Monday, 28 June 2010

Concept Sketch Model

I made a sketch model of my weaving concept using a range of materials. The model just shows the existing facade and how I could slice through. I have incorporated my wallpaper design, a transparent tracing paper and a metal mesh.

Elevational View

 Plan View

View from Above

View from Street Level by the Entrance to Exhibit

Street Level View by the Entrance to Archive

Woven Plan Patterns

After sketching the woven plans I scanned them in and seperated them into layers. I then created images based just on the weaving element of the plan and finally overlayed them all to complete the pattern:






Final Woven Pattern

Three Dimensional Weaving

After discussing the weaving experiments and ideas with Ken it was clear that I needed to stop just focusing on the facade of the building and start trying to find a way to link the plan and facade together. Ken suggested that I try thinking about the weaving in a more three dimensional way to try to create a more interesting plan for my building and also express this on the facade. The following plans are sketches of how this might start to work.

I have tried to use the woven strips to create spaces inside the building; they might not be solid walls but a variety of materials similar to those I have been experimenting with in earlier research. They would be varying heights, thicknesses and opacity's depending on the area they were dividing or containing. On the facade they might start to become balcony spaces or simply act as a decorative panel. At street level I have tried to use the material to encourage people into the exhibition space and create a new entrance.

Basement Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

Third Floor Plan

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Electronic Wallpaper Animation

In my initial elevation proposal I used a traditional weaving pattern as the inspiration for the facade on the new 'exhibit' building. To develop this further and following my research into studio's electronic Blumen wallpaper I have decided to try to animate the facade using a simple pattern still based around a traditional weave.

Initial Elevation Proposal


The wallpaper would be controlled by sensors and could be influenced by sound within the building. I would like the external facade to express what was happening within the interior of the building, for example, if there was an exhibit on the second floor then the wallpaper pattern would be concentrated around that area. I will create a series of storyboards and animations which will explain this proposal in more detail.

Loop.pH - Electronic Wallpaper

"Loop.pH is a London based design and research studio that aims to bridge the gap between design and the natural sciences. They specialise in the conception, construction and fabrication of environmentally responsive textiles for the built environment. It is directed by designers Rachel Wingfield and Mathias Gmachl. Rachel is also a Senior Lecturer on the MA Design for Textile Futures course and a Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins, London. Mathias is a Research Associate at the Royal College of Art London. Loop.pH belong to an emerging generation of designers redefining conventions of how, why and with what things are made. Emphasis is placed on learning from both traditional craft based practices alongside the cutting edge of scientific and technological discovery. With a deep understanding of the complexity of ecological systems and natural cycles their approach to design and fabrication values the physical process of making as much as new and established research methodologies and theories. "

Blumen Wallpaper (2004) is an electronic wallpaper. The pattern is controllable through computer software and responds to its environment through a range of sensors.

"Blumen transforms traditional decorative surfaces into a rich, dynamic display of botanical life. It divides and ornaments space and can be seen in a wallpaper format as sliding panels. By working with traditional pattern making we have created an ornate printed design that is at the same time a working electrical circuit using electroluminescent technology. The repeating pattern allows the piece to be cut into smaller sections and even reassembled. The Blumen print is constructed from a number of addressable cells and with the use of various sensors the pattern emerges and develops in response to its environment. Based on the space the panels are presented in, and the characteristics of the sensor used, we develop an animated pattern language described in software. "

Stills from a Movie of Blumen Wallpaper. See the full movie here.

I find this technology really inspiring and have discussed with Pete in previous tutorials how I could animate the facade of the new 'exhibit' space that I have proposed will fill the gap between the corner of Brick Lane and 24-26 Fournier Street. I intend to try animating my own electronic wallpaper based on the weaving patterns which I have been researching.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Weave Collage

I decided to move my paper weave experiments on by transferring them into photoshop and creating a collage weave pattern. I layered the lost facade over the existing elevation and then created a 10mm grid:

This was the end result:

I can turn layers on and off to create different effects. This image shows the lost facade only:

I then used this weave to create a collage of the elevation. I took the elevational collage which I had done previously (generated from layering the 2 elevations) and layered over my woven facade.

Initial Elevation Collage

Woven Collage

I then started to cut out some of the woven squares to create a less grid like collage:

Weaving Experiments

I was inspired by my research into architectural weaving and decided to try some weaving of my own. I wanted to find a new way to connect the old 'lost' facade of my site and the current facade. I have already layered the elevations over each other which helped me to create new roof lines and start to think about ways to extend the existing space but it did not really inspire me in terms of the facade or resolve my ideas about the connection between old and new.

Layered elevation of the 'lost' and existing facades

I started to weave the 2 facades by first cutting them both into 2omm strips, one horizontally and one vertically. The vertical strips of the lost facade created my base, I then wove the existing facade through in a simple under and over pattern. This first attempt was a little messy but interesting.

First Weaving Experiment

For the second experiment I used the same method but this time I cut the vertical strips into 10mm pieces but kept the horizontal strips at 20mm. This created a different woven pattern. I think that this weave was more successful.

Second Weaving Experiment

For the next weave I introduced my wallpaper design onto the existing facade. I wanted to try and highlight one facade over the other to make it easier to read and to bring some pattern and colour into the weave. I went back to a square pattern, both strips cut to 20mm. I think this one was very successful because all of the windows and doors etc line up correctly, it is quite neat and easier to read as a piece of architecture.

Third Weaving Experiment

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Bird's Nest Stadium

The Bird's Nest Stadium has become a famous emblem of the Bejing Olympics. It is a complex woven structure created from steel. The weave is quite open, allowing movement between the strands. The stadium has an inner skin which makes it weather proof.

The woven structure is quite deep, forming an outer skin which people can move through. The outer skin acts as a transitional space between outside and in.

The scale of the woven structure is very large, you imagine it might be like looking at a delicate textile fabric under a microscope.

A view of the facade

It is easy to see why the stadium got the nickname of the 'bird's nest' when you look at images of real birds nests. These natural structures are very beautiful and the thick outer structure gets denser towards the inside edge, creating a strong and comfortable living space.

Architectural Weaving Article

Taken from Architecture Week by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake from KieranTimberlake Associates. The article is an excerpt from the book Manual: The Architecture of KieranTimberlake by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, 2002.

"Weaving is most often associated with textiles, but it is also relevant to architecture. It is a construct and a craft that can purposefully and aesthetically order building systems. Just as a thread can be pulled from a woven fabric and a new one inserted in its place, so too can building and urban systems be removed, replaced, or added when the whole is conceived as an exposed woven tapestry.

In its ancient usage, weaving creates surfaces and volumes by the regular interlacing of pliable strands — the warp and the woof — passing over and under each other at right angles. Friction at every joint enforces the structure of weaving. No material is completely inert, and under pressure from the environment, all materials deform.

When deformed, many materials are elastic; they retain some memory of their prior state and will strain toward their original plane unless restrained. The bending of the strands, each of which wants to restore itself to a flat position, creates friction, between the threads at each overlap.

This three-dimensional friction among strands above, below, and to each side, restrains the individual segments and forms the stable plane of a textile. In modern architectural usage, fasteners often provide the required friction in place of the deformation of the individual strands of material at work in textiles.

The building block, or cell, of a woven surface is the joint between overlapping materials. Weaving is in essence a continuous joint. In closely spaced weaving, the pattern of intersections becomes both visually and practically subservient to the plane or volume.

Although the joint is normally an event of such physical consequence that it dominates our perception, in a densely woven form, the joint is transformed into a recessive contributor to the overall appearance of surface and shape.

Weaving, however can never be completely closed; it always has space between its strands. While the woven surface separates and contains, it breathes and connects. it is a scrim, a screen that is at once space and surface, Never quite a membrane, but part joint, part surface, part volume, part system, weaving is unique in architecture in being simultaneously open and closed.

Weaving Systems

The association of weaving with volume and system carries the craft into the deepest structures and largest scales of current architecture and urbanism. The integration of a large number of operating systems into buildings is a problem of relatively recent origin.

Indoor plumbing has been common for less than 150 years; widespread electrification and elevators for vertical transportation are little more than a century old; air-conditioning and fire-suppression systems were novelties less than 75 years ago, and today, emergency power, door operators, and security, voice, and data transmission are part of the onslaught of systems that course through our buildings.

The fundamental process and manner of conceiving architecture, however, has changed little. We still tend to organize program and space long before we integrate systems.

Rock Hall, Temple University

What is the depth of the imitative versus the authentic? One is a fictive invention, and the other is a fiction derived from necessity. In Rock Hall, an auditorium of the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University, we use the idea of the room as a musical instrument; the depth of the sound box is represented in the depth of the weave.

The metaphor is one of tectonic reality and is drawn from the program. The acoustical requirement of 50 percent absorptive and 50 percent reflective surfaces led to a proscenium that exploits the depth and lightness offered by flat panels. It is a solution that balances the question of imitation versus invention.

The strands in this textile are typically six-inch- (15-centimeter-) wide plywood strips with a two-foot- (60-centimeter-) wide central panel. During design, we built a full-scale panel with a small millworker to test the ability of the plywood to bend and for the necessity of fasteners at points of overlap. An adjustable metal superstructure supports the woven wood panels.

The Shipley School

In our shop, there are no matters of lesser importance. At this new middle school, architecture is structure. It is fire protection, it is codes, it is equipment. It is all design. These systems are inseparable and intrinsic to the problem of designing a school. They are part of the education of children.

Weaving provides a way to navigate what goes over and what goes under. We turn systems engineers into architects, and they turn us into engineers. Sometimes the engineers like the role reversal. Sometimes they go kicking and screaming into the world of woven systems.

We have to trace every pipe and duct. We have to know how large it is, what it is made of, and how it turns. In this small building section, below a balcony walkway, all the building trades had to come to know and work with each other, while coinhabiting three feet four inches (102 centimeters) of common real estate. If one is not willing to become a mechanic, one should not become an architectural weaver.

Sterling Law School, Yale University

We love direct challenges from our architectural ancestors. The blunter the challenge, the better. Our addition for the Sterling Law School Dining Hall comes squarely up against the stone walls and elaborate windows of James Gamble Rogers's 1930s structure.

We sought direct competition with the original wrought-iron metalwork by using stainless-steel and bronze rods and straps, but the new gates in no way cancel the stone craft against which they are juxtaposed. The old stone carving and the new metal gates, while of different ages, are equal crafts.

The fabricator really rose to the task. Consider that every pair of bends in the stainless-steel bar — out, then back to vertical again — had to be made in precisely the right location so as to intersect the 3/4-inch (19-millimeter) bronze bar where the buttonhead fastener, passing through a predrilled hole, would lie flat against it. When asked what he had worked on before these gates, he replied, "Something for the space shuttle."

Viewed in relation to contemporary architecture, weaving is a conceptual and physical armature that accommodates the differential life spans of buildings and urban systems.

At the same time that weaving provides for separation and the differential removal and replacement of elements, it composes and organizes single strands of material into a deliberately visual artifact, insisting upon repetition and pattern in its placement as purpose is translated into orderly artifice. Weaving celebrates the realization that permanence is no longer a prospect nor even a desire of architecture."

Oslo Opera House

As part of the design for the Oslo Opera House (voted best cultural building 2008) by Norwegian architects Snøhett, local artists were invited to design panels on the building. Textile artists Astrid Løvaas and Kirsten Wagle created aluminium panels based on old weaving techniques, the panels are formed of a series of complex convex and concave shapes. The three dimensional pattern adds depth and interest to the monolithic panels and creates an interesting series of shadows and reflections.

I saw weaving technology similar to their inspiration at the Technical Museum in Berlin. The cards with a series of punched out holes were fed into an automatic weaving machine and this is what created the woven pattern.

Aragon Pavilion

The Aragon Pavilion by Olano Y Mendo Architects was built for the 2008 Expo in Spain. The form of the building takes its inspiration from the areas traditional basketwork. The facade is formed from a continuous woven surface made from panels of glass and fibreglass reinforced concrete. It becomes more transparent as you move up the building, giving greater privacy at ground level and views over the surrounding landscape from the top level.

Detail of the Facade

Model of the scheme showing the basket-like nature of the main space

View of the Pavilion from ground level

Architectural Weaving

Following the feedback from the unit 1 assessment I have decided to try and diversify my area of study a little and carry out some more conceptual experiments to help me to generate more interesting forms and textures for my project. Throughout the project I have been interested in pattern design and silk weaving (linked to the historical context of the site), my material experiments have been running parallel to my architectural work on the site and I now need to combine them. Through discussions with Pete I have decided to look at ideas of architectural weaving and how I could weave the old and new contexts of my site as well as the old and new architectures. I have already looked at layering the old 'lost' architecture over the new but now I want to find new ways of combining them which might take this process one step further.

To move the project forward in a more creative and experimental way I am going to look to the current site context as well as the historical. I hope that this will generate new ideas about the site and help me to integrate my social programme. I will also continue to experiment with materials but at a larger scale. For the exhibition I aim to have some 1:1 elements to display which will enhance my architectural drawing. I have started to think about what my exhibition will look like but I think the final design will be very much driven by the scale and nature of the work I produce, however I would like the way I display my work to be linked to my ideas about archiving.