Case Study

In the first semester, students write a case-study of 2000-3000 words on an existing building that was designed using used advanced parametric methods. It may be drawn from the students' own work in practice, but this is by no means essential, provided that it is possible to meet some of the design team, and listen to their experiences.
The case study gives an account of the building, the geometric challenges it posed, and the software that was used to resolve them. Particular attention is paid to the way that geometrical information flowed between architect, structural engineer and construction team. Brief summaries of the case studies completed to date are given below, but unfortunately, since these studies involve the students getting a detailed insight into the design of some very high-profile projects, most cannot be published in their entirety.

Download PDFThe New Milan Trade Fair Canopy

by Daniel Gebreiter
In this essay, the intention and communication between several parties involved with the design and construction of the New Milan Fair canopy are investigated.
The complex geometrical and structural nature of the design required the cooperation of very specialist stakeholders with diverging goals and visions, quite literally, under one roof.>br> Some of the structural and manufacturing challenges of this early application of digital design and manufacture on a very large scale are illustrated to discuss the cross-disciplinary workflow and changing hierarchies depending on the project phase.

Download PDFThe Danish Cancer Centre

by Andreas Bak
In 2005 the Danish Cancer Society began a collaboration with Gehry Partners, LLP, which would eventually end up with, in comparison to other Gehry projects, a small-scale project. Due to the small scale, many different issues were raised during the project, mainly due to the application of a project design system that had been developed for a much larger scale. This, combined with the building's complex geometry, made this project much more challenging than first expected.
This paper highlights some of these issues, whilst focusing on the exchange of data between the parties engaged in the project and the use of digital tools. The paper also discusses some of the more interesting structural challenges.

The Tall Tree and the Eye

by Harri Lewis
This case study investigates the digital processes, team structure, manufacturing and construction methods used in the design of the innovative, complex and large-scale Anish Kapoor sculpture "the Tall Tree and the Eye". The project presented challenges for the team at all stages from visualisation to manufacture whilst maintaining the extremely high quality that Anish Kapoor expects.
The author interviewed many of the parties involved in the project, researched the ideas and theory behind the conceptual design and also emulated some of the digital design processes using similar software.

Download PDFMediaCite Liege - Design to Fabrication

by Odysseas Georgiou
This paper documents the steps followed to design and construct the roof of Media City in Liege. It explains the concepts of design and investigates further into the communication techniques used by the designers and their methods of translating and interchanging information between them.

Abu Dhabi International Airport Car Park Footbridges

by Ian Wise
The Abu Dhabi International Airport expansion consists of a brand new terminal complex and runway, and a large car park. The entire project is of an enormous scale, and is geometrically complex. Connecting the main car park to the main terminal complex are two footbridges, which although dwarfed in size by the main building do have equally interesting geometry. This report will cover an outline of the design process, and the lessons learnt from working on such a complex project.

Two Approaches to Complex Geometry using Parametric Design

by Jessica Fernandoy
This paper intends to describe and compare the design and building processes of two different projects based in the way that their geometries have been defined: The C-Space DRL10 Pavilion Project, completed in March of 2008, which consists of a temporary structure located in a Bedford Square in London, and the utility building at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Sussex, completed in 2002.
The aim of this paper is to discuss how a parametrical design process might have more than one starting point, and depending on its geometrical origin, radically different paths might be followed for their physical implementation.
In these sense, the paper compares several different aspects of both projects including: architectural and structural schemes, geometrical definition, materiality, form finding, generic components, fabrication processes, material waste and construction processes. At the final section, some conclusions are proposed with special attention to the digital tools employed by the different teams.

The Savill Building

by Dimitra Stathopoulou
The Savill building serves as an entrance for the Savill Garden, situated on the edge of Windsor Great Park. The Savill Garden is a popular public garden in the UK, receiving around 500,000 visitors annually. It is the second gridshell constructed in the UK and the largest one worldwide, spanning 92x25 metres. This new building was designed by Glenn Howells Architects after a limited competition realised by the Crown's Estate, client of the project.
The Savill Building is worth examining for its particular geometry and design process, which involves a very clear stage of parametric modelling. The final shape is a result of close and effective collaboration between architects, engineers, carpenters and contractors. The contribution of each party is explained in the following chapters, as well as an evaluation of the process and the final result.