Trabeculae: Reimagining the central atrium office tower

Iain Maxwell, David Pigram, Ezio Blasetti, Brad Rothenberg

Research output: Non-textual formDesign

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Trabeculae is the result of re-imagining the central atrium office tower. Replacing the traditional operation of repetitive extrusion, a heliotrope branching system actively seeks out those areas within the zoning envelope with greatest access to daylight. Forking and swelling in response to varying light conditions the atrium is thus conceived as a site-specific network that traverses intelligently and freely from one façade to another. The atrium becomes the defining element of differentiation within otherwise normative floor plates while maintaining efficient floor space ratios.

Within the atrium a second order proliferation of the same system at a finer scale develops a structural meshwork. The swellings and coagulations of this topologically free structural network-within-a-network accommodate meeting rooms and bridges.

The ambition of achieving inorganic speciation is part of Supermanoeuvre’s broader research into the capacity of generative architectural methodologies to negotiate novel spatial, formal and material organizations. Whereby, the performance and character of architecture is elaborated through both the internal systemic logics of the algorithm and its motivated response to external stimuli and latent conditions.

In the Trabeculae tower, the algorithm represents a potential for difference. A highly complex network of response and decision making mechanisms capable of engendering spatial and formal differentiation through multiple levels of internal and environmental feedback and negotiation. In this regard, the architectural project is no longer regarded as a passive entity, but rather a typologically-free machine of multiple possibilities more akin to the morphogenesis of an organism. Where within the system, the very construction of architecture; position, scale, displacement, density, thickness, and length are not only embedded, but more critically become discretely informed by local environmental sampling.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventThe 3rd Architecture Biennial Beijing (ABB2008) - Beijing, China
Duration: 21 Oct 2010 → …


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