Posts Tagged ‘layout’

∏-raeus rippling waves facade

This is the midterm presentation panel:

Rippling Waves facade.

I.Main Concept

a.Iconic re-branding of the tower as a symbol of Piraeus.
i.The tower is a very strong landmark in the skyline of Piraeus, visible from every hill in the city and from the sea. Among many others, the 3 million annual visitors of the Acropolis and the 20 million passengers transiting through the port of Piraeus every year get to see this Iconic building. The port activities have always been a main development factor for the city of Piraeus, this is why the Rippling Waves facade should express this strong connection to the sea by referring to the water imagery.

b.Combinatorial optimization of potentially conflicting contextual concerns

-The structural rhythm of the existing building provides a rigid material module that should not be ignored.  The proposed system subdivides the structural module to obtain a suitable material module for the system’s components.  In this way, the waste of material is minimized.

-Heat gain is a primary concern in the Greek climate, especially for a tall glazed building with southern exposure. The system wraps the glazed envelope with a layer of louvers to deflect solar radiation before it reaches the building’s thermal enclosure thereby preventing the overheating of the building, minimizing conditioning loads, and improving both the economical and ecological performance of the facade.

-The tower offers unique views to landmarks in Athen’s urban fabric:

SW/SE_Church and park
N_ Piraeus market

E_Piraeus Stadium
SW_port entrance, opening to the sea

The louvers are used to frame desirable views thus creating visual connections between significant portions of the building’s interior and the context.

-As mentioned before, the Piraeus tower throughout its dimensions is a visible icon in Athens skyline, and works as a landmark for the port of Piraeus. When observed from various hills in Athens or from the sea, the relation of the tower to the sea is quite clear. However, the   iconic branding of the tower from closer viewpoints has to refer to the larger context.

a.Material description
i.Inner skin = glass and steel frames.
1.Clean and simple weather barrier that resolves both the scale of the existing structure and the dimensionality of the system’s materials in order to minimize waste.
ii.Outer layer = DuPont Corian® louvers
1.Oriented to minimize heat gain
2.Rotated to frame views
3.Twisted to provide iconic reading
b.Flagship demonstration of the properties of DuPont Corian® such as translucency, continuity, smoothness and its capabilities of transformations: thermoforming, milling, etc. reinforces the iconic performance of the building.

a.The Rippling Waves facade is a parametric design derived from following analysis: existing structure & new facade components modularity, climate, solar radiation, view and iconic perception.

deformable skin


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


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.

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!

Faceted tower Presentation layout


The existing tower is stuck in between two contradictory aspects : on the one hand to remain discreet and on the other hand has the pretention of being an icon for the city. The result is a building neither integrated in the context neither expressive enough to pretend dealing with an iconic gesture. The monolithic aspect of the facade and the monotonous interior space decrease both the exterior and interior qualities of the building.
As a reaction to this problematic, the new skin proposes to connect the horizontal component of the city network with the verticality of the tower by maintaining and exploiting the potential of the passage as a social condenser : the user is brought directly into and up the building. Public space is not only surrounding the tower, it is being integrated to it as a continuous cavity connecting people together.

The existing structure is wrapped in a faceted skin in order to dissolve the monolithic shape of the tower. The relief, dimensions and strong identity of the facade transform the tower into an iconic object without neglecting the various needs and perceptions. It leads to a facade where each facet has a different densitiy and provides a hierarchy of scalar articulations that adresses the tower’s range of visibility from the inhabiting user to the long-view, from the neighborring buildings to the approaching ferries. It also sets a variety of illumination, enclosure and transparency conditions to create unique atmospheres depending on the program and the solar orientation.
In order to avoid the monotony of the interior space, the project supposes the appropriation of the space in-between the original and the new envelope. It lets room to the insertion of terraces, fire stairs and meeting areas. Technically, it makes use of the double-skin facade strategy to increase the environmental performance of the building.


The new envelope derives from the superposition of different layers. The primary structure is generated by an assembly of three dimensional steel trusses, attached to the existing slabs and columns to distribute self-weight and lateral loads. Secondary frames holding the glass elements work with primary facets to rigidify the system. The density of the frames is varied to adress illumination and privacy needs and to frame desirable views.
Due to the nature of the facet geometry, half of the facade is oriented away from the sun and receives limited incident solar radiation and heat gain while still providing daylight and view. The remaining facets which receive solar radiation have an additional external layer of expanded aluminum mesh to reduce heat gain and glare.

Areas of the south- and east-facing facets are ganged into vertical stacks and coupled with an interior curtain wall with operable windows forming continuous compartments over 3 levels. These compartments utilize the stack effect to exhaust hot air from the interior and reduce the load on the mechanical systems. Similarly in the cold season, air warmed in the plenum can be drawn into the interior through the operable windows.