Posts tagged with "prototype":

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Through MAGA group, artist Christoph Büchel is now offering tours of the border wall

A new arts nonprofit calling itself MAGA is offering tours of the U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes in California. Erected by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, the eight wall segments, erected by six different firms, currently sit near the San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico border. The first prototypes were completed in October 2017. Now MAGA, named for President Donald Trump's abbreviated campaign slogan, is repositioning the wall mock-ups as PROTOTYPES, an installation for curious art world onlookers. As of now, the group's next and final tour is on January 13, but the $20 tickets are sold out. According to a press release, MAGA is also petitioning to get the border wall prototypes recognized as national monument under the Antiquities Act of 1906. The designation of a monument under these rules would require the president's approval. A preliminary search for the nonprofit in the IRS's database turned up no conclusive results. Initial, neutral inquiries into the project and MAGA were mostly rebuffed. "You might want to do your homework, it's better to be thorough than fast," said Andrea Schwan, head of the eponymous public relations firm that blasted today's press release on MAGA. Instead of fielding questions, Schwan told this reporter to read a January 3 New York Times story on the installation, which identifies Swiss-Icelandic artist Christoph Büchel as the MAGA mastermind. Büchel explained the concept behind the piece, which is worth excerpting in full:
"'I am an artist, but not the artist of this,'" Mr. Büchel said. Instead, he said, MAGA endorses the concept that Americans, by electing Mr. Trump, allowed his obsessions to be given form that qualifies as an artistic statement. The fact that the prototypes were designed and built by six private contractors matters less, he said, than the impression that, upon completion, they constitute an unintended sculpture garden willed into existence by the president and his supporters. "'This is a collective sculpture; people elected this artist,' Mr. Büchel said."
The 51-year-old artist has never shied from controversy. His contribution to the Icelandic Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, a mosque erected inside a vacant Catholic church, was shut down by the city over security concerns. Before that, Training Ground, a vast installation planned for the North Adams, Massachusetts contemporary art museum MASS MoCA was cancelled when the relationship between the institution and the artist over the unfinished work. A lengthy court battle ensued. The Architect's Newspaper (AN) is reaching out for more information on MAGA and Büchel's project, and will update readers with more details as soon as possible.
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MIT researcher aims to expand the role of glass in construction

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Architect and educator Cristina Parreño’s ongoing research project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is called “Tectonics of Transparency” and it's challenging the “generic-ness” of glass in construction today. The project is being realized through a unique format of prototypes divided into three formal categories: the Wall Series, Tower Series, and Shelter Series. Each type is further broken down into scales: a “model scale” of 8-cubic-feet, and an “installation scale” of inhabitable size. The format allows for experimentation with technique, and for multiple funding sources to support various components of the project. Parreño pinpoints her interest in expanding the role of glass to a 1950s patent on “float glass” by Pilkington, who developed a process for efficiently manufacturing large flat sheets of the material. “Despite its potential, modern technology didn’t fully exploit the multitude of material attributes offered by glazing, which in a flat, planar state can only be used as a non-structural infill,” Parreño told The Architect's Newspaper (AN) in an interview. “When expanded to a greater depth, glass acquires multiple properties that expand its role beyond that of a transparent or translucent infill. If we attend to some of these properties—which are not fully exploited when glass is presented in its planar state—we can begin to foresee another type of depth between the two sides of the material.” Parreño’s prototypes are primarily interested in exploiting the material’s compressive strength, along with producing new tactile and visual effects.
  • Facade Manufacturer Shouguang Jingmei Glass Product Co.,Ltd
  • Architects Cristina Parreño Architecture
  • Facade Installer Cristina Parreño Architecture with Turner Construction Special Projects Division (Tower Series assembly)
  • Facade Consultants Paul Kassabian, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (structural engineer)
  • Location Boston, MA
  • Date of Completion 2014-15
  • System clear sheet glass with UV-cured bonding agent
  • Products Glaverbel glass by Shouguang Jingmei; UV-cured adhesive by Loctite
  • Photos John Horner, Jane Messinger (Courtesy Cristina Parreño Archtiecture)
One of the main challenges of the project has been developing new working techniques to manage the fragility of the panes during fabrication. This fragility provides only small tolerances for assembly that in turn demand a high degree of precision. Parreño’s assemblies involve bonding individual profiles of glass together using a high-performance bonding agent activated by UV light. The compound cures thin and transparent, allowing for maximum visibility between panes. Parreño says this construction system permits the glass to fully express its own visual and structural capacities, but it makes the construction process far more labor intensive. The Tectonics of Transparency prototypes are a material translation of well-known concrete and brick structures to glass, as MVRDV recently developed for their Amsterdam Chanel store project. Parreño said MVRDV’s project demonstrates similar interests to hers, and that the interest of other architects in challenging the conventional use of glass “thickens the plot for discussions.” Parreño’s Tower Series reinterprets Uruguayan brick water towers built by Eladio Dieste, while her Shelter Series reinterprets Felix Candela’s ruled Mexican concrete surface structures. Beyond explorations into the structural capacity of glass, Parreño also relates to the qualities of light inherent through assembly techniques. She cites REX’s fluted facade as a reinvented curtain wall of curved panels that “catch light in unexpected angles, throwing distorted reflections back at the viewer.” These visual effects are a key influencer of Parreño’s Tectonics of Transparency: “By exploring the ability of glass to modulate light through its enhanced translucency, variable transparency, opacity and the greater or lesser internal reflection of external light.” Parreño says her next steps are to continue to “scale up” the prototypes, experimenting with how glass can move beyond the curtain wall. “The translation of these prototypes and small pavilions to a larger and more architectural scale is something that I am definitely interested in as the next step forward.”
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Snøhetta’s RAK Gateway Facade Prototype

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A preview of the collaboration behind the entryway to Ras Al Khaimah

Snøhetta’s 656-foot-tall Gateway tower, 93 miles east of Dubai, will mark the entrance to the new planned capital city of the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah. Inspired by the surrounding desert and mountain landscape, the project’s undulating form will bring almost 3 million square feet of mixed-use space to the city, which is being master planned by Netherlands-based firm OMA. Snøhetta has designed a prototype of the building’s white-scaled skin in collaboration with Dubai-based lightweight composite manufacturer Premier Composite Technologies (PCT).
  • Fabricator Premier Composite Technologies
  • Architect Snøhetta
  • Location Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
  • Status Prototype
  • Materials Glass fiber and epoxy resin composite, structural foam, glass, ceramic
  • Process CAD-CAM design, CNC mold-making
The RAK tower, which is slated to hold a hotel, will be structurally clad with prefabricated panels attached to its concrete slabs without additional substructure. The design requires panels to be insulated and include the external skin as well as internal doors, windows, and a grid for a plasterboard interior finish. More than 1,000 panels will be needed to realize the design, but Snøhetta and PCT began with one 26-by-13-foot prototype. The design plays to efficiency: Finished panels clad with geometric ceramic shapes will be hoisted onto the tower by crane and connected to each other with a watertight bolted connection to save money and time; a composition of glass fiber and epoxy resin composite surrounding a structural foam core and insulation is designed for decreased solar heat gain. Because the tower rises and twists from lower, horizontal forms at its base, the panels must have a complex bi-axial shape, so using easily moldable composites made sense from a design standpoint as well. PCT uses a 5-axis milling machine to create molds with multiple-axis forms and intricate shapes. Snøhetta worked with PCT’s design engineers to develop the RAK Gateway’s conceptual facade designs, analyzing 3-D images for structural performance. The team then translated CAD files into CAM files to manufacture molds. The components, which are laminated on the CNC-milled molds and oven-cured under a vacuum, have a tolerance of less than 1 millimeter. Holes are also molded into each element, ensuring accurate placement of attachments before the panels ever reach the building. As part of the collaboration, Snøhetta translated the Gateway’s shapes into a design for PCT’s booth at 100% Design London. Watch architect Thomas Fagernes discuss the design below in a video about PCT: Video courtesy RIBAJournal.com