Prototyping: Aluminium Wall Section

Collaborated with_Chinh Nguyen, Dan Opera

Precedent_Chuck Close

This studio was intended to unite the focused material and fabrication aspects of wall section design through an extended and in depth investigation of a composite material system that embodies a range of performance types, material expressions and technical interface.

We were interested in building intelligence into pixel construction through different performative layers to create visual ambiguities from both exterior and interior. The site is currently active as a Jewish community center along Olympic Blvd LA, we replaced the North and West facade with our design, which appears as two bands of changing hue at day time and two lurking bands of light at night.

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A primary intention of the project was to synthesis the conventional discreet set of performative layers in wall section, such that equal emphasis is placed on the investigation and exploitation of these layers. And the construction of a half-scale prototype at the end testified the organization of the material, geometric, technical and structural ingredient that combined to form a building envelope with synthesized and demonstrated effect.

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Inspiration was sought from other disciplines, especially works of painter Chuck Close, which embeds pixels within pixels, in terms of space, reflectiveness and color. We juxtaposed different hues assigned to each pixel layer to create an aura with painterly coloring strategy.

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Color choices were limited down to five, and broken down into spray-painting templates to apply colors layer by layer, similar to screen printing technique. From a distance, there are obvious shifts in hue, but if one stands at the underside of the pixels, there is an explosion of vibrant and juicy colors which contrast each other.

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These 4’ by 4’ panels are milled from aluminium sheets. The two layers of metal pixels are each rotated to a different degree (inner pixel: 90deg, outer pixel 45deg), spatially revealing the performative layers behind the metal panels.

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The interior reading was filtered through the flat double interior panels with hexagonal cut-out and shifted gradient, adding visual ambiguities to the color explosion from the back side of exterior aluminium panels.

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In terms of the overall pattern, the pixels are placed within a field generated by simple attractor curves, but when the inner pixel geometries juxtapose with the outer pixel geometries, bands of unpredictable shades and gradients are produced.

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Fifty percent of the facade has 4‘by8’ glazing between the interior and exterior panels, the other fifty has milled 4‘by8’ foam insulation protruding from between the panels, through interior panels to indoor. The designed pattern and thickness gradient can be seen and touched form indoor.

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Analysis: 298 Mulberry Street

Collaborated with_David Vuong

Reference_298 Mulberry Street | SHoP Architects

Analysis of the facade fabrication technique and performance in relation to the overall fenestration system through half scale modelling and drawings representations.

The fabrication technique of this rippled, non-load bearing brick-concrete panels was comprehended by construction of a half-scale physical model, each of the casting, milling and assembling processes were simulated by available shop tools. Material limits, tooling tolerances and half-scale translation errors didn’t merely affect the time-frame of each process ,but determined the overall attributes and weather performance of the decorative brickwork. The drawings were intended to articulate the comprehension of the facade at two scales: performance and construction of the actual wall section and the tectonics of the mock up fabrication. The overall analysis helps to realize the driving reasons, possibilities and impact of the fenestration design.

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Reverse Engineering: a Medusa

Precedent_Medusa (scyphomedusae) Drawings

This is a Machine Assembly Drawing of a ridge of a designed object developed from Medusa’s jelly fish drawings. The fabrication of this doubly-curved creature was not resolved as merely an egg-crate nor stacked contours, but sub-divided as chambers with endoskeleton and exoskeleton, expressed and supported by scales, skin, vertebrae and tentacles. All these elements are essentially developable and readily produced on the laser-bed.

It extends from a two-dimension representation to posing a challenge on the seriousness on the construction norms of blob-like objects.

J-final drawing [Converted]