Posts Tagged ‘sketches’

X3 _ Perforated Info Tower

INFORMATION [all over the] TOWER vs OPENINGS

The Info Tower helps new arriving tourists and locals to find an indication to the ferry and its departure time, to get the weather of tomorrow, the local time and date, events in Piraeus and Athens… and in the same time offering some advertisement space might cover a part of the investment in the tower.

It’s the new emblem of contemporary, metropolitan Piraeus/ Athens, right at the entrance to the city and stands in a strong contrast to its omni-present classical greek architecture.

The info panels can also function as sun – and noise block. By placing them shifted over the edge of a slab, it can create some shadow and by inclining the lower panels,they can block street noise.

Design Strategy:

First extrude the panels, depending on their placement on the facade; then create ‘cuts’ because of an exceptional interior space, which needs more direct light and views; then increase some panels, which occupy a marketing strategical place on the facade. Like edges, the center at the top and the bottom…

Analyse of strategical placement on the Piraeus Tower

Grasshopper Algorhythm:

1. Panel extrusion increases throughout the height

2. Definition of 3 heights of certain importance

3. Panel extrusion increases to those heights

4. Definition of some important points for views…

5. Lower the panels within a certain distance to such a point

–> depending on the distance to this point

6. Definition of a strategic placement of the info panels

–> Increases the height of the closest panels

Rhino and Grasshopper Model

I mostly compared the z-coordinate of a point to a certain height

and then analysed the distance to the height

if the z-coordinate is lower than the height, then it should do a certain panel… and so on…

I did the openings in the same way, by analysing the distance to such a point

Last Sketch:

After this analyse of the perforation of the info panels, I think to focuss more on the placement and the importance of the info panels is more important and should define the overall image of the tower.

The perforation of those panels, because of a need of more light and direct views should be secondary.

As indicated in the lower sketch: At important areas on the tower, the panels should be larger and the distance to the neighboring panels should be larger as well, so the important panel stands out of the homogenous panel mix.

Also the lower panels should be inclined and smaller, because of legibility factors and to block noise, as mentioned above.

Hexaraeus Process

source for the reference images:

http://www.tensilefabric.co.uk/fabric-structures/tensile-fabric-portfolio/project.aspx?type=exterior&ref=1241

http://www.tenso.ws/realizzazioni/detail.php?c=3&id=30

Why am I interested in cable-membrane tensile structure/skin?

1) Structural: The structure of Piraeus tower has not been protected for the 30 last years. Maybe we can’t afford adding a heavy façade. The “cable-membrane tensile structure/skin” is very light.

2) Economical: Economical situation in Greece is not at the best. Are the materials of a “cable-membrane tensile structure/skin” cheap? To be verified.. But it is possible to create large formal variations with the exact same pieces.

3) Formal: The membrane is capable of taking “complex” shapes with a very simple process

4) Comfort/Ecology: Looking at the interior photographies of the tower, they seemed pretty dark: it seems that the sunlight is not so strong. But still we know that in summer, the sun in athens is very hot, and a glass façade could result in overheating. These translucent membranes don’t block light, but offers a protection to sun rays.

Process: perforated Info Tower

Strategic placements of information panels on Piraeus tower from the different points of views on the tower.

Different panels with individual functions (sun block, info panel, noise block, windows) or one multi – performance panel system…

Some research sketches:

- sequence of different functions panels

- the panels can be superimposed


1. Sun protection panels: same height and same disposition for each floor

2. Info panels: expand vertically during the height of the tower, because of visibility constraints

3. One can define important points on the facade, where bigger openings are wanted, because of an exceptional

inside space or an imposant view -> info panels lowered or maybe pixellated or shifted

4. On marketing strategically important locations on the facade like the top and the bottom of the tower, the corners…

-> the info panels expand as well




I tried to model the two first sketches in grasshopper. The expanding info panels and 3 important apertures in the facade. Next step would be to adapt the strategical areas on the facade.

There might be an easier way, than what I’m trying to do in my grasshopper file. Maybe someone could have a look….

rhino file

grasshopper file




Piraeus tower: esquisse

Ce projet d’une nouvelle peau pour la Piraeus Tower doit faire face au fait que la construction de tours ne fait pas partie de l’histoire d’Athènes. La population de la ville a de la peine à les accepter, car celles-ci sont perçues comme des concurrentes aux monuments historiques. De plus, Piraeus Tower a été construite il y a 30 ans et renvoie toujours une image négative, et est aujourd’hui encore la seule tour construite dans la ville.

Ce projet doit également résoudre une contradiction: faire de la tour une « landmark », et en même temps l’intégrer dans l’intégrer dans le paysage urbain.

La tour est clairement divisées en trois parties:

  • Un vide inférieur au niveau de la rue, où il y a une forte circulation
  • Un volume horizontal, dont la hauteur ne dépasse pas celle des bâtiments environnants
  • Un volume vertical depuis lequel la vue sur le port et la ville est spectaculaire.

La question de l’acceptation de la tour en tant que telle dans la ville est certainement la plus grosse contrainte. L’idée est de ne pas considérer ce bâtiment comme une tour, mais comme une association de différentes zones / niveaux. La division de la tour en 2 volumes et un vide pose tout de suite la question de trouver une peau qui unifierait le bâtiment, ou alors une peau qui conserverait / accentuerait ces divisions. Par rapport à la 1ère conclusion, il me semble logique de partir de la 2ème solution: la peau ne serait pas une pièce, mais 3 pièces (ou plus) soulignant les différentes parties.

En jouant sur la distance depuis laquelle la tour est vue, le simple fait de souligner le volume vertical serait suffisant à créer en même temps une « landmark » visible de loin.