Posts Tagged ‘Esquisse’


the principal idea is to create a multifuntional facade.
the design should be made directly from wather data and exterior impacts.
the general idea is to make natural impacts such as solar radiation,
sun path, wind, rain and other natural occurences directly visible and readable.

wrapped around facade, response

My intentions for this critic were to make a coherent system that works well and that represents the intentions I had to start with. After the critic I realized that my system was proposing no variations, I didn’t show a range of possibilities. I did propose a system that works, now I have to see which are the elements that can vary and that can make my façade be influenced by outside factors, try to look at a wider range of possibilities in general. Also, try to determinate the influencing parameters that would make the whole less uniform. As well as redefining my intentions is one of the next steps.

Main intentions:

-      Piraeus is a skeleton that need to be covered, so in some way wrapped around : which leads to a will to have a continuous façade with no sharp angles,

-      keep the two distinct volumes working together and articulate them eventually with  outside spaces;

-      the upper part should be a strong vertical object;

-      work on density to create more or less transparency;

-      use the same material for the over all but at different scales and different treatment of the same material; (e.g. : glass : transparent, transluside, printed)

response_growing parasite structure

In response to the mid-term crit on the 15th of April 2010 and as continuation of my very first esquisse, I take the following conclusion:
The deformable skin doesn’t cover the whole tower anymore, but rather uses it at certain points as a host. This parasite structure covers the existing structure only where public interaction or attraction would take place. This aims as well to push the idea of phasing the tower’s life and let it change over time. Starting with taking in account the immediate context, interacting wiht it, providing an enclosed safty staircase and a lookout point on the top, the Piraeus Tower will be covered more and more as its value rises and the indoor space gets occupied.

For clarifing reasons the attraction maths and creation of the structure, used in the GH definition, will be reworked and demonstrated in diagrams.

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.


The following analysis is directly linked to the precedent exercice. The over all idea is to show how the facade of the trutec building was build and to extract some components that I could use for the project of the Piraeus tower.

The structure of the Trutec Building is  conventional . Pilars, slabs and facade. All the effort was made on the secondary structure. The complexity of the kaleidoscopic effect of the fragmented glass is actualy complitly optimized. All the glass was prefabricated and only 1o panes where necessary to create this effect.

GH definition

The logic and the optimization of the construction of the Trutec Building is something that I would like to keep for the Piraeus Tower project. The way it was made and the result it gives is a succes.

In term of the shape of the glass, i don’t think that i will work with it. But the idea that there is something happening on the upper part of the tower (difragmentation of the glass) might reinforce this idea of singularity that i would like to give to my project(Esquisse analysis).

Small comparison:

Piraeus Tower:

  1. Latitude: 37°58′N / Longitude: 23°43′E
  2. Location on the site: Next to the port of Piraeus.
  3. Uses: offices

Trutec building:

  1. Latitude: 37°35′N / Longitude: 127°03′E
  2. Location on the site: Industrial zone
  3. Uses: offices


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,


The Piraeus tower, also called the “sleeping giant” is a  special building for many reasons. The regulation of Athens doesn’t allow to build higher than 10 floors for a simple reason: higher building would obstruct the view to the Acropolis. At the time the tower was built, some construction permits were issued for buildings that don’t respect those rules.  These exceptions clearly appear as non-belonging to the city. The size, the facade and the shape of the Piraeus Tower is quite unique.

As a first analysis, we can say that the Piraeus tower is divided in three parts.

  • the base: two floors high have the size of the plot
  • the first 10 floors correspond to the major hight of the surrounding buildings.
  • the last 10 floors are visible from far away, it can have a strong iconic importance for the tower.

Following this statement, the main idea is to create a facade that allows to bring those three part in one: base+place into the city+icon. In the small esquisses on the right part we can see that there is many ways to do so, but it seems that the analysis of the Trutec building could be a good starting point for the design of this new facade.

Elevation and section showing the transition between the city scale and the iconic part

The first 1 to 9 floors would have a dialogue with the surrounding buildings: small windows and expression of the horizontality of the slabs. Then, from 5 to 15, the intermediate slabs would generate the connection between the base and the icon. A smooth transition would probably be interresting. From the original planar windows to the more fragmented one. The top of the Piraeus tower would then be the icon part. The windows frame would be bigger and the fragmentation of the glass higher.