Posts tagged with "Gehry Technologies":
“We don’t need walls anymore. We need living, breathing systems that provide so much more to the urban realm than keeping in conditioned air and keeping out noise and pollutants.” - Will Wright, AIA|LALos Angeles’ 2016 Facades+ Conference, presented by The Architect’s Newspaper, is the 18th event in an ongoing series of conferences and forums that have unfolded in cities across the nation, including New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, D.C., and Chicago. Held at the L.A. Hotel Downtown, the conference incorporated architects, engineers, fabricators, and innovative material manufacturers into a multidisciplinary two-day event covering the state of building envelope design thinking today. The daylong symposium kicked off with spirited remarks by Will Wright, Director of Government & Public Affairs at AIA L.A., where he set forth a plea for stronger emphasis on localism and craftsmanship. Co-chaired by Kevin Kavanagh and Alex Korter of CO Architects, the event included AIA LA, four local architecture schools – UCLA, USC, Woodbury, and Cal Poly Pomona – and a robust collection of Los Angeles-based architecture firms. Four panel discussions throughout the day covered the influence of building envelopes on business, education, structural design, and data analysis. The conversations engaged audience participation through an interactive, web-based tool called Sli.do. In a morning panel discussion titled “Money Well Spent? An Owner’s Perspective on the Value of Facades,” moderator Kevin Kavanagh spoke with representatives from Kaiser Permanente, Kitchell, and The Ratkovich Company on finding the right balance between aesthetics, energy performance, fiscal responsibility, and efficient project scheduling. During breaks, conference attendees attended a “Methods+Materials” gallery that highlighted innovative building envelope materials such as electrochromic glass, metal mesh fabric with integrated media display, and ultra-compact surfacing products. The symposium was highlighted by keynote addresses from Enrique Norten and Eric Owen Moss. Norten’s opening keynote set forth an argument for a socially responsible architecture integrated into the city via infrastructural, landscape, and public space projects. He cited works of his firm, TEN Arquitectos, which incorporate topographical manipulations of the landscape to establish social spaces of public engagement. His work intentionally camouflages the building envelope into a contextual landscape—be it an adjacent park or cityscape—to dissolve the separation between public and private. Eric Owen Moss spoke in the afternoon, questioning at what point the conceptual content of a project becomes lost amidst constructional realities. Through recent work of his firm, Eric Owen Moss Architects, he focused on building envelope details that strayed from original design intent, transforming in concept and tectonics as engineers, fabricators, and contractors participated in the process. In a panel discussion titled “Bytes, Dollars, EUI: Data Streams and Envelopes,” Moderator William Menking, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Architect’s Newspaper, spoke with Atelier 10, Gehry Technologies, and CPG regarding tools and processes facilitating facade analysis and optimization. Sameer Kashyap (Gehry Technologies) shared perhaps the most bewildering stat of the day—that GT was able to script processes which allowed two people to produce over 1200 shop drawings per day for 33 weeks in the coordination of a highly complex facade system. Paul Zajfen of CO Architects rounded out the day with a presentation titled “Facades: A Manifestation of Client, Culture, Climate,” where he argued for contextually specific design producing a facade that “would not be possible at any other time—and in no other place.” The symposium was followed on day two with a series of “dialog” and “lab” workshops covering net-zero facade systems, digital fabrication processes, curtain wall design, and advanced facade analysis. A full roster of organizers and sponsors can be found on the conference website. The Los Angeles event was the first in 2016 of a seven-city lineup, and will be followed by a Facades+AM morning forum in Washington, D.C., on March 10th. The next two-day conference will take place in New York City April 21st and 22nd.
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Members of the Gehry Technologies New York office outline a collaboration that spanned between four U.S. cities and DubaiEditor's Note: The following has been excerpted from Knowledge Engineering: The Capture and Reuse of Design and Fabrication Intelligence on the Burj Khalifa Office Ceiling by Neil Meredith and James Kotronis of Gehry Technologies: Behind schedule and with the finish date of the building fast approaching, Gehry Technologies was presented with a unique problem. A complex, double-curved wood ceiling for one of the main entrances to the Burj Khalifa (then Burj Dubai) was under construction and it was becoming apparent that the proposed system would not work as designed. Instead of delaying the schedule or scrapping the design, an integrated team was quickly mobilized. This team was based in different design and fabrication domains, with all participants working toward the shared goals of redesign, fabrication, delivery, and installation of the new ceiling, all within a tight timeframe and construction site. Partners included Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), Imperial Woodworking Company (IWA), ICON Integrated Construction and Gehry Technologies/New York (GT). Working through the design issues, the new team developed a strategy to strip the design back down to essential geometry and redesign the system from the ground up, satisfying design intent and a host of fabrication and constructability constraints through a shared parametric model. The previous system—a stick-built plank system wrapped over a series of ribs—worked within the constraints of a small physical mock-up but did not scale up properly to the required geometries for the finished ceiling. A new system was developed using a pre-fabricated unitized panel approach. Although more risky in terms of on-site adaptability, building the panels offsite in IWA’s Chicago woodshop and then shipping them to Dubai in stages gave the added benefits of quality and speed. Now not only did the panels need to arrive on-time within a very aggressive schedule, but they needed to be built perfectly, arrive undamaged through shipping, and be pre-coordinated for installation and all surrounding building elements (structural, mechanical ductwork, interior finishes, lighting, etc.). The first step in developing the drivers was mapping the physical constraints of the desired materials. The original design surface was then rationalized to maximize geometric simplicity while still meeting the design criteria and minimum bending radii of tested plank materials. With a controlling surface in place, countless iterations of planking and panelization options were then tested. From the underside of the ceiling, the surface is a continuous field of planks. The panel joints are made to disappear on the outward facing surface. Visible from the back surface, rectangular panel divisions simply follow the same divisions as the planking, picking up lines as necessary. Having a parametric rig for the development of both the planking and the paneling was key as this was not a simple linear process, but instead an iterative back-and-forth conversation between maximum panel sizes, constructability, changing planking widths, and various design options for the planking itself. Prosaic constraints such as the size of the freight elevator available on site were worked along side more design-oriented issues such as the typical width of the plank. Taking the wireframe planking curves and surfaces as inputs, a series of flexible components were designed to parametrically reconfigure themselves to adapt to various detail conditions. The first module to use this approach was the three-dimensional wood planks forming the exterior of the panel. Due to the desire for variegated veneers across the surface, individual planks with different veneers needed to be laid-up on the panels. Complicating this arrangement, many of the panels had a anticlastic surface topology, requiring individually cut and finished planks for many of the panels. Another challenge with prefabricated units was predicting the distribution of wood grain across the entire ceiling surface. In a typical plank-based design such as a floor, veneers are sorted for aesthetic criteria and then selected by craftsman to ensure the even distribution across the surface, avoiding dark and light patches or clustered areas. This ceiling was built as a unitized system of panels, fabricated offsite and out of sequence. (Due to the schedule, some panels were still being built in Chicago while the initial grouping was being installed in the UAE.) Often called veneer “randomization” the eventual solution was hardly random, but instead sorted and mapped veneers to discreet planks in an automated system. The tool also allowing for multiple mappings to occur in an iterative digital design environment, giving the craftsman a tool to visually asses the veneer placement while still allowing for a new level of control during fabrication. In the end, every veneer for the entire project was tagged and managed across the entire ceiling surface through this method. Remarkably, the entire panel fabrication was done with 2-D cutting profiles. That is not to say that the fabricator was not working in 3-D, but the understanding of 3D had more to do with assembly and fabrication of actual materials in space instead of digital models. GT produced a 3-D solid model, but the Document Template CAM outputs were completely 2D in nature. Instead of relying on robotic fabrication or multi-axis machining, a series of registration elements were output from the model for use during assembly. Looking at one piece of the assembly, the “waffle frame” is a well known and fairly easy-to-assemble construction given the prevalence of CNC fabrication, but to ensure the larger project goals such as continuity between adjacent panels, the edges of the frame were projected on to a single plane to create a “tabling” jig at 1:1 scale and CNC out of 1⁄4-inch MDF. In addition to the direct-to-fabrication cutting of the plank and frame pieces, various other jigs and templates aided panel continuity and assembly. After gathering all the pieces together in to a “master model” details were then refined and expanded in the 3-D environment with all the appropriate links to the upstream driver geometry and the downstream panel fabrication models. While representing an investment in time, effort and infrastructure, the flexibility of the system allowed for rapid update cycles late in the design process. To take one example, 3D survey data of as-built conditions was continually cross-checked against the developing fabrication model. Fairly late in the design process it was discovered that some of the steel interfacing with the boat section was not within the assumed design tolerances and needed to be updated. Instead of remodeling these parts, the input surface geometry was slightly tweaked, producing a ripple effect of changes though the design surface. These panels were simply updated to the new surface and reissued just prior to the actual panel fabrication.