Posts Tagged ‘Piraeus Tower’

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 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

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:


Context model


I’ve added a context model including the topographical ground, adjacent buildings, and existing concrete tower structure. This should be particularly helpful for those of you trying to do sun-related studies but haven’t yet gotten very realistic about the shading effects of the nearby buildings.

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:

Mid-term Review “Breathing Tower”

Concept & Study Model – Using the convex and concave surface, to create a closer interaction between inside and outside. This situation creates a new dynamism in this area and gets different types of view from inside or from outside.

To optimize and to keep the best relation between inside and outside is not easy. This is why the system is based on the parametric approach.

Starting the analyze with the existent element and creates an analytic grid with different degree (from 1 to 4) of lighting cross-referenced with the program.

Then, to decrease the orthogonal grid and to modulated the composition, apply the tessellation – Aperiodic Tilling – system.

Apply to the analytic grid.

Another particularity of the tessellation: Edge.

Modify and create a new tessellation with the hexagonal grid. This method unifies and decreases the orthogonality of the tessellated facade.

Making a taxonomy list of different type of frames from level 1 to 4.

Replace each frames of tessellated grid by the frames of taxonomy using the level of lighting tones (1-4).

For the lens, use the attractor parameter as a strategic point of view. If the angle becomes tight, the relation is different.

Taxonomy of the lens

Elevation

Detail, sometimes we get a double weight of the frames because of the modulated unity(dash lines)

Pespective

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!

SPRAWLING WINDOWS

CONCEPT

Two layers are added to the existing structure: A perforated concrete façade and a screen of glass panels.

The perforated concrete facade wraps the skeleton breaking with its emphatic verticality and replacing it with a more homogenous texture of openings. The materiality of this added layer and its perforations introduce a notion of solid, which underlines the strong presence of the tower in Piraeus. The openings are positioned within a grid by an engine that tends to create bigger windows the higher the floor to accentuate the stunning views over the port of Piraeus and the city of Athens.

In the typical condition, the openings in the concrete façade are occupied by box-type windows composed by two layers of glazing. The box-type windows operate as a functional unit providing a natural ventilation effect. Locally inserted balconies make the space between the two layers of glazing habitable: The exterior layer is pushed outwards and the box-type window splits up in an interior weather barrier and an exterior glass panel, which protects the balconies.

Starting from the balconies, glass panels are spreading over the facade following the logic of the diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA). This algorithm simulates an organic growth based on randomly moving particles (in this case glass panels), which aggregate to clusters.

The two northern facades provide a high number of balconies. These balconies, being joined together by the sprawling glass panels, lead to a very textural character of the glass screen. On the southern facades on the other hand, the original box-type windows prevail, due to their performance in terms of creating natural ventilation. At the same time these two facades are the most representatives and the relatively few exterior glass panels are drawing an expressive figure: The transformed window, which sprawls over the facade, is creating a distinct pattern that reveals the iconic potential of the Piraeus Tower as a landmark within a larger context.


MATERIALS

The concrete facade is made out of non load-bearing prefabricated elements. These elements consist of two layers of white concrete with insulation in between, held together by reinforcement. Due to the prefabrication process, the production and the mounting of the elements is very efficient. Furthermore very thin material thicknesses are possible, reducing the weight of the elements, which are clipped to the existing slabs by means of a metal juncture.
The windows are composed of two layers of glazing. In the typical condition these two window panes are both situated within the thickness of the facade and operate as a box-type window with the interior glazing being the actual weather barrier. The increase of temperature between the two layers of glazing produces a natural ventilation effect and thermal buffer: hot air rises through the gap between the exterior glazing and the concrete facade, which in turn evacuates air from the interior of the building.
Where the exterior glazing becomes larger and is placed on the exterior of the facade, the glass panels are held in place by metal beams, which are attached directly to the existing slab. These beams are also carrying the balconies that occur between the glass screen and the concrete facade. To increase the performance of the glass panels, they are reinforced with a DuPont SentryGlas structural interlayer.


OVERALL LAYOUT

pdf version


GRASSHOPPER DEFINITION

Canvas overview:

Grasshopper screen-shot:

x5: perforated facade vs. panels

Work in progress poster dating from the 1/4/2010:

pdf version