Throughout his career Gaudi developed columns that transcended their structural purpose and became the manifestation and his ideals in each of his different projects. For this project the focus was set on the columns used by Gaudi in Palau Guell. In this building a single column is split into three slender columns that are arranged in a triangular disposition receded from the outside openings. In this way the columns not only support the space, they create and layer it aswell.

With this initial concept in mind our research led us to the Banyan tree, an Asian species that creates massive air roots that spread from the treetop down to support its own weight. As the tree matures and the roots get denser and thicker, they start to create cave like spaces within the tree’s structure. Inspired by this for the symbiosis project the branching becomes inverted and this way the columns not only support the space they become it.

The column’s sections and profiles are based in the geometrical abstraction of the bracket fungi, a common tree dwelling species that is able to live on the Banyan tree. Following Gaudi’s design principle the section of the column is the result of the intersection of two profiles that counter rotate with different angles as they go up.  Whenever the profiles reach a branching knot the profile at that given point is divided from its centre point into as many segments as there are branches and then each piece becomes the section of each new branches



SE.4 – Elective Seminar
Structure conceived as branching columns
Faculty: Mark Burry 
Computational and Fabrication expert: Rodrigo Aguirre