Parametric Architecture: The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion is a result of an exploratory architectural experiment, whose aim was to check if it is possible to realize a full-scale architectural object with a complex geometry, exclusively with the aid of advanced digital techniques and technologies, without resorting to the traditional design methods and tools. The built structure of the Voronoi Pavilion proves that it is possible to carry out such a process and succeed – not only on the computer screen, but also in real space.

Voronoi Pavilion_MorfotacticLabBlog_1

In the name of our Pavilion, the mysterious Voronoi stands for the name of a mathematician Georgy Voronoy, who is the author of an algorithm which optimally divides a surface into polygonal regions, based on a set of points distributed in space. This algorithm is used in the design of our Pavilion to generate the ornamentation of its skin panels, with the Voronoi cells represented in the form of polygonal perforations of the panels.

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion illustrates the tremendous potential hidden behind the contemporary 3d modeling, computational optimization, and digital fabrication techniques. Its unique form is only seemingly arbitrary and free – in reality, it was conceived as an effect of an extremely structured, rationalized design process, strongly rooted within the algorithmic way of thinking about architectural geometry.

Voronoi Pavilion_MorfotacticLabBlog_2

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion is an effect of a joint research and education collaboration, between Margaret Zboinska from MORFOTACTIC ® (as a researcher at the Department of Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), and Jan Cudzik, Kalina Juchnevic, Robert Juchnevic (doctoral students at the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland) and Kacper Radziszewski (master’s level student at the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland). This is our second collaboration, in which we organized and led the 3rd edition of a research workshop – Parametric Architecture III, in which 20 students from the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland, took part in the design workshop and in the assembly process of the Voronoi Cupola Pavilion.

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion was demonstrated at two official exhibitions: at the biggest Polish summer design festival Gdynia Design Days 2014, and in an exhibition housed by the Nanotechnology Center at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland. The link to our exhibition at Gdynia Design Days 2014, titled: Between the digital and material worlds: The Voronoi Operation, can be found on the offical website of GDD Festival here.

The Pavilion was also featured on the front cover of the Gdansk University of Technology Magazine (downloadable here), and in the article on the Gdansk University of Technology website here.

Voronoi Pavilion_Gdynia Design Days  Voronoi Pavilion_TU Gdansk magazine  Voronoi Pavilion_TU Gdansk website

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Parametric Architecture: The Cardboard Box Installation

The main aim of the research workshop Parametric Architecture II, during which we built the Cardboard Box Installation, was to investigate the possibility of putting together a large-scale 3d structure made from cardboard. The structure was meant to be realized using the simplest possible means and materials. As a result of an advanced digital 3d modeling process, using the associative parametric modeling software Grasshopper, and after more than 16 hours of intensive mounting work, we used the total amount of 398 cardboard boxes, connected with over 1500 zip fasteners, to finally produce our large-scale 6 by 6-meter structure.

The research workshop Parametric Architecture II, to which Margaret Zboinska of MORFOTACTIC ® was invited as a researcher from the Department of Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, took place between 10th and 12th of May 2013 at Gdansk University of Technology (Gdansk, Poland). The workshop was organized by our parametric design friends, doctoral and master’s students at the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology: Jakub Bladowski,  Jan Cudzik, Robert Juchnevic and Kacper Radziszewski, accompanied by the KNPP / FROZEN BROCCOLI Student Group from the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology (for more info, please look here and here). Eight architecture students took part in the introductory Grasshopper workshop and in the assembly of the whole structure.

This cardboard box installation was exhibited at the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics at Gdansk University of Technology (Gdansk, Poland) in the summer of 2013.

Here are the renderings of our structure designed in Grasshopper (renders and photos by MORFOTACTIC LAB ® Margaret Zboinska):

Parametric Cardboard Box Architectural Installation

Here is the realized Cardboard Box Installation:

Parametric Cardboard Box Architectural Installation

And here are some snapshots from the Structure’s assembly process:

Parametric Cardboard Box Architectural Installation

The Cardboard Box Installation was also featured in an article written for the Polish architecture Portal bryla.pl (a link to the article can be found here).

Parametric Cardboard Box Installation_bryla.pl

The algorithmically-generated 3D constructs — potentials for Architecture and Interior Design

Here, a simple algorithm – based on the associative interaction between a NURBS curve and a gradually-modulated polygon system – produces a highly-differentiated structure which could become an acoustic, sound-dispersing ceiling or wall.

The algorithmically-generated 2D constructs — potentials for Architecture and Interior Design

Parameter-driven, mathematically-defined structures generated via algorithmic modeling present interesting esthetic features.

The algorithms for those structures are simple: scaling and rotating triangles is just enough to produce complexity which would be difficult to achieve manually.