Parametric Facade


//The main task of this exercise is to decode the logic of complex facade solutions, defining
the computational system behind them. This exercise wants to train students in setting a
proper computational strategy, approaching their complex design proposals through a series
of simple steps. Students will have to choose an existing facade solution from a various
collection of proposals provided.//

Project: Mediopadana Station (Reggio, Italy)
Architect: Santiago Calatrava

”The roof construction designed by Santiago Calatrava is composed of 19 modules, each of which is made up of a stepped series of 25 steel elements positioned about 1 meter apart. Embedded in a completely flat landscape, the modules arranged in the shape of a three-dimensional sinusoidal curve create a compelling dynamic structure: a perfect wave” –

The facade of Mediopadana Station can be understood as a series of stepped elements following the logic of a sine wave. Each Facade consists of two sine waves, rotated and offset from each other in order to create desired angles and height of facade.

Front Facade + Arched Entry:
Sine Wave: Point count, amplitude, length, offset in z-axis, frequency and rotation angle around x-axis. We generate two sine curves and connect the associated points with lines, resulting in a ruled surface. These lines becomes our facade columns and will be given thickness. To create a point of entry we can extract the points between one wave length. We do this by selecting the wave length in the center of the curve. Once we have the points, we can offset them and connect the two point lists with lines.

Back Facade + Roof:
Back facade is essentially a mirror of the front facade.We connect the two upper sine curves with lines, and by that we are instantly generating a roof, undulating with an alternating pattern.

Process in steps:

Mediopadana Station – Geometric Representation:

Geometric Manipulations:

At last, Mediopadana Station; Roof Undulation:


Mediopadana Station – Parametric Facade is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at  Master in Advanced Architecture, MA01 in 2017 by:

Students: Lars Erik Elseth
Faculty: Rodrigo Aguirre & Aldo Sollazzo