Posts Tagged ‘grasshopper’

Tetris Tower – final review

This project has 2 key word:

-Tesselation

-Module

The goal is to create a facade composed by the modular panels system which is an tessellation geometry like a tetris.

1. Geometry research

2. Geometry adapted to the tower

3. Data research (sun study)

4. Data research (wind study)

5. Data research (view study)

6. Making a gradient of these parameter to analyze in grasshopper and get an parametric variation on the facade.

7. Global analytic step to compose the facade

8. Taxonomy of the panels

9. Type of the windows for each parameter

10. Type of the glasses for the view type

11. Elevation

12. Detail

13. Perspective

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.

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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

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.

Final review: STACKED BALCONIES


A perforated concrete facade with randomly positioned openings wraps the skeleton of the Piraeus Tower. The homogenous texture of openings breaks with the strong verticality of the skeleton and introduces a notion of mass, pronouncing the strong presence of the tower at Piraeus port.

The openings are occupied by three different types of windows:
Type A: A simple window
Type B: A box-type window consisting of a simple window in combination with a exterior glass panel. This window type operates as a natural ventilation device. The hot air in the buffer zone rises and evacuates air from the interior spaces.
Type C: A balcony between a recessed window and exterior glass panels. The balconies create natural ventilation as well, but only if several of them are stacked on top of each other forming a vertical shaft.

Each opening is assigned a window type according to the three main environmental parameters: Noise, sun and wind. The data describing these parameters is translated into image maps. Using the RGB additive color model, all information can be condensed into to a single image.

The window types are assigned as described in the last post:

A script evaluates the parameters for each window position. A lot of noise or wind demands a box-type window that offers more protection than just a simple one. Where the sun intensity gets more important than noise pollution or wind forces, a simple window is preferred because it diminishes the danger of overheating the interior as there is no heat radiation from a heated thermal buffer space. The balconies are only placed in areas without strong noise so that they always offer a calm recreation space. Once the window types are assigned, there’s a recursive function that analyses the stacking of the balconies that is required to contribute to the natural ventilation of the building. Only stacks of at least three balconies are admitted. The remaining balconies are reassigned and become openings of type A or B.
Then an other script places the exterior glass panels in front of the balconies. These glass panels have their own rhythm that is independent from the rhythm of the openings. The glass screen becomes an autonomous layer added to the perforated concrete facade. These two facade layers are working together and against each other at the same time. The resulting panel pattern gets analyzed and recursively modified within the script: Where there are columns of at least six panels on top of each other, the proportions of the thermal buffer required to produce a chimney effect allow an increasing depth of the balconies.

A heatmap illustrates the ventilation covering of each floor by analyzing the distances to the next ventilating window. This feedback allows to detect problematic zones with a lack of ventilation. In turn, parameters can be changed in order to achieve a satisfying result (red area limited to the core of the tower).

The south eastern facade turned out to be the most delicate in terms of ventilation covering due to it’s high percentage of type A windows. That’s why the fire escape stairs are located at this facade. The shaft of the stairs operates, like the stacked balconies, as a climatic device contributing to natural ventilation. The path of the stairs is defined a script within the engine: The stairs avoid balconies and cover the areas on the facade that are the least ventilated. It introduces a fourth window type, the stairs type, that fills the ‘gaps’ on the south eastern facade.

Further possible reactions to an unsatisfying heatmap feedback are relaunching the initial random window repartition, changing the number or the dimensions of the openings or change the ratio between small and large openings. The latter is usually set around fifty-fifty in order to create the typical facade image of the stacked balconies creating stepped shafts.

The plinth with it’s regular window interval is wrapped with glass panels as well. These glass panels are placed by a random based engine that takes in count three layers of information contained in a single gradient map (curtain effect gradient, noise protection, passage openings). A script places the panels by evaluating the map to calculate chance of a panel being placed for each possible panel position.

All these steps lead to the following facade proposal. The stacked balconies create a distinct drawing on the facade of the Piraeus Tower and turn it into an iconic landmark.



The concrete facade is made out of precast insulated elements, which are attached to the existing slabs. The exterior glass panels are hold in place by articulated metal beams that make the transition from the rhythm of the concrete facade to the rhythm of the glass panels. These beams penetrate the concrete facade and are fixed to the existing slabs as well. A cross bracing that allows to absorb the lateral forces is achieved by polygonal beams that follow the contour of the balconies joining the cantilevered beams.


Grasshopper canvas



Grasshopper screen shot


Grasshopper file
Pin up pdf A0 1
Pin up pdf A0 2


1:10 partial model





final deformable skin

The following post has to be seen as a continuation and completion of the overall process and especially of the last post. Its content doesn’t represent the intire project but has to bee seen in the context of the previous ones.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
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 one side the skin stretches to provide a roof for the market and its lively atmosphere penetrates the ground floor. On another side the skin allows building a pedestrian bridge across the busy road and creates a stronger relation to the waterfront and the port.
On the plinth the structure covers an open space and grows then upward approximately following the existing structure until it detaches again from the existing to end the tower at its top.
The new stairway climbs up and changes the skin as well. The parametrical creation of the structure which follows the form of the deformable skin undertakes several steps of adaption and optimisation to suit its structural and programmatical needs.
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 will changed over time. The so called “sleeping giant” gets lively and looses its name when people start to occupy the empty space. As the stairway will serve all the stories from the beginning on, the occupants can choose their level as they wish.


OVERALL FLOWCHART


REPRESENTATION in drawings and renderings




visualisation of the market penetrating the Piraeus Tower


visualisation of an interior conected to the staircase


visualisation of the tower in the urban cotext


the following drawing shows the different materialities and how they’re connected with each other


During the final week I was building a model at a 1:5 scale which shows the different aspects of my project. the new structure is attached to the existing and is attracted to the outside to cover and hold the new staircase. The tubular structure and its joints are shown in an abstraction using wooden components.


FILES
GH-file creating the structure in lines
GH-file translating the lines into tubes and adding joints
PDF of the presentation

∏-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.

deformable skin

Considering the project state from the last crit as form finding process, the aim for this crit was to optimize its structure. Several analysis show the strucutre’s weaknesses and strengths. One issue was the maximum span of my structural members and another one consists in the curvature analysis of the deformed surface.




To deal with this optimization idea I first did a quick research in general optimization strategies. Taking them rather as general inputs then as actual algorithms, I came up with my own strategy. The point grid from the form finding process generates several more or less horizontal curves which I first subdivide into segments with the same lenght, which gives a polyline as output. The length can be chosen and in addition there is an option to change the resolution of the polyline following the curve. When the curve’s curvature is higher than a certain value the structural length at that point is only equal the half of the other lengths. The subdivision starts at a given point which consists in the curve’s closest point to the stair attractor and ends by keeping a cerain cap to the starting point.
After the creation of these “horizontal” polylines the neighbours are linked at each point with the two minimal distances. These new “vertical” structural members sometimes have a way too long span to be taken as valuable output. For that reason another subdivision process runs through all of them and subdivides each element taking in account the input value as maximal length. These subdivision points are again linked between each other and sometimes supported by columns standing on the plinth.
Another process at the end consists in bringing the forces down to the ground at certain points.




GH-file

To be sure about the homogeneity of the lengths I ran again an analysis of the structural length.
Image showing the length analysis before the “vertical” analysis:


And after all the optimization processes all is green:


Finally there are a few special moments in the structure. The first consists in the stair leading up to the dissolving top where the structure gives bigger openings at certain points and looks more dynamic.


The pedestrian bridge is suspended from the structure and crosses the road which today separats the port from the tower.


The columns which support the structure above the plinth create a possibility for a public space or restaurant’s outdoor space covered by steel tubes.


As the Piraeus Tower has quite big dimensions, there are many structural joints which hold up the new deformable skin and fix it to the existing concrete structure. But not all joints connect the same number of tubes and all of them come in with a different angle. To deal with this changes and having one system for all the tower the joints have to be adaptive and able to react to each situation. The following joint allows up to seven tubes coming in and each of them can be adapted with two rotation axis. Two steel plates hold the members together and have to be squeezed together. Where the structure is attached to the existing concrete the squeezing is done by the consoles, otherwise a simple screw can fix the joint.


Overview of the structure in elevations and plan:


Stacked Balconies


A facade in precast concrete elements wraps the structure of the Piraeus Tower and introduces a notion of mass. A pixelised texture of two different sizes of openings breaks with strong verticality of the skeleton.

The openings are occupied by three different types of openings:
Type A: A simple window
Type B: A box-type window consisting of a simple window in combination with a exterior glass panel. This window type operates as a natural ventilation device. The hot air in the buffer zone rises and evacuates air from the interior spaces.
Type C: A balcony between a recessed window and exterior glass panels. The balconies create natural ventilation as well, but only if several of them are stacked on top of each other forming a sort of chimney.

Each window is assigned a window type according to the three main environmental parameters: Noise, sun and wind. The data describing these parameters is translated into image maps. Using the RGB additive color model, all information can be condensed into to a single image.


A script evaluates the parameters for each window position. A lot of noise or wind demands a box-type window that offers more protection than just a simple one. Where the sun intensity gets more important than noise pollution or wind forces, a simple window is preferred because it diminishes the danger of overheating the interior as there is no heat radiation from a heated thermal buffer space. The balconies are only placed in areas without strong noise so that they always offer a calm recreation space. Once the window types are assigned, there’s a recursive function that analyses the stacking of the balconies that is required to contribute to the natural ventilation of the building. Only stacks of at least three balconies are admitted. The remaining balconies are reassigned and become openings of type A or B.
Then an other script places the exterior glass panels in front of the balconies. These glass panels have their own rhythm that is independent from the rhythm of the openings. The glass screen becomes an autonomous layer added to the perforated concrete facade. These two facade layers are working together and against each other at the same time. The resulting panel pattern gets analyzed and recursively modified within the script: Where there are columns of at least six panels on top of each other, the proportions of the thermal buffer required to produce a chimney effect allow an increasing depth of the balconies.

A heatmap illustrates the ventilation covering of each floor by analyzing the distances to the next ventilating window. This feedback allows to detect problematic zones and react to the lack of ventilation by changing some initial parameters (like for example the number of windows, their dimensions or the ratio between small and large windows) or simply by re-running the original random window repartition. The information made visible by the heatmaps defined the location of the security stair on the south eastern facade. The shaft created by the stairs contributes to the ventilation and covers an area that was marked by a deficient natural ventilation.

The plinth with it’s regular window interval is wrapped with glass panels as well. These glass panels are placed by a random based engine that takes in count three layers of information that modify the chance of a panel being placed for each possible panel position.
The trhee layers are:
1. A vertical gradient producing a ‘curtain effect’ (high density of panels at the top, lower density towards the ground)
2. The street noise (more panels along the main road and the parking entrance as acoustic protection)
3. A set of entrances, exits and passages that have to stay panel-free.
As a result, the completely liberated ground floor become a protected public space that works as an extension to the nearby market.

The glass curtain wrapping the plinth unifies the tower with it’s base and grounds the whole building.

Facade detail

The relation between the new facade with its recessing loggias and the existing concrete skeleton is critical in some configurations. The following taxonomy lists the different possible constellations. Some of them might demand a adaption of the shape of the balcony to avoid useless spaces or perhaps even to take profit of the pillars as a spatial divider.


Grasshopper definition

Grasshopper screenshot

Question: I have to find out which lines don’t intersect with the louvers

Do you know a way to find the lines which are not intersecting with a surface?

The louvers are not covering the entire facade, that’s why some rays from the viewpoints pass without intersecting. I have to find those areas, where the missing rays would intersect with the volume of the tower and make the louvers wider at those areas.

The difficulty is, that the new point list of the intersecting points doesn’t match the list of the vectors(rays) from the viewpoints. I tried some stuff like find the similar points, between intersecting points with the box and the intersecting points with the louvers… and to find the equal vectors to create a boolean list… it’s all a bit tricky and not so elegant.

rhino file

grasshopper

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