Anamorphic Carcases is a generation of architectural artifacts using, as a medium, the polluted aquifers lining the Mojave desert. Native species population, and fresh water supplies hang unbalanced in the desert- leaving Anamorphic Carcases to create an environmental performance through the purification process. Ultimately creating a symbol of pollution and an architectural stance on effects to the ecosystem.

Using monolithic operable holding tanks and an expandable water purifying scaffolding, the filtration process excretes and diffuses deposits that grow to skeletal artifacts. The deposits are composed of minerals, salts, and harmful alkaline and creosote compounds. The “carcases” that are left behind leave memorials of waste, gaining attention across the desert.

Visually, the project reflects the impact of pollutants in the aquatic ecology of the Mojave desert; tectonically the structure evolves through an aging process – emerging latent monuments to the site. The architecture, fully assembled, forms an ambiguity and pureness to the heavily aggregated structure, bringing a dialogue of hierarchy and tectonic qualities. Revisiting progressive techniques, such as aggregation and striations, the architecture creates a spectacle in relation to natural resources and technologies. The end result varies from site to site resulting in a emergence of sub-elements grouped in structurally aggregated figurations.

Design: Daniel Caven (SCIarc post graduate ESTM program)
Advisors: Casey Rehm, Marcelo Spina

Located on Jinghan Avenue in the bustling Qiaokou District, the commercial and business heart of Wuhan, China with light rail and mass transit railway accessibility, Heartland 66, designed by Aedas, is a mixed-use development which comprises a world-class shopping mall, Grade-A office tower and serviced apartments.

The design adopts a concept of ‘infinity loop’ as an association with the Chinese art of knot tie. The interwoven knots are usually tied with a jade ornament, symbolising blessing and wealth. The concept of infinity loop and knots, developed by Aedas’ Executive Directors Christine Lam and David Clayton, is transformed into actual retail circulation which appears as the visual feature uniting the three uses. The infinite form of knot is presented in the circulation and roof form, connecting the anchors and destinations with seamless flowing arcades.

The shopping mall is divided into three zones – the retail zone contains a large atrium for events; the alfresco zone contains a mix of retail and dining outlets with outdoor terraces; and the entertainment zone has a cinema. At the center of the looping roof form are stepping terraces for alfresco dining, offering a unique experience and interesting spaces in Hang Lung’s malls.

The prime located office tower, at over 300 metres tall, is connected to the shopping mall and a winter garden, enjoying views over the adjacent park towards the confluence of the Han River. Read the rest of this entry »

BLOCK is a video game for city planning and speculation. The game is founded on ideas of ecology, establishing the interdependencies of city entities such as housing, shops, parks and infrastructure. By allowing the player to understand how to use resources (money, waste, social capital), we can encourage entrepreneurship through the design of an ecological urbanism, allowing for new opportunities to be conceived in the city. The objective of the game is to both educate people and to generate user data for design patterns for the LA of 2050, producing the first database of a future city. The project will be open-source and free to access. The first prototype of the game has already been developed within USC School of Architecture.

BLOCK is competing to receive a grant from LA2050. To learn more and vote for BLOCK please visit LA2050.

In Spring 2014, the federal government of Mexico launched an invited international competition for the largest infrastructure development in Latin America under the leadership of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

In response to the needs and aspirations of the project, a team led by Fernando Romero and Norman Foster designed the Mexico City Airport. The aim was to revolutionize airport design and the experience of traveling, creating a building and infrastructure that will not only perform for the duration of the 21st century, but that will also manifest into an icon for the country of Mexico throughout the rest of time.

This collaboration brings the global knowledge and experience of the UK-based firm Foster + Partners, founded by the Pritzker-Prize winning architect Lord Foster, together with the Mexico and US-based based firm FR-EE, founded by the international architect Fernando Romero (FAIA). Additionally, the team worked closely with NACO, Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V., the world’s premier airport planning firm, with experience on over 500 international airports.

For passengers arriving, the Mexico City Airport will appear luminous from above, while upon vacating the aircraft they will experience a vast, column-free space, uplifting and full of light. This “Airport of the Future” is designed with inspiration from the past; the shape, the symbolism, the sheer monumentality of the building, are all drawn from Mexican art and architecture.

The architecture takes cues from the eagle on top of the rock devouring the serpent, one of the most prominent symbols in Mexico. For those picking up passengers, a lush Cacti Garden announces the entry to the terminal with the access road weaving like the form of a snake and the roof of the Terminal evoking the eagle with its wings opening to take flight. The intense colors, characteristic of Mexican culture, bleed into the functional components of the intelligent membrane skin/building facade. The Mesoamerican symbol of the sun is evoked within the central luminous vaulted hall. From the initial view from the sky and the car, to the awe-inspiring moment of making it inside, the architecture binds body and spirit, Mexico City and travel, technology and history, into a unified lightweight structure that evokes the excitement of traveling.

As a necessary and important investment for the country’s future, the new Mexico City Airport is a single terminal which is strategized to minimize costs and maximize experience. The building is one continuous, almost streamlined membrane, that allows every visitor to flow quickly and efficiently throughout. The structure is comprised of local lightweight materials and is systematized for a 4-year construction timeframe, as well as ideal for the soil conditions to minimize environmental impact. The proposed prefabricated system shall be manufactured in Mexico while using the country’s most advanced technologies available today in terms of strength, durability and efficiency. The coming together of global design talent and local innovation will allow for great spans and soaring heights, at one-third of the mass and three times the span of a typical airport.

In essence the design of the Mexico City Airport is that it could only exist in this place today. While Foster + Partners has pioneered techniques in sustainability for almost 50 years and FR-EE designed a hypergreen facility for the G20 Summit in 2012, the team is working with environmental research groups and specialist engineers to ensure that the Mexico City Airport will be LEED Platinum certified, qualifying it as the world’s first and most sustainable airport ever.

We believe that the Mexico City Airport must give meaningfully to all who encounter it; for those who use it, those who build it, those who produce the materials for it, and those who operate it. This airport will be made in Mexico, with Mexican materials by Mexican builders and engineers. The architecture and planning are very specific to the site as the soil and seismic conditions are unique.        

The FR-EE + Foster team has taken a truly holistic and exceptionally context-driven approach, designing a new model that will be the source of inspiration for future airports. It prioritizes being efficient and operationally flexible to accommodate new demands and changes in air travel. Above all, however, it aims to provide a beautiful, uplifting and memorable experience for people from all over the world. Over time, it will not only attract more visitors and users, but it will also serve as a catalyst for development and regeneration, transforming lives, the economy and the landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

HAO / Holm Architecture Office and AI have been chosen as a shared winner of the Eco City Binhai Master Plan, situated outside Tianjin in Northern China and covering an area of 49,2 acres / 200,000 M2. The plan includes a new Central Business District (CBD) and five new cultural buildings. The project has been chosen as a finalist for this years WAF in Singapore.

The Binhai Eco City Master Plan is the result of a unique collaboration between the Chinese and Singaporean governments. The project was conceived as a case study for a completely green development, emphasizing the use of renewable energy and the direct integration of natural surroundings into the built environment.

The project consists of a new Central Business District (CBD) as well as five new cultural buildings with programs ranging from exhibition spaces to libraries and dedicated educational space to sports facilities. Where the CBD will provide valuable new office space and create a bustling new city center, the cultural buildings will become the educational heart of the plan.

Both the CBD and the central cultural buildings are all designed to minimize energy use, and all incorporate ideas of passive building design, utilizing solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling to achieve near zero impact structures.

The entire master plan sits on a raised plateau, allocating traffic and service to a lower level, establishing the new Eco City Master Plan as a green pedestrian oasis within the larger development of the new Binhai area. The overall plan integrates and merges the cultural belt towards the water with the new CBD, drawing green areas towards the plan’s center. Read the rest of this entry »

HELIX Furniture System

By: admin | August - 28 - 2014

Designed by OSW-Open Source Workshop for the 2014 Milan Design Week, HELIX is a diffuse furniture system that generates a continuous interior space by adapting simultaneously to any vertical and horizontal surface while defining an immersive spatial atmosphere. Its form recalls a natural system that emerges from the structure beneath.

HELIX is modular and can be aggregated in different forms following the logic of spatial branching and growth. It can be placed in any private domestic space or in public indoor contexts.

The modules can vary in size, color, use, and orientation. The system morphs the space allowing the viewer to follow the visual continuous trajectory generated by the wrapper.

It is manufactured through iterative procedures guided by a 5-Axis robot able to carve out the modules from a solid mass of material. HELIX is made of EPS- expanded polystyrene obtained by corn; it is completely recyclable and the manufacturing process helps to reduce CO2 emissions allowing the project to be completely executed through fully sustainable processes. The structure is lightweight yet highly resistant due to the resin finish. Read the rest of this entry »

This project tackles the status of the icon in Architecture as they can pop up anywhere. The role of icon when thought of in a non-architectural sense can be related to icons in a logo sense which is a representation blurb of a company, application, commands, signs, etc. So to make the icon itself the project uses a means of graphic representation to distinguish itself from the context. Icons in a buildings sense may or may not have a relationship to its context in any sense form, space, material, etc. What all icons have in common is anyone of any culture who visits a city or place automatically know where they want to go when they visit that place, such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and so on.

The representation means was used to make something that could be distinguished by any culture. The forms, the massing, and the colors were all appropriated from the Pop Art and Super Flat Movement, the surface (window) projection follows the rules of the 4 square grid in pop art but without division between the varying colors. And the false window figures wrap the massing new facial expressions are formed as the figure becomes distorted. The idea was to create something relatively familiar by any culture but to not be tied to any at the same time. The project interacts with two other massing on the site who’s forms and surfaces derive from fashion influences, and the cubist movement. Collectively this project does not strive to relate to its context in a physical sense but rather a cultural sense where Art and Architecture are collapsed into one.

Critics: Elena Manferdini / Ryan Tyler Martinez
School: UC Berkeley/SCI-Arc collaboration
Students: Charles Shelton Green, Alberto Benejam, Yeseul Allie Chung Read the rest of this entry »

Johan Voordouw and Aisha Sawatsky have completed 12 digital etchings currently exhibited at the Rotterdam Kunsthal for IABR 2014 “Urban by Nature” biennale. Each etching contains a folly that articulates a specific weather condition. The project explores how shifts in climatic patterns will have a resultant cultural affect. Each of the twelve drawings expresses a weather condition, an activity, a different month and one of the Netherland’s twelve provinces. Therefore, the project is a reflection of the country as a whole, geographically, culturally, and with the passing of the seasons.

The final prints were produced by Mark Herschede of Haven Press Studio in Brooklyn. The digital drawings were photo-transferred onto a polymer plate and printed on 250gsm Arches Cover paper through a Takach Etching Press. Read the rest of this entry »

Multifarious Formations

By: admin | August - 18 - 2014

Multifarious formations is is a set of ongoing experiments in fabrication and modelling done by Daniel Caven, at the Southern California Institute of Architecture Robotics lab. The research constructed takes on the dilemmas of computer based modeling- and its lack of understanding of material agency within simulation and transformation.The idealistic setup for architecture, fabrication, and simulation is to have a real time feedback loops allowing the designer/machine to update according to gesture and errors in simulation. This allows for fabrication to have a customization and idealism to the processes. Using scanning methods and data analysis in the digital world the project is going to take on the idea of smart tooling.

Tactics in fabrications have been based on patterns and dialogs upon G code generation limiting uniqueness to a manufacturing process. Using paths in the milling process gives a diminishing value in design and a declining appreciation for uniqueness in design. Advanced fabrication in the research and experimentation takes on new ways of producing objects each unique to one another.

Image based drawing sets that change in resolution parameters allows for robotics to take on true free form fabrication. Image based manufacturing gives the result of the object at different resolutions and sets up new ways of making through single object displacement maps. Using this technique in its beta stage this research is able to create many different variations of the same object and a real time loop by bring the object back into the computer to show end results. Architecturally it deals with a precise imprecise way of developing analog modeling and digital feedback loops. Height Field maps are used as tool paths for building and forming objects that are then encased in resin and then removed my acid washes.

Multifarious Formations seeks to combine methods of computer based modeling and analog modeling. The research seeks to create a platform for freeform fabrication and real time feedback. In order to attack multiple problems of tooling, perform, shaping forces, and material intelligence.

New York Tomorrow

By: admin | August - 14 - 2014

Attacking the conventional residential tower model, characterized by anonymity and isolation, this building provides a living experience that would match social and urban dynamics of New York tomorrow. Cities are slow to adapt to the revolutionary technological changes that have occurred in the last 10 years, which have resulted in the ever increasing levels of digital, and crucially physical interaction. These changes manifest in this design through the magnificent lobby space open to the city, which could be used as a co-working area, an auditorium, etc. It transforms the whole experience of being in a residential tower, fostering communal well being. The soaring land prices pose a threat to the competitiveness of New York. It is crucial for the city to retain its ability to attract people. To address this the tower stems from an impossible site of 8ft by 70ft, on the corner of E68th street and Madison avenue, yielding housing close to work in the Midtown for hundreds of people.

Architects: Fundamental
Location: E68th street New York, NY, USA
Team: Ayrat Khusnutdinov, Zhang Liheng
Area: 138900sq.ft (12900sqm)
Year: 2014
Photo: Fundamental, New York Aerial Survey