Tag: Architectural style

Zaha Hadid’s Ingenious Designs

Zaha Hadid’s Ingenious Designs

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

 

 

Zaha Hadid’s Ingenious Designs

Zaha Hadid was one of the most brilliant minds in architectural design.  Her work has been classified as Deconstructivism which is visually characterized as chaotic and unpredictable structures, often using non-rectilinear shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of the architecture.  Known as “the Queen of the Curve”, her work was described as having the highly expressive, sweeping fluid forms of multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry that evoke the chaos and flux of modern life.  Although she was often praised as the world’s top female architect, her work also attracted criticism.  She was among a group of architects who rejected their styles and classifications, as well as not ever coming to a worldly understandable, relative, conformed and unified definition over their own “different” designs of their own minds creation.  From being labeled as “making Doric temple forms out of plywood” to “unconventional buildings that seem to defy the logic of construction”, the unanimous verdict of critics is that Deconstructivism is a purely formal exercise with little social significance.  And yes, unfortunately for the Deconstructivists, I am one of THOSE critics that oppose you.  And why would I or anybody in their rightful mind side with different ideologies and a movement or style that is not in the mind or the time of anybody else’s except the creator’s, and therefore is different and not sane?  And yet, as we have seen with many despised reigning movements in the past several decades, the term had stuck and has come to embrace a general trend within contemporary architecture.  Ironically, it seems that the general consensus of everyone, including architects which once had been Deconstructivism’s ardent adherents are saying to shield their ridiculous embarrassment from the opposing masses, “We didn’t do it because we liked it.  We did it because we hated it.”  And of course, that’s all you need to say….and of course, it worked.

So, why would I, who stands with the opposing team, write a blog about Zaha Hadid and her Ingenious Designs?  Well, for one, I do like concrete, and concrete structures, and for some absurd reason, I think they are fun and urban.  And urban to me means culture and a sense of hope and public belonging.  This is unfortunately the reality that we live in, where we have to do with the nothing that we are given in life.  And in the irony of it all, these empirical things that are necessary evils are something to see and wander around in.  And some of the sights are nice too!  And so, I am going to give Zaha credit for actually creating some interesting, chaotic, unstable architecture that now disgusts people.  And many of her designs take up huge amounts of land too!  I just wish her and other Deconstructivist structures had more surprises for a style of architecture that rejects the past and presents no clear values as replacements and which often pursues strategies that are intentionally aggressive to human senses.  But who knows, maybe one day when the world is filled up with these “We didn’t do because we liked it.  We did it because we hated it” structures, there will be change along the lines of “We didn’t do it because we hated it.  We did it because we REALLY liked it.”, or “We didn’t do it because we liked it.  We did it because we REALLY hated it.”  Of course, what is REALLY liked or REALLY hated is still up to the discretion of the creator of a necessary style of architecture that may be more or less along the lines of something that rejects the past and presents no clear values as replacements and which often pursues strategies that are intentionally aggressive to human senses and more.

With that said, I would like to discuss Zaha Hadid’s Issam Fares Institute Building at the American University at Beirut.  The Issam Fares Institute for public policy and international affairs’ (IFI), designed by Zaha Hadid architects, was completed at the American University of Beirut as part of an on-going campus redevelopment.  Begun in 2006 and completed in 2014, Hadid’s award-winning concrete and glass building makes a bold statement with its prominent 21-meter, two-story-tall cantilever, which creates a covered courtyard and reduces the footprint of the building to avoid blocking circulation routes.  The elevated walkways carry pedestrians through the branches of huge Cypress and Ficus trees, many of which significantly predate the building at 120 to 180 years old the facility immediately serves the school’s students and administrators, but on a larger scale is a hub for local, regional, and international academics, researchers, and politicians.  The IFI comprises a rigorous educational program that the design of this building seeks to facilitate.  It aims to harness, develop, and initiate research of the Arab world, in order to enhance and broaden debate on public policy and international relations.  This is a new set of photographs by Lebanese architectural photographer Bahaa Ghoussainy which show the building in active use, pairing daytime scenes of visitors relaxing on benches or walking across pathways with dramatic evening views that highlight the glowing slanted windows.  In all of the photos, the exaggerated diagonal elements of Hadid’s design give the building a feeling of motion, as if Ghoussainy captured a glimpse of it speeding through the frame.  The landscaped surroundings contrast the neutral concrete of the building’s elevations with splashes of green, further highlighting the singular design.  With its monumental form, swept diagonal lines and elevated concrete walkways, the Issam Fares Institute building at the American University of Beirut by Zaha Hadid Architects emphasizes movement, evoking the speed of contemporary life as it presides over a connecting system of pedestrian walkways.

 

Revit Architecture

Revit Architecture

Saturday, February 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

RKO backlot main hotel views

RKO backlot main hotel views (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revit Architecture

Those of us who know anything about BIM or Building Information Modeling know how much of an oh-so-joyous happy dandy fun time Revit Architecture can be.  With its tendencies for the user to have to be highly accurate in the development of a structure without having the ability to adjust measurements manually, Revit can be an extremely time consuming and often excruciatingly painstaking program to design fully developed construction in.

Rendering can be a whole other monster to deal with in itself.  Any project with a significant amount of At the school where I learned my Revit skills, we have wonderful 2 core processor Dell desktops which pretty much are good for doing a percentage of the floor plan work and unless you have several hours to spare, then forget about rendering big projects.  Especially if animation or 3DS Max plug-ins are used, then you should really expect to be spending a significantly lengthy amount of time rendering your projects.

Of course, now we have cloud-based rendering with the experimental plug-in dubbed Project Neon, located on Autodesk Labs which is in the beta phases and allows for the user to render their images through their Autodesk account instead of locally through their own computers.  But rendering a project is still very time consuming and the use of your Autodesk account is not always available (at such places like certain schools).  It is because of the complexity of the program and the time it takes to create each individual aspect of the entire program that the program in its entirety is not always taken advantage of in the workplace.

Just imagine the incredible and beautifully polished 3D designs that could be showcased during potential project bids in any given circumstance if the software were to develop with simplified convenience in mind.  Nevertheless, Revit still is a remarkable program and it is improving dramatically by the year.  I hope to see the day when rooms are created and developed with much simpler methods and randomly generated components and furniture are brought into the program.  These improvements, including the ability to freely manipulate measurements would make Revit an excellent program to use regularly in the workplace.

3D Printed Architecture

3D Printed Architecture

Monday, June 13, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

3D Printed Architecture

3D printed architecture is quickly becoming a viable method of construction in the near future.  Teams of architects in London and Amsterdam are competing to produce the first habitable printed structure, using technology that could transform the way buildings are made.  Though they all have the same objective, the teams are investigating very different materials and fabrication methods.

Existing 3D printers are only able to produce homogeneous materials that have the same properties throughout. But graded materials would be useful for printing architectural elements such as beams or façades that mimic bone, which is hard on the outside but spongy on the inside.  But gradients are hard to produce with the current generation of 3D printers, which rely on armatures or gantries that can only move on three axes such as back and forward, side to side, and up and down, and which must lay down material in layers, one atop the other.  They also require complex support structures to be printed at the same time to prevent the printed objects collapsing under their own weight.

In traditional 3D printing, the gantry size poses an obvious limitation for the designer who wishes to print in larger scales and achieve structural and material complexity.  Research is being done in investigating ways of printing with additional axes of movement, by replacing the gantry with a six-axis robotic arm.  This will allow “free-form” printing at a larger scale and without the need for support structures.

Today’s material limitations can be overcome by printing with responsive materials.  Gantry limitations can be overcome by printing with multiple interactive robot-printers.  Process limitations can be overcome by moving from layering to weaving in 3D space, using a robotic arm.  Robotic arms can be used to print in traditional materials, such as plastic, concrete or composites, or employed to weave or knit three-dimensional fibre structures.  Researchers are also exploring how the high-performance fibres excreted by silkworms and spiders could be produced artificially.  In the future, buildings may be constructed by swarms of tiny robots that use a combination of printing and weaving techniques, called “swarm” construction.

Railing Errors in Revit

Railing Errors in Revit

Saturday, May 7, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Railing Errors in Revit

Railing errors in Revit can sometimes be very tricky and not place themselves exactly the way they should in Revit. I found this to especially be the case when working with pipe handrails and when creating a stairway by component and placing the railing in a calculated, uniform manner along the stringers of the host.

In some instances, the problem areas fix themselves with adjusting some of the railing parameters such as baluster placement and handrail height, offset and angled join parameters in the component editing areas. In other cases, the problem is more complicated and requires either re-sketching the entire stairway itself or possibly creating an adaptive railing family.

I found this to be a reoccurring problem when constructing a stairway between two floors where no matter what I seemed to try, the problem remained.  It tends to happen at sharp 90 degree or more acute corners and it results in disconnected and misaligned railing structures.

In the case of the picture you see above, I was not able to find a simple solution to the problem and ended up creating a whole new stairway using a different handrail type than the pipe handrail shown.

It is possible to alter the sketch path of the handrail and add custom balusters around the problem area in order to create a customized warping of the handrail, which may or may not fix the problem, but that often also requires re-sketching the stairway boundary as well.

Another option is to create the railing in separate sections with minimal space between them.  This works well and you can then fill in a customized baluster or wall component in between the separated railing sections.

Revit is a program for the designer at heart, and there are often times where the designer needs to use their creative instincts to devise alternative solutions of overcoming obstacles in the design phases of a building project which would eliminate errors in Revit.

Such is the case with many of the standard features of BIM programs such as Revit.

Adaptive Revit Railing

Adaptive Revit Railing

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 | By | Add a Comment



Adaptive Revit Railing

So lately I have been working on a Revit project that involves the creation of a large corporate office building with attached recreational and exercise facilities, and I came across the difficulty of being able to place a railing on a custom made set of circular concrete stairs that I created to lead up to the set of exterior doors located on both the north and south sides of the east corporate office wing of the building.

So, after many failed attempts of inserting the rail system either by host or sketch, as well as editing the parameters associated with the railing families, I decided my only known option was to attempt to manually create an adaptive railing.  And the outcome is what you see in the pictures above.

This just so happens to be my first attempt ever at making an adaptive component, so I used the video above as my guide.  It is a good video, although it happens to miss some points including how to make a multi-baluster railing as well as how to make the railing in U.S. standard measurements instead of metric.  It is still a very informative video, and a good starting point for anyone who feels the need or inspiration to begin creating adaptive components in Revit.

As you can see, my railing still needs some degree of work to be done.  It is not perfect and I ran across a number of problems including the sloping of the bottom portions of the railing, as well as the irregular ellipse-like balusters.  Also, I need to be able to change the material of the railing as well, so it appearss as the standard dull, anonyomous, greyish material and I have yet to add the material change as a parameter in the family parameters.  But, still not a bad first attempt if I do say so myself.  What do you think?  Be honest.

Revit and 3DS Max Animation

Revit and 3DS Max Animation

Sunday, March 27, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Revit and 3DS Max Animation

Yet another exciting topic in the world of Revit, is importing 3DS Max animation into the project.  This is the essential element for high-profile displays or presenting your Revit structure and it’s walkthroughs to a client for them to get the full experience of visualizing the structure from the inside and out.  Of course, you want your doors to open and your escalators to escalate when you’ve got a multi-million dollar project on the line for a potential bid out.  And it would be even nicer if the people moved and the television screens projected moving pictures too!  So, how does a project designer in Revit get his features animated?

It is all a matter of importing your Revit project into 3DS Max and doing the animation work with the animation tools in 3DS Max, and then doing your final renderings in 3DS Max as well.  But how does a Revit designer import his Revit design into 3DS Max in the first place?  The great thing about Autodesk programs is that it is very easy to link and import and export files from different Autodesk programs into and out of each program.

3DS Max is a 3D program which deals with 3D views and animation, so obviously the file that you would need to import into 3DS Max would be a 3D view of your Revit project.  Once you have selected the view that you wish to import into 3DS Max to manipulate, then you would go into 3DS Max and in the File Menu drop down you will find an Import files selection.  Once you click on this button then you will need to find the location of the Revit file you want to import and select it and open the file.  It may then give you a choice of what view of the file you wish to open the file into, such as external views, side views, or possibly internal views.  Once you have selected the view, then the file should take a moment or two to process into the program and then VIOLA…..the view should then appear before your very eyes!   Not too difficult was that now?  Take a look at the video above for more information and a visual tutorial about what we just discussed!