Posts Tagged ‘Athens’

Final review_ “proof of concept” Pixelated lighthouse

PIXELATED LIGHTHOUSE

The height of the Piraeus Tower is unique within the Athenian landscape and offers particular opportunities which, thus far, have not been realized. The Piraeus tower is divided into three parts: The base extends to the plot lines and maintains the contextual streetedge. The next 7 floors correspond to the predominant height of the surrounding buildings. The last 11 floors are visible from many distant vantage points and have  the potential to produce a strong iconic image for the tower and Piraeus.

With this in mind, the Pixilated Lighthouse brings these three parts together in one cohesive composition. Base + Adjacency + Icon =
Pixilated Lighthouse.

.

The aim of this proposal is to significantly affect the aspect of the Piraeus tower with a small effort. The means by which this is accomplished is a reflective facade. Considering the influence that the tower has on its environment, it is essential to integrate the Piraeus Tower with its surroundings. Pixelated Lighthouse is a direct response to the reading of the tower and its immediate site. Reflection is a robust strategy that can: humanize the tower at a close point of view, dissolve the tower’s mass at the middle point of view and generate a symbol from far away.

From a “close” point of view: The windows reflect the city and the building onto the surroundings. The upper portions that are not related to the context seem diminished due to the reflection. Dialogue to the city.

From a “middle” point of view: The windows disintegrate the height of the building. The reflection of the sky and the water makes an analogy to the wider context. Dialogue to the environment.

From “far” away: The pixilated windows reflect light. The distortion and its effects create a signifying object that becomes a landmark. The “Pixilated lighthouse” Piraeus tower.

To control those different configurations, a parametric code is written. This code takes in considerations the context, the size, the views and the height of the building.

To permit reflection at different angles the glass can be rotated on two axes. Four conditions exist with this system. 1) Planar: the windows are flush and operable. This condition exists on the overall facade depending on the need of ventilation. 2) Rotation on X axis: Reflection of the sky or the ground in verticality. 3) Rotation on the Z axis: produces reflections that are not perpendicular to the facade. 4) The rotation is applied on both axes: This configuration addresses a specific object from a certain point of view and thus produces a contextualizing effect that does not occur on the existing facade.

The Pixilated lighthouse proposal keeps the rhythm and the size of the existing structure and uses it to define the size of the glazing. The windows then are rotated on different angles allowing to reflect the surrounding on it.

PROOF OF CONCEPT

Pixelated Lighthouse_GHX definition

GHX definition:

Here is a summery of the Gh definition. The 4 facade are made in the same definition and the color are related to the context. The red is for the south and the dark pink for the north. The grasshopper definition works with the Rhino file that I uploaded on this blogpost.

Basically the glazing reacts at two inputs by rotation: the first one, is made by an image mapper which rotate the windows on two axis, vertical and horizontal. The second one is by defining reflection on specific points of view. Then, a sort of feedback between both system is applied.

Closer look at the SOUTH facade:

7 main steps:

1_size of the overall/  2_dividing the base geometry/   3_defining the axis of rotation

4_convert number to image mapper/  5_rotation by  I.M. / 6_rotation by normal plane

7_feedback image mapper-normal plane

In the last part, a small VB.net code is written  (shawnabeT) to control the number of panels which are controlled either by the point of view feedback or by the image mapper. The percentage can be evaluated depending of the difference between the two panels. The result is an overall image from far away and a specific reflection from a middle point of view.

South and west facade       .

The 3 last diagrams show the points that affects the geometry. The squares are the elements that will be reflected on the facade and the spheres are the point of view where the effect will be visible.

Grasshopper file: download

Rhino file: download

Midterm_Rippling Waves facade

PDF BOARD

Mid-term Review “Pixelated Lighthouse”

Pixilated lighthouse

The height of the Piraeus Tower is unique within the Athenian landscape and offers particular opportunities which, thus far, have not been realized.
The Piraeus tower is divided into three parts:
The base extends to the plot lines and maintains the contextual street edge / The next 7 floors correspond to the predominant height of the surrounding buildings. / The last 11 floors are visible from many distant vantage points and have the potential to produce a strong iconic image for the tower and Piraeus.
With this in mind, the Pixilated Lighthouse brings these three parts together in one cohesive composition. Base + Adjacency + Icon = Pixilated Lighthouse.
The aim of this proposal is to significantly affect the aspect of the Piraeus tower with a small effort. The means by which this is accomplished is a reflective facade. Considering the influence that the tower has on its environment, it is essential to integrate the Piraeus Tower with its surroundings.

Design Strategies

Concept

Pixelated Lighthouse is a direct response to the reading of the tower and its immediate site. Reflection is a robust strategy that can: humanize the tower at a close point of view, dissolve the tower’s mass at
the middle point of view and generate a symbol from far away. To control those different configurations, a parametric code is written in Grasshopper (click here). This code takes in considerations the context, the size, the views and  the height of the building.

From a “close” point of view: The windows reflect the city and the building onto the surroundings. The upper portions that are not related to the context seem diminished due to the reflection. Dialogue to the city. From a “middle” point of view: The windows disintegrate the height of the building. The reflection of the sky and the water makes an analogy to the wider context. Dialogue to the environment. From “far” away: The pixilated windows reflect light. The distortion and its effects create a signifying object that becomes a landmark. The “Pixilated lighthouse” Piraeus tower.
To permit reflection at different angles the glass can be rotated on two axes. Four conditions exist with this system. 1) Planar: the windows are flush and operable. This condition exists on the overall facade depending on the need of ventilation. 2) Rotation on X axis: Reflection of the sky or the ground in verticality. 3) Rotation on the Z axis: produces reflections that are not perpendicular to the facade. 4) The rotation is applied on both axes: This configuration addresses a specific object from a certain point of view and thus produces a contextualizing effect that does not occur on the existing facade. The Pixilated lighthouse proposal keeps the rhythm and the size of the existing structure and uses it to define the size of the glazing. The windows then are rotated on different angles allowing to reflect the surrounding on it.

Overall layout:

deformable skin

CONCEPT

At the port of Piraeus this tower rises on a very prominent site with a vital surrounding. To resolve the problem of the sleeping giant, this project proposal suggests a deformable skin which creates interactions on different levels between the Piraeus Tower and its context.
Taking the current structure as starting point, surrounding urban hotspots attract parts of the façade to reconfigure. These occurring deformations provoke synergies with the surrounding which allow new happenings and revaluate the whole area.
At Dimosthenous and Lykourgou Street the skin stretches to provide a roof for the market and its lively atmosphere penetrates the ground floor of the new Piraeus Tower. On the other side at Akti Poseidoneos Street the skin allows building a pedestrian bridge across the busy road and creates a stronger relation to the waterfront and the port.
Above the plinth the skin grows upward approximately following the existing structure. Only where the new stairway climbs up, the skin deforms itself to enclose and hold it. At the top the deformation detaches again from the existing structure, pointing on one side towards the Acropolis to focus a dramatic view, while on the other side it provides a panorama across the port. These two deformations can be seen from outside as pointing towards the Acropolis and on the other as a welcoming gesture towards the sea. These deformations at the top interact on a bigger and more visual scale than the lower ones and enhance the tower’s status in a larger city context.
The duality of interior and exterior value underlines the fact, that the building is alive with and without occupied indoor space and interacts on several levels with its context.
The overall project is designed and drawn in a parametric way to allow changes very easily. Attractions can be changed or even added and the written design engine updates the project dynamically.



version PDF


STRUCTURE AND MATERIALITY

The skeletal structure consists of a triangulation of the skin which is realized in circular steel tubes and assembled with spherical joints, each of which connects six tubes. The spherical geometry of the joints allows the assembly of different angles in which the tubes meet each other.
The structure is connected to the existing concrete whenever no deformation occurs. Cantilevered parts are self-supporting and limited by their structural properties.
The deformable skin starts its life as a new appearance at the port of Piraeus whose tubular steel structure interacts with its surrounding. The facets are empty or faced with aluminum frames holding different infill panels which can also be changed over time.
Starting with DuPont’s ETFE membranes, while the tower is still unoccupied, they can cover or mark certain parts of the tower. This includes for instance providing natural light and protection to the stairs and the passage to the port or backlit elements which can light the surrounding during the night. Solar panels will be installed to profit from the enormous available surface and produce cheap and clean energy for a green future.
As Piraeus Tower’s value increases and it starts to be occupied more and more the façade continues to change. Office and administrative spaces will need more light, restaurants and lookout points desire to have nice views from the top and the infill panels will change to glazing in DuPont SentryGlas Interlayer to provide the best performance for the tenants.


GRASSHOPPER
the GH definitions are split in two parts, because in one it wouldn’t be possible to work in. The first definition allows to deforme the the existing structure of the Piraeus Tower.

GH canvas for creating the deformable skin


rhino screen shot of the deformable skin

The second definition applies a tubular structure to the deformable skin from the first GH definition.

GH canvas for the tubular structure


rhino screen shot of the structure

An overview of all the files can be found in the following gallery:

X5_deformable skin

Work in progress layout from the 8th of April:

This layout contains many place holders, which will be replaced for the final presentation. The same for the text which is copied from an earlier blog post to visualize the amount of space needed!

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.


Article About Our Site Visit

Our exploits in Greece have been written about by greekarchitects.gr:

It is a great honor and pleasure for GreekArchitects.gr the fact that a department of architecture has chosen to use the architectural competition as part of the educational process and indeed to participate with many different proposals. This fact shows that the choice of the specific issue overpass the narrow topographic boundaries of Greece and constitutes an object of problematic at a wider level, by promoting simultaneously Athens internationally.

(X3)_Piraeus “crystallized light house”

Here is a study of different posibility to play with cristalized glass… The first image is showing the basic examples of layered patern. the second and the third one is randomly generated but i would like to explore and go more in that direction.

Concept for cristalized glass:

  • From a “close” point of view: The crystallized windows allow to reflect the city on the ground.The exta part that isn’t  related to the city context (above 10 floors) seems shrinked because of the reflection = Dialogue to the ground and the surrounding building
  • From a “middle” point of view: The crystallized windows disintegrates the hight of the building. The reflection of the sky and the water makes a analogy to the wider context = Dialogue with the environment.
  • From “far” away: The crystallized windows reflect the light. The distortion and the effect it makes, creat a significative object and start to be a land mark (not only because of the size of the building but also because of the caracteristic = No dialogue, the tower become an exception = The “crystillized light house”

Concerning the windows and the direction of the facet, we could easily imagine that the material could change depending on the angle of it. The facade could then be a a multy fonctional layer of protection: solar protection, solar panels, reflecting;opaque;transparant glass etc.

Concept for the structure:

As a basic idea, I was looking at some structure that would strengthen the concept of the “middle” point of view (disintegrated facade) by changing the size of the structure. This idea is directly responding to the “descente des forces” which could reduce the cost in material. Also, it allows to change slightly the size of the window frame…

- Renzo Piano website – Flickr image Centre Culturel Tjibaou

Esquisse

For me this building seams to be a mix of intentions. The bottom part has the average high of the surrounding buildings because it wants to fit in the urban scale. Then the upper part acts like an icon of the city, its very narrow side facing the sea makes it look taller then it actually is, and then when you look at it fro the side, it looks like a total different building that is neither an icon, neither it fit in the urban scale. Finally, when you are walking in the neighborhood, it feels as if someone tried to hide the tower so pedestrians wouldn’t see it.

So I think this building should be made of two different parts, the base, and the tower. Bought parts would be responding to different factors in the same ways, using density/dedensity, transparency, but their main directions would be perpendicular or at least opposite ones.

The base would be like a box, but with a very strong horizontality, with random mass / voids and transparencies.

The tower should be a strong vertical object, and its rhythm should make it look taller.

Also, important factors in the facades organization are the orientation and the reflections in the water.  As well as the relation between the port and the market.

deux volumes, jardin, terrasse, espaces verts, orthogonalité, geometrie, mouvement, soleil, réflexion,  pression, décompression,