From system to form

The last part of the project has been about developing the structure. Since the system in itself only generates a very basic diagram, the possibilities for translating it into architecture seems endless, but at the same time I wanted to stay true to the underlying system. The first idea of using domes was too diagrammatic and a constraining system.

Instead, the offset circles are joined and filleted to form the general shape of the exterior walls. That shape then lays the groundwork for the shell structure, extruding it vertical to shape walls and offsetting them inwards to create a sloped roof, naturally shaping openings around the Glades beneath. The structure consists of a primary, vertical structure, and bands of secondary outlines, visible both externally and internally.

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This project has forced me to analyze my own design process, and pushed me outside my comfort zone. It has also been an interesting struggle between me and the system, by being so smitten with the possibilities of the tools we have investigated, and then realizing that I need to take back the power and tame my own system. Writing a Python program from scratch defined this project because of all the possibilities it created, and the challenge to extinguish a simple form to be translated into architecture.


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Reflections on structure

While looking at inspiration for dome structures and sequential buildings, it became clearer that the system and the theme and atmosphere it creates is more important than the structural system of the building. In other words, the perfect or nearly perfect dome as an encapsulating system is questioned. Instead, points of interest, both from a structural and thematical point of view, is identified. These could be used as a set starting point for finding a structure that will enhance both the Glades and the system itself.


Inspiration of atmosphere and structural alternatives other than “perfect” domes.St9_P2_Task2_diagrams-01

Conditions – Scenarios, movement, narrative

When examining different conditions, the first natural step was to categorize, test and design different ways of utilizing the glades for various types of exhibition.


But when working in section, the roof/wall/floor relationship – the dome structure, and the movement through the building, in and out of the Glades, became the main focus.


Using narrative as a thought process was useful for finding out what qualities the different spaces needs. By creating a storyline for moving through the building, new interesting ways in which the building can serve as a wholesome experience was revealed.


Sectional models for some of the exhibition situations/storyline conditions.


I was inspired by the ”calculated randomness” of plans like Fujimoto’s Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, where the programmed elements seems to be randomly shuffled.


With set parameters – conditions for form, construction, utility, site and so on – in combination with automatic randomizing many different propositions of such plans could be generated through programming, and maybe result in finding unexpected configurations.

I created a program that could shuffle objects like walls, rooms, pillars by placing them randomly on a predetermined area and assign each a randomized angle (A_001). This generated plans that was totally random, and though I could change the values of angle and plane, the arrangement of the elements was uncontrollable.


From that I tried to add controlling parameters by using predetermined objects like curves to add a level of intention, though still keeping the randomness of angles (A_002 – A_003).


By constraining the random shuffling within smaller areas the outcome could be further controlled.  By using a combination of these two methods (within area and along curve), and experimenting with different types of elements, I could generate outcomes that were generally controlled and still quite unpredictable each time (A_004 – A_007).


I chose the site from the map of future developments of Årsta and Årstafältet. I am intrigued by the crossroads on the field, since I think they can be used as parameters in the system, as one of the constants that can control the randomness.