Testing the limits of structural viability and computer-based modeling, the 2017 Komorebi Pavilion used thin sheets of polyethylene terephthalate (PETG) in a unique way to develop an ethereal, self-supporting enclosure. The pavilion is the result of a collaboration between architecture students at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and engineering researchers at the University of Tokyo. The project, spanning six months, was lead by Cambridge-based architect Mark Mulligan (Associate Professor in Practice, GSD) and Tokyo-based structural engineer Jun Sato (Associate Professor, Tokyo University), who first met in July 2016 to organize the framework for the project. A charrette in November 2016 at GSD asked 60 students to design a free-standing, occupiable pavilion that uses only the 3/32” sheets of PETG. The project sought to explore how the application of advanced computational analysis could be used to design, fabricate and assemble redundant structural forms.
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