Posts Tagged ‘precedents’

Juncture of a Media Facade

Media Facade on Piraeus Tower

I analysed the structural elements of a typical media facade to find a potential parameter in the system, to adapt to environmental factors like view and orientation. Instead of enwraping the tower with information and cutting the inside of the context, I want to open the facade at some points, by keeping the media facade as one surface.

The LED bars can be placed horizontally and vertically. In my process study I analysed first the horizontal LED bars.

LED bars orientation in the vertical direction

Applied on Piraeus Tower

x4_connected steel beams

As analyzed in the x2 the CCTV consists in a quite complex structure. In this case I tried to understand the connection of the different beams – vertical columns, horizontal perimeter edge beams and diagonal members. As the load on the structure changes from one point to another, there are several sizes of the columns, of which the smallest is 110 x 100cm.

different sizes of the columns and their location

There are many layers for the whole structure which are shown in the following drawings and images which I took – as the other illustrations – from the book CCTV by OMA, A+U, 2005

To allow the joint to connect beams comming from different directions, there is a additional element which takes over this function. Two connecting plates, which are also made of steel, are attached to the colomn and allow to fix the other structural members squeezed between them as shown in the drawings. To protect the steel structure in case of fire it is completely covered with a fire protection layer and a top coat.

bracing connection of structural members

my interpretation of the joint

The three main elements have different functions but only work together:

  • the vertical columns bring the forces directly down to the foundation.
  • the diagrid helps descend the forces but it’s main role is the bracing of the building – it is the part which gives the building its stiffness.
  • last but not least there are the perimeter edge beams which follow the edges of the concrete slabs and create the connection to them

This joint allows the connection of different inclinated elements. But all of them have to be nearly coplanar that they can fit between the two connecting steel planes. This fact limits the use of the element to places where the beams come together in a more or less flat surface.

x4: windows, glass panels

To analyze  the joints and junctures of the facade of the Forum 3 building by Diener & Diener I marked the key elements in section and plan. (source)

Worth mentioning is that the carrying structure starts on the ground floor at the inside of the weather barrier and switches on the first level to the outside. Where the bearing columns are on the outside the loads of the horizontal beams have to go through the facade . This demands a joint that is resistant, waterproof and thermally insulated. A reduction of columns the ground level demands larger beam in the ceiling. These larger beams however don’t have to perforate the weather barrier thanks to the shifting of the windows.
The metal bars that hold the glass panels are suspended from the top of the steel structure and invisibly anchored in the concrete foundation below the ground. Metal clamps fixed at the edge of each slab hold them in place.

In the plan a problem due to the corner geometry appears: The vertical metal bars of the exterior facade are not equidistant anymore. Other than that the building corner is very simple and reduced.

Piraeus facade detail drawing:

The perforated facade layer does not have to be load carrying because it is directly attached to the skeleton. It can be cast in insulating concrete which is less resistant but more insulating thermally than normal concrete. The glass panels are attached at big vertical bars. These pars are attached to the concrete facade from time to time, for example through balconies. The floor of the baconies as wella s the railings are made in glass to maintain a high degree of transparency and lightness.

Up to now, the rhythms of the perforated facade and the glass panel screen were completely independent. If the balconies take a structural role, these two rhythms have to be related somehow to guarantee a big enough number of joints.

(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

X3. Glass panels wrapping

If we take the Bregenz museum as a starting point to analyze opening and perforation, we realize that there are no opening except the main door, and the emergency exit.  However, the lighting system is quite interesting. Being a museum, Bregenz, has a need for diffuse, and never direct light that is why all the panels are transparent but never see-true.  There are two ways this diffuse light can get in the building.  For the main spaces, the stairs and hallways it’s lateral, however in the exhibition rooms the light would come from above, also crossing two layers of glass.

In the Piraeus project, I took over the idea of these overlapping panels. On bregenz the main line is horizontal, but we could also imagine in vertical for a taller building, or to create more dynamic, panels could shift both vertically and horizontally.

The then density of those panels could change, and this would at the same time change its 3 dimensional form. But this seems to be too chaotic.

The idea would be to create a dynamic of the façade, in both directions, horizontally by over lapping the panels, and vertically by making the void between the structure and the actual façade alternate.

Also, it should be playing with the sunlight and the water reflects. So in this perspective I made it simpler, and playing more on the over-lapping than the density, and imagining a vertical movement of the whole.

x2_random facade pattern

This second exercice is a direct continuation of the previous one.

The facade made out of random positioned glas pannels is only a exterior layer that loosly wraps the building. The interior facade and actual water barrier is recessed by approximately 2.5 meters and is entirely glazed. Projecting slabs, linking the exterior “screen” with the interior facade, become balconies. The building structure is a metal frame construction with large oval cased columns and a grid of horizontal beams.  The columns are on the inside of the interior facade on the northern facade, on the southern facade however, they are located between the 2 facade layers perforating the balconies.

image source

In the parametric model, all facade elements have been converted into volumes. In addition I introduced randomized colors for the glas panels. Also I added a function to the GET PANELS script that avoids endless loops and the program crashes related to it.
The interior facade is parametricaly designed as well. All geametry is first created (mainly by extrusion of plane surfaces) and then multiply copied to it’s position according to the dimension and rhythm of the facade. The rhythms interior facade and the exterior screen are directly linked: The rhythm of the interior windows matches the rhythm of the metal bars holding up the colored panels and there’s a colum every seventh window.

Screenshots of the parametric model:

Overvier of the grashopper canvas:

The core of the gh code: The creation of the randomized pattern

The two functions written in VB.NET:

Detail plan and section extracted from the parametric model:

Influence on the Piraeus project

The doubling of the facade creates a space in between with specific qualities:  An exterior space, exposed to fresh air, but at the same time partly  protected from wind and strong sunlight. Such spaces might be interesting for the Piraeus Tower: Loggias with view on the port and the city, where the air can circulate freely due to the gaps between the enveloping glas pannels. An ideal place to spend some hours in the shade waiting for your ship to embark.
Starting from these loggias where the glas panels are brought on out of functional need, they might spread over the facade of the tower like lichen over a stone.

x2_CCTV from OMA

To fully understand the following post you can read the last one which introduces the main ideas. X1_CCTVfrom OMA
As a source I used the book CCTV by OMA, A+U, 2005

The main structure of the CCTV is a continuous grid of diagonal steel beams – called structural diagrid – which cover the whole building. Where the loads are too big, the diagrid is doubled or even quadrubled. In addition to this structure there is a orthogonal structure which consists of vertical load-bearing columns and horizontal perimeter edge beams. These two grids penetrate the concrete slab in a certain distance from the façade. The diagrid is repeated on the outside where it holds the windows in place – this is actually what we see from the outside.

Taking the interpretation from the last exercice as base, I created a parametrical 3D model in Grasshopper which generates an abstraction of what the CCTV is.
As you move the z- or x-spacing in the model, the diagrid changes its proportions. The width and thickness of both diagrid and reinforcement can be set up individually. Until now the vertical columns and the perimeter edge beam are not really adjustable with parameters but the slabs change their position regarding the z-spacing – one z-spacing contains three floors.
The two intersecting planes generate automatically plan and section and they can be moved either along the z or the x axis. These line drawings are moved out of the 3D model and create a composite drawing with elevation, plan and section as you can see below. Next to this drawing a series of axonometric projections shows the simplified layering of the model.

make2D from baked GH-model

klick on the giff file showing the different layers

download Rhino file
download GH code

To get into the third dimension taking the last GH-file was not really possible, so I started the definition from scratch. The new definition doesn’t build up a line grid in the beginning but it creates a series of rhombi which then are offseted and extruded into volumes. The functions for the attractors remain basically the same but the reinforcement is again a new definition creating another rhombus around each influenced point.
The parametrical model so far is vertical, but I think it won’t be very tricky to move this onto an inclined plane and using its u/v coordinates to define the volumes. Another problem to solve is the overlapping from reinforcement and structure. I tried several ways to avoid it but all of them faild, one is still desactivated in the GH file.
I was also thinking about using this kind of rhombi to apply on whatever surface inspired from David Fanos tutorial. But his base elements stay 2-dimensional and always just share an edge instead of a surface when it would be 3D (offseted).

overview of the GH canvas with explanations

close-up_main structure is generated

close-up_attractors are being set up

close-up_reinforcementis generated around influenced points

close-up_slab and orthogonal grid are generaded

close-up_plan and section are generated

Precedent Sign-up

Select your precedent in the comments below. First-come, first-served.
KPF | Pinnacle London | London, UK
OMA |CCTV | Beijing, China
Asymptote | Strata Tower | Abu Dhabi, UAE
Jean Nouvel | Torre Agbar | Barcelona, Spain
LAB | Soho Shangdu | Beijing, China
Schneider + Schumacher | Westhafen Tower | Frankfurt, Germany
Barkow Leibinger | Trutec | Seoul, Korea
Krueck + Sexton | Spertus Institute | Chicago, USA
SHoP | The Porter House | New York, USA
Alejandro Aravena | Siamese Towers | Santiago, Chile
SANAA | Christian Dior | Tokyo, Japan
Herzog & de Meuron | Prada Aoyama | Tokyo, Japan
Office dA | Daniels Faculty | Toronto, Canada
Diener & Diener | Novartis | Basel, Switzerland
Gehry Partners | Art Gallery | Ontario, Canada
LAB | Federation Square | Melbourne, Australia
Rafael Moneo | Congress Center | San Sebastián, Spain
Peter Zumthor | Kunsthaus | Bregenz, Austria
PTW | Watercube | Beijing, China