Category Archives: project 1

p1_Kate Thompson_04

Circular Symbiosis Tower

There are many changes rapidly approaching the world of design and the design of the world.  Topics such as population growth, urban zoning, sustainable agriculture and vital, healthy standards of living.  That is why I choose this particular project that addresses all these topics.  I seen many examples of “living” towers but this particular one stood out because it is the first skyscraper that proposes a vertical farm for actual livestock. The main concept is to create a new habitat to raise cattle within the city. The skyscraper consists of spiraling platforms or grass fields where cows will be free to roam. After 30 days of habiting the same pasture they will rotate to the next level. Then the cycle continues with other animals shifting into freshly chewed grass area the cows left, animals like chicken.  Transportation costs will be non-existent and the raised animals will have a better quality of life.

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Crafted entirely from recycled shipping pallets and cardboard, the “Pupa Pavillion” promotes both parametric design and sustainability in the creation of a unique interior space.  Constructed of nearly four thousand triangular components, the triangular frames were glued together in accordance with a parametric computational map, meticulously assembled to create an interior alcove. Developed in order to inspire employees to rethink what we take for granted, the elegant and inviting form of the pavilion serves to demonstrate how the materiality of cardboard can add function with sound control, as the acoustic properties make for an intimate meeting space. As an installation in a typical office setting, this design also demonstrates how transformative design can be in a space. From the photos alone, one can see a stark contrast between the cold, white office space and the warm, inviting, and lit-up pavilion. As space can serve to influence the behavior of those using it, one can speculate that the space created by the form and mass of the pavilion could be utilized to influence communication between employees or encourage flexibility and creativity within the workplace.




Waterfalls have many qualities that may be beneficial to skyscrapers of the future. What makes waterfalls so unique is the fluidity of the water. The fluidity makes waterfalls the ever-changing beauties that they are. Each drop of water smoothly adjusts individually relative to both the environmental conditions that it is surrounded by and the surrounding water. The ability to change and adjust smoothly could be related to a possible facade treatment, the has the ability to change when affected by certain environmental conditions. Waterfalls also have the ability to evolve over time through erosion, in order to keep their path efficient and fluid. This could be desirable in programming. Times change and buildings are continually being updated and renovated to fit whatever needs that are required of them. Therefore the program of a skyscraper should be able to easily and smoothly adjust to various functions possible in the future.

In today’s world, the most desirable offices, hotel rooms, and apartments are often located at the top of the tower, where views are the best, and where people feel as though they are at the top of a metaphorical social ladder. This would create a higher density, or concentration at the top, quite like a Akaka Falls. The closer to the bottom the water gets, the thinner and more spread out it becomes. Right at the bottom, the falls almost seem to be a blur, gently blending into the surrounding environment, the pool at the bottom.


The above image is a high-speed photo of ink being poured into water. The photo is very mysterious and can be interpreted as a sculptural or architectural. If you look at the photograph architecturally, the different colors can represent different parts of the tower depending on program with the blue being the most public of the spaces to the red being the most private and the purple being the intermediate spaces for both private and public uses.

If you look at the photo from an architectural standpoint, the shape of the ink in the water defies gravity which can be tricky but very interesting to explore in the design of a tower. The base is considerably smaller than the top, similar to a tree. But I believe it is very possible depending on choice of structure and program.

Looking at the photograph literally, it freezes the movement of two different fluids yet as a viewer, you can still imagine the sequences before and after this frame. If you take this concept into the architecture, it would be amazing to try and convey movement or fluidity through a tower, an object that appears so static due to its mere structure.

p1_Steven Ramage_03

I chose a renovated warehouse that was wrapped in a cinderblock skin.  I feel that there are a lot of existing unused buildings that can be reused and revitalized in the united States. This example of three old warehouses in Shanghai that were transformed into an artist complex by Archi Union Architects. The renovation of the old fabric warehouses includes an undulating skin that was inspired by humble materials (ordinary cinderblocks) that are transformed into a parametric wall that is reminiscent of the buildings previous use, fabric. The façade consists of a wall of glass shrouded in an undulating cement block skin that provides light and the appearance of movement. This affect was accomplished because the blocks have been stacked and carefully rotated around three sides of the building.

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Australian architects M3Architecture and Brian Hooper Architect have completed a memorial to a tree in Queensland, Australia. The “Tree of Knowledge” was a ghost gum tree, revered because it is said that during the 1891 shearers’ strike the Australian Labour Party was founded under its boughs. In 2006 vandals poisoned the tree with pesticide and it died soon after.  The vaulted, lit structure represents a chapel memorial and the similar repetition of elements calls to mind fields of tombstones.

The “Tree of Knowledge” addresses issues of lighting throughout a massive structure. At night the memorial is illuminated and creates a popular meeting place for social exchange. The structure uses parameters to define lighting in a unique way to highlight a memorial. The original root ball of the tree is preserved and showcased to visitors through a glass floor panel located under the canopy.  How do you create a gateway, landmark or sculpture (seen and recognized from a far) with out creating light pollution?

p1_Kate Bogenschutz_01

Hydrogenase is a project designed by Vincent Callebaut as an algae farm to recycle C02 for a a bio-hydrogen airship. The project began as a study into bio mimicry in design and function. Hydrogen has long been viewed as a viable clean energy source with it’s ability to produce electricity and biofuel without emitting CO2 or other pollutants. The project discusses the possibility of using living micro-organisms, seaweeds, as the resource to produce hydrogenase enzymes.

Their website discusses this process in detail :”Moreover, a farm with seaweeds is a true miniature biochemical power station able to absorb CO2 as main nutrient by photosynthesis accelerated by producing hydrogen in vitro or in bioreactors. This natural process, nourishing itself with our waste enables thus to recycle under the effect of the sun, in seaweeds or sea water baths, up to 80% of carbonic gas and NOx (nitrogen oxides also very impacting on the greenhouse effect). The global organic cycle enables therefore to revaluate our carboned rejections such as for example those are coming from filters with particles of our cars, reactors of our airplanes or also our rockets coming from thermal power stations with coal or gas…No airplane, no helicopter, no aircraft, the project « Hydrogenase » marks a new generation of state-of-the-art hybrid airships. It is dedicated to humanitarian missions, rescue operations, installation of platforms for scientific studies, and of course to air freight. Then, complementary activities could be entertainment, eco-tourism, hotel, human transports, air media coverage and territorial waters surveillance.”

The scale of the proposal is massive, including four inhabitable spaces within four distinct “bubbles” afloat only through renewable energy. While the scale and use of the project seems a tad outrageous it does bring to question the ability of a building, or spacecraft, to not only utilize renewable energy but also host the organisms that produce it, creating a closed, 100% self-sufficient, organic entity.

p1_Adam Eaton_03

This skyscraper concept is by Sohta Mori and Yuichiro Minato for the Evolo Architecture competition.  Height and shape were not constraints but it had to take into consideration existing urban fabric, human scale and the environment.

Connecting three twisted forms in this wrapping modern way creates my favorite part of the building which is the central outdoor green space.  The void in the center of these shapes has four terraces and is mostly covered.  The possibility of being on the 75th floor of a skyscraper and being outdoors with trees and a large green area to take care of your animals or just be outdoors is intriguing.  I’ve always been drawn to geometric design that creates voids and movement with its intersection and overlapping which is the strength of this project.  I think they did an excellent job of working the environment into what is usually a kind of project where that issue is not addressed.

p1_Eric Blyth_02

Often times the building skin is overlooked and undeveloped in comparison to the interior it surrounds. However when applied correctly, the design scheme can inform the design of the facade. In this example, Bjarke Ingles Group uses the facade on the underground parking structure to enhance the mountain metaphor being applied to their Vertical Suburbia in Copenhagen. Using 6 different size holes, an image of Mt. Everest is projected onto the perforated steel cladding. From the interior, the screen appears as an organic patterning spanning the facade, and from the exterior a stunning black and white image. Not only is this aesthetically beautiful but it also serves practical purposes for ventilation and natural light in the parking garage. The holes allow breezes to blow in while preventing any precipitation from entering.

BIG also uses this perforation method in their Danish Pavilion in China, this time expressing the structural forces going through the facade. The degree of stress on the steel screen determines the size and amount of perforation. Similar to the previous project, these perforations serve as sources of ventilation and natural light as well as a reflection of the movement of visitors and bikes on the interior.