A structural, textured metal system wins first place in a competition and the chance to develop a façade with Zahner.Reinforcing the idea that time fosters wisdom, Nicholas Bruscia and Christopher Romano’s third iteration of a structural architectural screen was awarded first place in Tex-Fab’s digital fabrication competition, SKIN. According to Tex-Fab’s co-director, Andrew Vrana, the team’s 3xLP project was selected for its innovative façade system, which uses parametric design and digital fabrication. The 3xLP designers’ exploration of the relationship between academia and manufacturing merged at the University at Buffalo’s (UB) Department of Architecture. Starting their collaborative research with a digital model, Bruscia and Romano solicited the help of local manufacturer Rigidized Metals, (RM), who helped realize the second stage of the project’s evolution with two thin gauge metals featuring proprietary patterns. “The project is important because we’ve partnered so closely with Rigidized Metals,” Roman told AN. “We’ve brought digital and computational expertise, and they’ve provided material knowledge for textured metal—it’s a reciprocal team.” Bruscia said the computational models were heavily informed by material parameters. Working with various patterns in RM’s product library, the team started to see various textures performing differently in structural applications, though the company’s metals are typically used in cladding or decorative applications. “Rigidized Metals’ patterns are stronger than flat metals,” Romano said. “That informed how we selected textures and which became a part of the computational conversation.” Drawn to the geometry of the embossed 4LB sheet, they found the low relief pattern to perform comparably to a deeply stamped-style, and that it complemented other chosen patterns nicely. Structural loading was tested in Karamba, an architect-friendly finite element method analysis plugin for Rhino that was developed recently in Austria. Designed primarily in Rhino 5 and Grasshopper, the team also wrote many of their own scripts. For the SKIN competition, the team adjusted porosity of the screen to increase transparency for façade applications. The screen’s pattern is articulated from all perspectives, creating a dynamic quality that is achieved by a slight twist through the entire structure. “The twist in the system is a result of us getting the geometry on the screen for the system to perform structurally, and to make it possible to fabricate,” Romano said. “Some geometric moves on the screen can be difficult to fabricate, so to remove those you get subtle twisting in the elevation.” At RM’s Buffalo facility, profiles of the system’s components were turret-punched on a CNC, and folded on a press break to achieve a diamond shape. A tabbing system was also milled so the shapes could be fastened with stainless bolts to form a seamless, continuous cell structure. As part of the SKIN competition, Bruscia and Romano will continue working with RM, as well as A. Zahner Company, to fabricate a façade system with a glazing component. The 3xLP team will exhibit their results at the Tex-Fab 5 event in Austin, Texas on February 19.
Posts tagged with "Digital Fabrication Alliance":
Tex-Fab has concluded the initial stage of its international competition called SKIN. The two-stage competition invited architects, designers, and researchers to rethink the traditional building envelope by exploring the performative qualities of a facade. Participants selected any context, real or virtual, at any scale and on any building type. Phase one jurors narrowed down 68 entries from across the world to four finalists and four honorable mentions. Jurors Phil Anzalone, Maria Mingallon, Gregg Pasquarelli, Randy Stratman, and Skylar Tibbits conferred on July 9th and initially selected 14 entries to discuss. Varying in type and method, the entries depicted a diverse display of ideas and work, compelling the jury to choose four finalists and four honorable mentions. Finalists include Project 2XmT by Christopher Romero and Nicholas Bruscia, Cellular Complexity by Kais Al-Rawi, Julia Koerner, and Marie Boltenstern, Robot Assisted Sheet Metal Fabrication by Lik Hang Gu, Nathan Shobe, and Qi Su, and Sense by Isak Worre Foged and ANke Pasold. The first of the finalists, Project 2XmT, has a visibly developed working model and reveals the dramatic impact from various viewpoints created by small undulations or shifting panels. Juror Skylar Tibbits commented that “it’s the one most in line with the brief.” The next finalist, Cellular Complexity, has an appealing formal potential that tests the limits of architecture. Juror Phillip Anzalone remarked, “If it’s truly developed 3-dimensionally that would be fantastic.” Robotic Assisted Sheet Metal Fabrication was chosen as a finalist in context with the project per-Forming (HM), which received honorable mention, as both interacted with metal forming in distinctive, yet complimentary aspects. Juror Maria Mingallon trusts that “this one could really push the boundaries of TEX-FAB and could add to the exhibition at ACADIA." The last finalist, Sense, is simple with potential to be very dynamic. Tibbits remarked “it’s a known phenomena that could produce some exciting effects." Honorable mentions include Organized Crime by Kyle Miller, Evaporative Folding by Jeana Ripple, Hydromorph by Camden Greenlee and Brian Vesely, and per-FORMING by Jake Newsum and Ammar Kalo. The phase two jury includes Michele Addington, James Carpenter, Neil Denari, Mic Patterson, and William Zahner. Moving onto the second round, the four finalists will use $1000 stipends to develop prototypes of their projects, which will be installed at the ACADIA Adaptive Architecture Conference at the University of Waterloo in October 2013. At that time, the jurors will select a winner whose scheme will be assembled in full scale for the TEX-FAB 4.0 conference.
Kevin McClelland and Andrew Vrana of TEX-FAB, the Texas-based fabrication think tank, are also pioneering members of the Digital Fabrication Alliance—an international network of digital fabricators, academics, architect, designers, and developers of hardware and software with a goal of sharing information and knowledge. The TEX-FAB partners bring their expertise into the classroom at Texas A&M, and also host the annual REPEAT conference and competition. On July 27 McClellan and Vrana will delve into the making of such facades in “Parametric Facade Tectonics,” a special workshop that is part of AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades, taking place July 26-27 in San Francisco. "Projects develop along specific and delineated steps of implementation, from conceptualization, through to implementation," according McClellan. "These are standard within all projects, however, what is not standard are the procedures used within those steps." McClellan and Vrana will break it all down at an upcoming workshop "Parametric Facade Tectonics." By understanding those procedures, via reverse engineering the steps used to implement them, workshop attendees will learn a repeatable analytic technique applicable for understanding other projects. McClellan and Vrana's upcoming July 27 Parametric Facade Tectonics workshop,8 LU Credits, will will use a procedural method of constructing an integrated facade system in Rhino. It will begin with associative modeling advancing into Paneling Tools while progressively implementing Grasshopper throughout. As a reverse-engineered case-study developed through design vignettes applied to successive layers of a building enclosure, a holistic design strategy for using the tools will be covered that will include: quantitative approaches in design scope, adaptive feedback of building information, optimization and tolerance control in design and iterative strategies for managing data sets. To register for this workshop and the preceding July 26 symposium, click here. RELATED: On July 27 Bill Kreysler and his associate Joshua Zabel will lead a special workshop on how composites are used in facades today as part of the AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades. UPDATE: This workshop is 8 LU/HSW Credits.