Design Proposal/ Digital Tooling System

A pseudo code for the final design proposal was written in the form of a flowchart. To enable the application of the material system on different sites and conditions, digital models have to be simulated for testing purposes. A digital algorithm that allows for recursion is needed to produce different iterations to constantly re-evaluate the generated outcome. Within the intelligence algorithm the material behaviour of the system and the possible spatial limitations have to be taken
into consideration.

Since fluidity of the transition between static architectural elements is the main objective, the
function of these spatial conditions has to be considered in the pseudo code of the design process. The values of areas of space to satisfy certain program are the main initial input.

The performative function of the architectural elements to be introduced, as realized by the previous
material investigation can be quantified and fine-tuned to modulate the thermal comfort within the interior spaces. This optimization process could also benefit from the recursive nature of the architectural parametric tool. The intention is a digital tool where the input is program areas and the outcome is fabric patches that could be materialized using digital fabrication tools. This could aid in bridging the gap between the designer and the construction worker to minimize error in the construction of complex concrete structures, and thus simplifying the process of forming and materializing such buildings.  


For a better resolution of the video please see the Vimeo link: http://vimeo.com/35645176

After writing the algorithm that incorporates the main plan generation of the proposed building, the extraction of restrain points from that plan, and the dynamic relaxation script of the roof shell, the algorithm is started to generate an initial iteration. Starting with the site, a topography that corresponds to the programmatic organization scheme is introduced. Pathways that are also the result of the circle packing and Voronoi generation of the plan are mapped onto the surface of the topography.

The centers of the polygons of the main program areas is also extracted to mark starting points of the solar chimney vectors. The vectors are tilted towards the leeward wind direction and away from direct solar radiation. Those instructions are carried forth according to environmental pressures of the immediate site and the spatial needs of each program under each solar chimney. The heights of the vectors are the result of the previous extraction of the height to area ratios of the conical form of each program, as explained earlier.

The interesting part of working with the digital mesh relaxation algorithm is its capacity to be morphed using similar methods of forming as the physical fabric to achieve similar tensile formations. The mesh is cropped for holes digitally, and restraint points are marked corresponding to these openings to create the architectural elements investigated earlier. Restraint points are also marked around the edges to create arch-like openings to bring in light and create entrances. After these conditions are set the mesh relaxation algorithm is started and continues running to find an optimized morphology.


Design Development/ Analysis of Emergent Form

A series of digital models were generated to be tested for quantities to be used as input parameters. The condition of the interior space in terms of lighting and thermal comfort was of primal concern during this phase of the design. These conditions can be controlled in the interior through the generated skin.

Interior formal elements were chosen from the AnaHYBIOS models to be introduced as final geometry generators. The final geometry in this case being composed of spatial instances where the instance is shaped by the effect of force on matter to produce an environmentally controlled space. A space that is affected by the exterior weather conditions in a specific location.  Methods of organizing these elements and clustering them were revised.

Limitations of the material system were considered while the conditions are set for the mesh relaxation algorithm to produce desirable spatial outcomes. Different programmatic scenarios were sketched to anticipate the pragmatic function of the generated spaces. Perceptual thresholds were created by introducing the spatial elements at specific instances.

One major limitation of the HYBIOS system is the amount of vertical distance needed to achieve a habitable floor area. That extra height clearance however, has the  capability  of creating a stack effect for natural ventilation within the building. The geometry of the solar chimneys have to be tested and oriented according to surrounding weather conditions.

Iterations of the initial algorithm were generated to be tested. The first two spaces were generated based on a hypothetical program, that has similar areas to a patch of the overall proposed program.

Straight Solar Chimney CFD

Tilted Solar Chimney CFDThe morphology of the exterior skin was tested for straight and inclined solar chimneys, it became clear that the chimneys have to be oriented towards the wind source and away from the sun to reduce the stagnation of wind on the exterior and improve the stack effect inside the building.

The third and fourth prototypes were tested for their interior spatial condition, starting by shifting the ground planes of each program to create more differentiation between the parts.

Plate stress tests were carried out on the form using strand7 to determine the thickness of the concrete shell.

The emergent interior space became a well-lit, well ventilated space and the qualities of the previous physical models started to show in the interior of the digital models.