In parallel to the digital work we have been doing we have also been working in model form, trying to create physical manifestations of the digital proposals. This has led us to many discoveries, especially in terms of how, structurally, the space “wants” to be deformed.
The first models we tried were layers of cardboard which had the voronoi pattern cut into them. When we pushed into the sides of these surfaces they began to push up more in areas where the cells were larges and remained flat where the cells were smaller and more dense. While we had already speculated that the large cells in plan were going to be the area where we could place the program, these experiments confirmed that this also made structural sense. From these early models we made a final model in foam that showed these possibilities in three dimensions.
We also experimented with a possible facade system where the pattern is cut out on only three sides and the “holes” remain to create flaps that can provide sunshade. This is one area that we have yet to develop further, but hope that it can help us differentiate the facades based on exposure to the sun and also create terraces and platforms at a larger scale.
These models show how the structural system that Diego was working on can be modeled, first in a 2 dimensional extrusion and then as 3d voronoi cells. Though the 3d model was build out a poor material that does not work in compression at all, it gave us interesting information. Because we did not build the top and bottom skin of hte model we realized that it is this surface that provides that structural stability in compression that is required. We want to use this as an additional guiding factor in how we control the openings in our surface.
Working whit models was a good break from staring at the screen all day and gave us back a lot of information that the digital models could never have provided. Now we are back to our virtual world, but hope to have at least one more large site model for the final presentation in january.