible from its viewpoint.

section (3 floors) and detail of plan

changes of depth and light intensity in the thickness of the facade. the crystal world.

some bingo numbers seen from a street crossing. deformation of the louvers visible, when there’s no image overlapping.

part of the rhino file for presentation


lignes: épaisseur, espacement, rotation

Cristal facade_final review

Elaboration of the “proof of concept”

The final mock-up size is about 1.3 by 1.4 m and is maid out of aluminum of 2.2mm. To allow reflection I simply use some plexi glass with a black background. No glue or additional elements is necessary.

It is constructed with two main point of reflection and one point of view. the idea is that if you stand at 3 m from the model you could see 12 times one object and 16 times an other one. The rest of the rotation “noise” is control by an image mapper in grasshopper.

Progress Pin-up_Defining the point of view

Here is the research on the different parameters that the grasshopper definition takes in consideration. It shows the range of possibilities and the deformation that the images produce.

tower plant_pin up

I continued working on the idea to use the tower and its exposed position to generate energy.
The horizontal graduation is based on its gradientes layering which comes up, from:

1. its geographical situation,
located in greek, directly next to the seashore

2. its geometry as a tower,
rising in the sky, low surrounding buildings, with a huge overhanging plinth

3. its different functions and usages inbetween the stories

At the moment my work is focused to fix the universal geometry proposition for one facade element. They will be transformed later, depending on theit exact position and function.
(see above)

It is a geometry based on 4 points which give the fram, and a vector, directing angle, width and distance.
to find the appropriate gird I suggest following strategy:
Going back to the gecko-skin pattern, I want to habve an irregular grid, reacting on my study above (layering, shadow, solar radiation impact)

in which I implement my element geometry.

shingled glass…

cristal facade_progress pin-up

Tesselated panels – pinup progress

The global flowchart

One side we have parametric elements which is a research of data and other side we have geometrical element which is panel’s design.

The project is based on 4 main data:





Data 1: Sunlight

An analyze on GHX to get the average sunlight exposition for year

Data 2: Wind

An analyze on GHX using the wind rose map to get the average wind solicitation for year

Data 3: View

Analyze the context and define the view zone on the tower’s facade

Data 4: Fire-scape

the position is determined by the most optimal face, north facade

Making a image gradient of these 4 data to use on image mapper.

Making a taxonomy in relation with these data

The detail of each panels with 4 type of opening

Feedback system: improve the gradient tolerance by the analyze of Athens’ facade composition (e.g : glass filling ratio)

Shingled glass panels facade _ Pin up