A Force of Nature
Objective: To combine parametric computational design with the physical production of columns to understand how a branching system could be created from one column. Taking inspiration from Gaudi and Segrada Familia, how can a branching system then be applied to a building’s design. Inspiration: When looking to nature for inspiration, we became fascinated with the idea of lightning. While the bifurcation that occurs in lightning looks to be random, in actual fact there is a logic that is followed and thus we began to explore this. Column Profiling: When thunderclouds build up, a strong negative charge forms at the bottom of the cloud which gets attracted to the positive charges in the ground. As the positive and negative charges collide the lightning bolt appears. Formed from these charges are atoms, the most basic unit of matter. Flattening the atomic structure, a 2d geometry is achieved which forms the starting point for the profile. The profiles play on the idea of positive and negative, by removing, adding or mirroring lines to create a wide variety of patterns with both straight and curved lines. Fabrication: During the two day workshop three columns were produced. Using a simple setup whereby a profile followed a set of rails, the columns were formed. Through the fabrication process we learnt the importance of mixing the plaster to the right consistency as well as needing patience and efficiency as the plaster dried quickly. Column 1: Rotation 45 degrees Column 2: Rotation 30 degrees Column 3: Rotation 40 and 20 degrees Branching: Lighting is created through a network of lines that follow one another. As one line ends, another begins, sometimes splitting into two branches from one node. Using the essence of layers and points as a guide, a network is created using the shortest path method in Grasshopper. Each layer of points connects to the next layer of points forming the branching system. Through the use of Kangaroo a smooth transition between the branches is created. Structurally, the main branch carries most of the load, but then the sub branches could help to support the building too, creating the possibility of introducing layers internally. Design Challenge: Inspired by the tensile structures of Frei Otto’s Olympic Park in Munich, we explored how a branching system could hold up a mesh structure. The location of the site is the Glories Junction is Barcelona where a Hyperloop is to be built. The challenge includes using the developed branching system to design a waiting area for the Hyperloop Station. Our design combines a mesh structure with the branching system. The primary branches hold up the roof structure, and from the primary branches, secondary offshoots form to create a secondary structure that holds up the floors. A Force of Nature is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master in Advanced Architecture, in 2018/2019 by: Students: Juhi Bafna, Fiona Demeur, Maria Fechner, Timothy Law, Aishath Nadh ha Naseer, Hongyu Wang Faculty: Professor Mark Burry and Rodrigo Aguirre Support: Lana Awad, Nikoleta Mougkasi, Soroush Garivani, Arman Najari, Lars Erik Elseth