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Parametric: The Latest Architecture and News

7 Myths in Architectural Detailing that Are Changing in the Digital Age

The recent availability of automated design and production techniques is changing the development of building details. With parametric and algorithmic design methods and the use of digital fabrication, new abilities are required from architects for the design of details, at the same time as new players are beginning to take part in their development.

Although not always given the necessary attention, architectural details are of extreme importance for many aspects of a building. They can define its theoretical expression and technical character, and impact its production process, its assembly method and even its ecological footprint. Contemporary architecture shows a new interest in detailing, which should not be confused with a return to the appreciation of artisanal work.[1] This new interest is related to the recent re-involvement of the architect with the physical making of buildings, as a result of the use of digital technologies.[2] The new “digital master builder” [3] counts on file-to-factory processes, in which the morphology of construction details is directly related to the knowledge of the available production processes.

The Glacier Shelter Built from Nothing but Wood

At an altitude of 2735m, architecture students at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have built The Bonatti Bivouac, a temporary refuge for the A Neuve’s glacier. The shelter uses the envelope as a structural object, eradicating the need for metal, screws, or nails. Informed by theoretical architect Semper, their design uses the joints to form a piece of architecture.

© Keystone Courtesy of EAST/EPFL © Keystone © Keystone + 27

This Satisfying Algorithm Combines Japanese-Inspired Joints to Generate Any Form

Complex wood joineries have long been staples of Japanese architecture and construction, demonstrating an impressive and even artistic craft passed down through generations of Japanese carpenters and woodworkers. In recent times, with increasingly available resources and technology, these techniques have been further explored and made publicly accessible, be it through demonstrative gifs or downloadable fabricated joints.

In relation to these resources, Aryan Shahabian, a researcher at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna has developed an algorithm that generates over a billion distinct combinations of interlocking 3D objects, inspired by Japanese joineries. Both single joints and free forms are smoothly handled by the software, combined with endless resultant forms.

Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils New Experimental Structure Using 3D-Printing Technology

© Luke Hayes
© Luke Hayes

Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled a new experimental structure as part of Milan’s White In The City Exhibition during the city’s annual Salone del Mobile. Held at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in the heart of Milan’s design district, the exhibition explored the contemporary use of white color in design and architecture across various locations in the city. Named the Thallus – after the Greek word for flora that is not differentiated into stem and leaves, the sculpture is the latest in ZHA’s investigations using 3D printing technology. Thallus continues Zaha Hadid Architects’ Computational Design (ZHA CoDe) group’s research into generating geometries through robotic-assisted design.

© Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes + 17

Big Data Becomes Architecture in This CNC-Milled Screen Wall for IBM

Responding in part to recent debates on how big data will affect our built environments, Synthesis Design + Architecture have teamed up with IBM Watson Analytics to design an interior feature wall for the Watson Experience Center in San Francisco. The project, named Data Moiré after the dizzying patterns created by overlapping sets of lines, uses data from the influence of mobile phones on monthly consumer spending to create a precise screen material that defines the wall.

Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture + 31

"DESIGN H(ij)ACK" When Art/Design Meet Public Space

The objective of the program is to generate tangible prototypes and solutions along the theme of "DESIGN H(ij)ACK - When Art & Design Meet Public Space". Cross-disciplinary collaboration is a necessity, combined with strong knowledge integration from research, concepts, design, to execution, “DESIGN H(ij)ACK” encourages all participants to think differently, design efficiently, and work economically, mostly important: collectively.

SUTD Professors Bring Parametric Design To Light in Illuminated 3D Printed Installation

A luminous tetrahedral mesh spanning 10 meters, (Ultra) Light Network is the latest 3D printed innovation achieved by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Professors Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon, who were also behind this mesh pavilion last year. Displayed at this year’s iLight Marina Bay in Singapore, the interactive light sculpture is an exploration of how full-scale 3D printed components can create a system to “address not only structural requirements but also power transmission, and information communication within a seamless and continuous aesthetic.”

Suspended over its visitors, the display engages the public through responses to their movements below, controlled by over 50,000 distinct LED pixels and their parent algorithm. This is made possible through five Teensy microcontrollers, working in conjunction with three ultrasonic sensors at the base of the structure, resulting in a lively and illuminating experience.

© SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon © SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon © SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon © SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon + 18

This Mysterious 3D Printed Grotto Challenges Boundaries of Computational Geometry and Human Perception

© Fabrice Dall’Anese
© Fabrice Dall’Anese

Following the success of their highly intricate Arabesque Wall, Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer have once again achieved new levels of ornamental eye candy – this time, with a full-scale 3D printed grotto created from seven tons of sandstone. Commissioned by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the grotto is an example of how the spatial expression of computational technologies can make for remarkable architectural experiences.

“Digital Grotesque II is a testament to and celebration of a new kind of architecture that leaves behind traditional paradigms of rationalization and standardization and instead emphasizes the viewer’s perception, evoking marvel, curiosity and bewilderment,” state Dillenburger and Hansmeyer.

© Michael Lyrenmann © Michael Hansmeyer © Michael Hansmeyer © Michael Hansmeyer + 22

Fluid Luminosity: The Architectural Lighting of Zaha Hadid

Leeza SOHO, construction 2017, Beijing / China. Image © MIR
Leeza SOHO, construction 2017, Beijing / China. Image © MIR

Zaha Hadid's projects are remarkable not only for her innovative way of handling tangible materials but also for her imagination regarding the medium of light. Her theories of fragmentation and fluidity are now well-known design techniques which enabled her form-finding. However, her advances in using light to render her architecture have often been neglected—even though they became an essential element in revealing and interpreting her architecture. The three-decade transition from minimal light lines at her early Vitra Fire Station to the world's tallest atrium at the Leeza SOHO skyscraper, which collects an abundance of daylight, shows the remarkable development of Zaha Hadid’s luminous legacy.

Heydar Aliyev Center, 2013, Baku / Azerbaijan. Image © Hélène Binet Nordpark Railway Station, 2007, Innsbruck / Austria. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hungerburgbahn-Bergstation.JPG'>Wikimedia user Hafelekar</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> MAXXI Museum, 2009, Rome / Italy. Image © Iwan Baan Phaeno Science Center, 2005, Wolfsburg / Germany. Image © Werner Huthmacher + 13

The Parametric Process Behind the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie's Auditorium

Of all its bells and whistles, the focal point of Herzog and de Meuron’s latest successful endeavor, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, is arguably the central auditorium, as explored in this new article by WIRED. An incredible example of the possibilities of parametric design, the hall is comprised of 10,000 individual acoustic panels that line the walls, ceilings, railings and balconies. Each of the panels consists of one million “cells” of varying dimensions, created to help define the sound within the space.

Singapore BCA International BIM Competition 2016

To raise awareness and built competency in using Computational design and BIM (Building Information Modeling) innovatively for Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA)
Open to all full-time students from a registered tertiary institution in their respective countries.
$5000 - First Prize
$3000 - Second Prize
$2000 - Third Prize
$800 - Merit

Margot Krasojevic Proposes Trolleybus Garden that Generates Electricity From the Movement of Vehicles

Far from the common dismissal of Margot Krasojevic’s work as (in her own words) “parametric futurist crap,” her work has always revolved around concepts of sustainability. As she explained to ArchDaily last year, she aims to focus on the ways that sustainable technology “will affect not just an architectural language but create a cross disciplinary dialogue and superimpose a typology in light of the ever-evolving technological era.” For the second project in a series of three proposals for the city of Belgrade Serbia, the architect is proposing a “Trolleybus Garden” that functions as a waiting shelter and park while simultaneously harnessing kinetic movement to produce electricity.

© Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević + 16

"DIY For Architects": This Parametric Brick Facade Was Built Using Traditional Craft Techniques

With their latest facade construction, Iranian architecture firm Sstudiomm explores the potential that brick can offer by utilizing parametric architecture. Instead of relying on unique construction elements for assembly on-site at a later date, in their new project (called, in full, "Negative Precision. On-Site Fabrication of a Parametric Brick Facade // A DIY for Architects") the firm considers how a simple mass-produced element like the brick can be assembled in unique ways by taking advantage of digital technology. While firms like Gramazio Kohler have already developed industrial methods of assembling brickwork following parametric designs, Sstudiomm aims for a more lo-fi approach, creating parametric brick walls using little more than the traditional construction methods found in Iran and a dose of ingenuity.

Courtesy of Sstudiomm Courtesy of Sstudiomm Courtesy of Sstudiomm Courtesy of Sstudiomm + 17

This App Lets You Manipulate BIG’s Serpentine Pavilion on Your iPad Screen

BIG’s unzipped wall for the 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion has been a critic and fan favorite so far this summer. Its simple parametric design has inspired the array of captivating photos and even a virtual model that allows you to adjust the parameters of the structure in your browser window. Now you can play with its design wherever you go, thanks to a new app by Studioclam.

Play With a Parametric Version of BIG's Serpentine Pavilion in this Model

Every year the Serpentine Gallery commissions an Architect to design a pavilion which will sit on its lawn, greeting the hundreds of thousands of people who will visit over the summer months. Temporary pavilions like this are an important chance for architects to test new ideas, and to communicate to the public what architecture is and could be.

Unless you’re in London, you may not get the opportunity to visit the pavilion physically, but thanks to the web we can take you there virtually.

Courtesy of Archilogic Courtesy of Archilogic Courtesy of Archilogic Courtesy of Archilogic + 8

5 Ways Computational Design Will Change the Way You Work

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter.

These days, nearly every architect uses a computer. Whether it’s for 3D modeling, documentation or even creating a program spreadsheet, computers are well entrenched within the profession. Architects now need to know almost as much about software as they do about structures, building codes, and design.

As our tools become more powerful and sophisticated, we need to evolve and develop our working methods in order to stay competitive. I’ve written previously about how architects should learn to code. A lot of the problems we need to solve don’t fall within the capabilities of off-the-shelf software. We need to tweak and customize our tools to work the way we work. Creating our own tools and software is one way to do this.

That said, the reality is that not everyone has the time or the inclination to learn how to code. It’s time-consuming and you’ve got projects to run, show drawings to review, and buildings to design. Fortunately there are new tools available that deliver the power of programming without the need for all that typing.

Enter computational design and visual programming.

7 Futuristic Fabrications Leading Us Towards a Newer Architecture

Swept up in an age of digitization and computing, architecture has been deeply affected in the past decade by what some critics are calling “The Third Industrial Revolution.” With questions of craft and ethics being heavily present in the current architectural discourse, projects taking advantage of these new technologies are often criticized for their frivolous or indulgent nature. On the other hand, there has been an emergence of work that exemplifies the most optimistic of this “Third Industrial Revolution” – an architecture that appropriates new technology and computation for the collective good of our cities and people.

We’ve collected 7 of these projects, ranging from exemplars of engineering to craft and artistry; projects that 80 years after Le Corbusier’s modernist handbook hint at a further horizon – towards a newer architecture.

Interview with Asymptote Architecture: “We Are Spatial Engineers”

Founded in 1989, Asymptote Architecture is one of those rare practices that gained their initial notoriety despite the fact that in the early years of their practice most of their designs went unbuilt. As a result, only in the last decade or so have the practice's futuristic and parametric forms truly been tested as physical architecture, with projects such as the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi. In this installment of his “City of Ideas” column,Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Asymptote founders Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture about their inspirations, the creation of space and whether architecture can ever be thought of as solving problems.

The HydraPier Pavilion, Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands, 2002. Image Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture Steel Cloud, Los Angeles West Coast Gateway Competition, 1989. Image Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture Carlos Miele Flagship Store, New York, 2003. Image Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture 166 Perry Street Condominium, New York, 2006-10. Image Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture + 41