Hybrid Tower (2014)

The inventory of the Hybrid Tower

Traditional thinking in architecture and engineering alike is to understand the built environment as static, unaffected by changes in their environment. Buildings are designed for permanence and thought as stable and unchanging.

Tower explores the idea of a moving arch, a resilient structure that adapts under environmental changes.

Tower is a the result of an interdisciplinary research collaboration betweenCentre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen (Denmark), the Department for Structural Design and Technology (KET), University of Arts Berlin (Germany), Fibrenamics, Universidade do Minh, Guimarães (Portugal), Essener Labor für Leichte Flächentragwerke, Universität Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and the Portuguese textile company AFF a. ferreira & filhos, sa, Caldas de Vizela.

 

resillienceRepresentative at the Danish Design Museum

A TOWER – The resilience Tower Typology

The concept of resilience is chosen as a primary design driver in the project. Resilience is understood here as the ability to recover from or adjust to change or external stimuli. Specifically this implies being able to withstand not just self weight but live loads such as wind. The design strategy here where to develop “soft structures” where resilience was defined as the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically, and release that energy upon unloading. This design requirement points towards a focus on potential applicability to industry and practice.

 

The architectural typology of the tower was chosen as the design case with the aim of building a 6-10 meter tall demonstrator in the spring of 2015.

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METHODS

The ability to design for and with material performance is a core resource for design innovation closely tied to material optimization. The project introduces three scales of design engagement by which to examine material performance: the structure, the element and the material.

Tower questions the tools for integrating information across the expanded digital design chain, the project asks how to support feedback between different scales of design engagement moving from material design, across design, simulation and analysis to specification and fabrication.methods

 

STRUCTURAL CONCEPTS

Designing at three scales

MACRO: At the “macro” scale the architectural typology of a form active tower presents challenges outside of common applications of form finding such as shells and membranes which may be form found using known and tested principles such as catenary networks and minimal surfaces.

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MESO: On the “meso” scale the project explores the potential of Bending Active Tensile Membrane structures as a strategy for satisfying the goals described on the macro scale. Specifically these may be defined as bending active linear members constrained by a tension active membrane resulting in a stiff hybrid structure with a high degree of resilience..

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MICRO: At the “micro” scale the project introduces bespoke elastic knit as the tensile membrane – specially fabricated from high tenacity polyester yarn and programmed to the tower and its performance – and fibre-reinforced polymer rod as the slender bending members which are constrained by the membrane.

Textile_channels00_bwThe fabric is knitted using knit Piquet Lacoste a less elastic a more isotropic knit. The membranes are produced on a double bed knitting machine which allows the creating of channels and pocket to steer the rots position, and wholes for tension/lines and stitching the membranes together.

Detail   tension system

 

Photographer Anders Ingvartsen

GRP materials by Fibrolux GmbH

Hybrid Tower (2016)

Tower_night_07 Traditional thinking in architecture and engineering alike is to understand the built environment as static. Build structures resist changes in the environment through stiffness. ‘Hybrid Tower’ asks, what an architecture could be, that is soft and gives in to forces in a controlled yet way. An architecture that embraces the idea of resilience and adaptation.

‘Hybrid Tower’ is an integrated hybrid structure – made from only two components: Bend GFRP rods and custom-made CNC knit. The unique combination of these two materials creates a very light and yet stiff structure, which balances wind and other external forces through an interdependent combination of compression and tension elements. The structure is extremely light and easy to assemble, but yet strong enough to withstand a 3 month outdoor installation on the world cultural heritage side of the central square of Guimaraes/Portugal: Largo do Toural.

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The tower was developed in an interdisciplinary collaboration between architects (CITA, Copenhagen) , structural- and textile-engineers (KET, Berlin, Fibrenamics, Guimaraes), material testing specialists (Duisburger…..) and the knitting company AFF (A. Ferreira & Filhos). Together they developed materials and design and fabrication processes, which allowed using knit as structural element in a previously unprecedented scale. The collaboration opens new avenues for textile as building material. 

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Inflated Restraint (2016)

Investigating cutting patterns and net topologies in a pneumatic hybrid

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Inflated Restraint investigates how computational techniques of clustering and graph traversal can be applied in the context of cable stiffened pneumatic structures to produce new forms of expression.

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Lace Wall (2016)

Generative Cable Networks For Active Bending Structures

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Lace Wall explores hybrid structures that combine elements in tension and compression. Here two elements of low stiffness – the fibreglass beam and the cable network – are combined to create one whole of high stiffness. The element is form active shaped by the interdependency between the elements that restrain each other.

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Stressed Skins (2015)

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Stressed Skins explores how very thin, easily bent metal sheet can become a strong but lightweight structure. Architects use thin metal sheets as cladding panels to provide integrated enclosure, structure and form. Because loads vary over such a building system, performance requirements vary, and customized load-adapted panel designs could mean significant efficiencies of material use and possible reductions for supporting structural systems.

This project develops workflows and methods to support customised design and fabrication using Incremental Sheet Forming (ISF).  These include the prediction of changes in material properties such as thinning and work hardening, the automated generation of load adapted rigidisation geometries, the prediction of overall structural behavior, and the automated generation of fabrication information. A specific concern is the development of adaptive mesh-based methods as a means to communicate information about design, material properties and performance across scales.

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The Social Weavers (2013)

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The Social Weavers is a bending active, non-standard grid shell structure made from fibre composite rods of variable diameter and stiffness. The installation develops aggregate self-forming processes that intersect with the behavioural activation and distribution of fibre-composites under design direction for the production of a novel architecture. 

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Learning to be a Vault (2014)

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Where parametric modelling allows designers to work in flexible ways with variable geometries, the associated problems of parameterisation and reduction are well known. Parametric models are normally limited because they necessitate a pre-configuration of their embedded variables as well as a pre-determination of model topology, meaning that the designer needs to know all defining parameters and relationships between model elements at the start of the design project. “Learning to be an Arch” operates as an experiment that tests new methodologies for the modelling of design systems that challenge this standard of configuration fixity by opening parameter spaces in both variable value and element connectivity while simultaneously embedding material behaviour within morphogenesis.

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