Posts tagged with "canopy":

Placeholder Alt Text

Awe-inspiring brick canopy erected on the outskirts of Asunción, Paraguay

Located on the outer-edges of Paraguay's capital, Asunción, is a 1,722 square-foot canopy set to inspire all those with a penchant for masonry. Built in the back the yard of a pre-existing dwelling, the monumental canopy comprises, brick, steel, recycled glass, and scrap rubble stretching over a pool, patio and a handful of enclosed spaces that were designed with it. The work is the product of Solano Benítez, Gloria Cabral and Solanito Benítez of Asunción-based firm Gabinete de Arquitectura who named it quincho tía coral. Using cement to bind the broken-down rubble and glass as well as the brick, the canopy rests upon conjoining brick-clad pillars. The resultant triangular form is emulated extensively throughout the design, notably in the canopy's horizontal plane which casts the shape as a shadow onto the patio area during the day. As a result, quincho tía coral acts as a much needed shading device for the open space which is susceptible to temperatures reaching above 90 degrees (worsened by Asunción's constant relative humidity of around 70 percent). The space is ideal for gatherings, barbecues, and family events. At night, the canopy can be seen as an array of tessellating triangles, illuminated by lighting from below. Due to the earthy-red shade of the bricks used, the space maintains a sense of warmth during the evening hours through the dusk sunlight the lighting techniques applied. With generous vegetation found both surrounding and on the premises, the canopy amplifies the serene environment, a welcome contrast to the bustle of nearby Asunción, Paraguay's most populous city.
Placeholder Alt Text

Swiss Firm Offers Bubbly Shelter to Bus Travelers

As of late bus stops are proving to be unexpectedly fertile grounds for architectural innovation. Swiss architects Vehovar & Jauslin are the latest to try their hand at the task in the form of a seemingly floating structure that provides shelter for a bus hub in Aarau, Switzerland. The canopy was realized with the help of engineering firm formTL who appear well-versed in undertakings of a similar ilk. The covering's cool tone derives from a blue-tinged upper membrane that filters through a clear underbelly. This ETFE-foil skin is printed with a bubble-pattern and filled with air to create a curved surface. A steel ring hugs the canopy's perimeter and helps to protect its fragile inflated contents. The entire amoeba-like form sits atop metallic columns that double as light sources once night falls. Sheltering a ground area of 10,764 square feet, the structure is pierced by a central three-pronged opening that welcomes natural light into the station. The project was first begun some nine years ago before its eventual completion late last year.
Placeholder Alt Text

“Minimal Relaxation” Has Maximum Impact at MoCA Shanghai

Fabrikator

Reimagining traditional Chinese gardens with parametric geometry

For MoCA Shanghai’s exhibition MoCA Mock-ups: The Architecture of Spatial Art, USC American Academy of China (AAC) Summer Studio 2012 spent six weeks designing, fabricating and constructing “Minimal Relaxation,” a parametric canopy and undulating, LED-lit landscape that creates prime skyline viewing locations on the museum’s rooftop terrace. Inspired by Frei Otto, an architect and structural engineer famous for his complex canopy structures, “Minimal Relaxation” extends his body of design research into physical and digital form-finding processes for minimal surface structure through “dynamic relaxation techniques.”
  • Fabricator  USC AAC (American Academy China) Summer Studio 2012
  • Designer  USC AAC Summer Studio 2012
  • Location  Shanghai, China
  • Date of Completion  August, 2012
  • Materials  Nylon string, high tension cables, bamboo poles, PVC rings, fishing line, MDF, shrink wrap, LEDs
  • Process  Parametric modeling with augmented Rhino 3D, CNC milling, shrink-wrapping
Faculty advisor, Alvin Huang of Synthesis Design + Architecture, explained that dynamic mesh relaxation is a digital simulation process in which the net, in this case, “is placed into continuous tension through the combination of the organization of its mesh network (the net), and the position of its fixed edges (the perimeter) and points (the poles) to find a stable force equilibrium. This results in a minimal surface, where each node within the surface has zero mean curvature.” The students then manipulated funicular form parametrically to accommodate the canopy’s holes, or viewing portals, and reverse engineer the construction process. For a 2,000 square foot rooftop, the students ordered a custom made 55’ x 55’ net with a 3,025 square foot reach that allows for the undulations in the design. The viewing portals were positioned to frame points of interest for viewers, such as the surrounding high rises. Once the students derived a geometry that incorporated these elements they were able to design an internal tension in the net so precise that its bamboo support poles didn’t require any additional attachments or securing. The canopy was so taut, in fact, that since its installment in early August it has already outlasted multiple monsoons. Though the construction of the net is basic (nylon string knotted into diamond shapes, much like a soccer net), the play between the parametric geometry and the net is what lends the materially basic structure such strength and staying power. The same idea of minimal surface for maximum impact was applied to the shrink-wrapped MDF landscape furniture, “where the plastic membrane is constantly trying to minimize itself over its rigid constraints.” Justin Kang, the Landscape Team Leader, explained how the landscape forms were designed to emulate the ripple effect of water droplets. “Wherever the canopy feature drops down the landscape feature dips up to meet the canopy.” Kang also positioned the forms “where the canopy opens so patrons can look through these apertures and see the framed Shanghai skyline.” The furniture does double duty as a lighting element, too. Each form is lit from within by 20V LED strips linked to motion sensors attached to an Arduino board that, ideally, would be programmed to produce light patterns in waves, but due to time constraints the lighting is controlled by a remote, allowing the museum to decided on the kind of lighting to play on the surface of the landscape. Even if visitors aren’t aware of the complicated geometry at work above their heads, the experience underneath the canopy and the view it provides, as well as the light show on the ground, have turned MoCA Shanghai’s previously underutilized and seldom visited rooftop into a nighttime destination. “Minimal Relaxation” was only scheduled to be on view for two weeks, but now the museum has announced that due to its popularity it will remain up indefinitely. Faculty: Neil Leach (USC/AAC Program Director), Wendy Fok (Univ. of Houston/We Designs), Alvin Huang (USC/Synthesis Design + Architecture) Canopy Team Leader: Ty Harrison Landscape Team Leader: Justin Kang Photography by Wandile Kraai