Communication patterns -Suzhou Daily High-rise, Suzhou, China [HENN]


The key question driving design of this project is how one could increase social interaction in a high-rise building ?

A case study for this exploration is the “Suzhou Daily” headquarters building in Suzhou, China. Central part of that building consists of a series of stacked, cascading atriums. Proportions and ditribution of the voids are designed in order to maximize visibility within the building.

In order to analyse and compare various void configurations, we have developed a tool that extends the visibility graph analysis into the third dimension.

this allows us to analyse the visual connectivity across multiple levels through the introduction of a vertical void. The aim was to develop a communicative zone for interaction, exchange and distraction by maximizing the vertical view axis.

Urban planning museum, Nantong, China [HENN]


Area: 8.100 m2 Status: Completion 2012 Location: Nantong, CN

As part of the Nantong Sports Centre masterplan, the new Nantong Urban Planning Museum is located prominently along the central river that flows on a course together with existing cultural and commercial facilities and establishes the primary east-west axis of Nantong. The museum is characterized by a 16m floating volume, which rests on an offering space for special exhibitions, cafe and bookstore. The overall dominant form which cantilevers above the glass entry contains the primary exhibition space, offices and conference rooms. Its distinctive facade is composed of two layers: the inner which thermally seals the building envelope, and the outer, a reticulated metal structure with a gradient of varied panels.

The facade’s diamond-shaped diagrid is comprised of seven different panels that allow for varying degrees of opening from 9%-60%. This provides an opportunity for the controlled regulation of sunlight in fine increments, to accommodate the needs of the interior program. The exhibition spaces are therefore, characterized by a predominantly closed facade with minimal openings, and the offices with maximum levels of natural daylight.

Haikou Tower, Haikou, China  [HENN]


Area: 384.000 m2 Location: Hainan, CN

The 450m tall Haikou Tower is a centerpiece of the masterplan in the new Central Business District of Haikou, the capital city of Hainan, a tropical island in the South China Sea. Form and structure have been directly influenced by the program requirements and the drive for a highly efficient structural scheme. The occupant’s needs for large and flexible office spaces on the lower floors and an unobstructed view from the hotel rooms on the upper levels have led to a shift of the cross-bracing system at the boundary between the two functions.
The shift in systems occurs at the hotel lobby area in the form of a large outrigger truss. This truss is purposefully exposed and integrated into the architecture to articulate a multistory high atrium on the upper floors and to provide a clear distinction between functions and structural systems.
The facade system reacts to differing sunlight conditions depending on the building’s orientation. The proposed facade achieves this with a panel unit system which is divided into two parts – an upper opaque part that blocks sunlight and a lower transparent part.The continuous differentiation of the facade harmoniously blends with the large-scale structure of the tower.

BMW FIZ Future, Munich [HENN]


People working in a huge variety of specialist fields will need to meet and pool their thoughts to create the innovations of tomorrow. A central axis accelerates movement and provides an enhanced spatial experience to encourage a greater number of such encounters. All cultures of expertise in automobile construction and mobility are always on view. Towards the edges of the campus, this perception reduces and becomes more focused to allow the various specialist fields and disciplines to further develop their ideas. This effect also promotes integration with the surrounding urban quarters. Here, the design of the new BMW FIZ opens up to its neighbours with a park, cafés, leisure and sports facilities as well as a civic centre.

Ultra-lightweight high-rise structure based on minimal path computation [DRX 2012, HENN Berlin]

tower4aThis prototower, developed as part of the Design research Exchange 2012, is a three-dimensional space-frame structure designed using minimization methods and shortest path algorithms. Together with horizontal slabs it forms a rigid  system which can be seen as an alternative to conventional structural solutions in high-rise building design.  Similarly to foam bubble formations in nature, every node of the structure has three elements that meet at a 120 degree angle.  This is a great advantage for the detailing, fabrication and assembly process, resulting in only one joint type for all connections in the entire system.

The proposed system is a ultra-light structure design which allows for minimal material usage and therewith reducing the environmental impact significantly without compromising the structural integrity of more conservative solutions.

More information about the presented project you can find here on the HENN website.

protoSPACE 3.0 [Hyperbody Research Group, TU Delft & ONL Rotterdam]

Protospace is developed by Hyperbody at the Delft University of Technology as a revolutionary real-time collaborative design environment. Design of the Protospace 3.0 pavillion was part of the Hyperbody studio. People were divided into 5 specialized groups (styling, manufacturing, structural analysis, interaction, MEP) and worked simultanously on the project informing each other. Project was further developed by the Hyperbody Research Group and part of the building was realized at the faculty of architecture in Delft.

More information about the project is available here

Watertoren Tegelen [NIO architecten, Rotterdam]

Project is an adaptation of an existing watertower into apartments. Re-design focused on two main aspects; new communication system (indoor elevator and outdoor staircase) and new facade, which would provide equal amount of daylight in each of the apartments.

Perforation of the facade is based on the branching principle, derriving inspiration from the surrounding trees. The algorithm uses existing openings as a starting point for further growth. The same pattern is repeated in the outdoor staircase, integrating the subtle design intervention into the surrounding forest.

More information aboutthe project is available here

Museum of Contemporary Art in Warsaw – Use of real-time simulation in the design process [Master thesis TU Delft (honourable mention) ///Nimish Biloria, dr. ing. Henriette Bier, Martin Sobota]

The project consists of five different crystal-like volumes organized around a central courtyard, embedded in the landscape, engaging the visitors both through indoor and outdoor areas. The differentiation of the exhibition spaces is amplified by very specific daylight conditions related to different programmatic needs.

Computational techniques used for the form finding process define a multiplicity of light shafts oriented and shaped according to the studies of the sun circulation on the site on a year-round cycle. The museum offers  exceptional environment for manifestation of contemporary art, where light and atmosphere are constantly changing throughout the whole year.

More information aboutthe project is available here

House Wrap [Agata Kycia, Krzysztof Gornicki ///IAAC]


HOUSE WRAP is a customized single-family house, which has evolved through search for boundaries between public and private space. The complex parametric model is controlled by a simple flat surface with a series of folding and cutting lines, allowing for experimentation with form-finding. The model is further linked to a fabrication file with all the unfolded construction elements, being updated accordingly.

Both the angles of the folds and the sizes of the openiings, can be customized for specific requirements of the inhabitants, as well as the terrain and surrounding, offering  very wide range of possible configurations.

More information aboutthe project is available here

Real-time simulation in the design process /// Train station development in Delft [Agata Kycia, Krzysztof Gornicki /// TU Delft]

The building is a result of a real-time programming based on a series of environmental and contextual parameters. Noise, pedestrian circulation, commercial activities and traffic fluxus are organized into a large scale responsive construction.

The new train station proposal creates a cross connection between the parts of the city disjoined by the railway tracks, performing in the same time as a sound barrier, activating the nearby neighbourhoods and providing a wide range of mixed-use facilities such as office, retail, leisure and cultural functions.

More information aboutthe project is available here

Plug-in faculty of architecture / open ideas competition [Agata Kycia, Krzysztof Gornicki]

Design addresses notions of changeability, adaptability and self-organization. Instead of a building perceived as one uniform and closed volume with strictly defined functions, it is an ongoing open process being able to evolve in time. The open building functioning as a city structure on a small scale, where the spread out components resembles the spread of buildings through the city. All functions are distributed in the landscape, where students can bike from one studio to another breathing fresh air and relaxing in the sun.

This vision provides new potentials for both teachers and students, leting them actively take part and change their environment over time. It also blurs the boundaries between architectural and urban design by engaging all of them in the process of spatial formation on many scales of its operation.

More information aboutthe project is available here

Concept of adaptability in associative design [IAAC]

It is a proposal of fully automated design process being able to adapt to any input, negotiating the relation between intuitive manual sketch and advanced computation in the design process. Having set simple interface where input is a sketch, everyone can easily influence the design and adjust it to his/her needs.

The design itself is an adaptable architecture gallery floating on the River Thames in London, being able to adjust to several external conditions (requirements of certain exhibitions, weather conditions, level of water, special events in the city aso…)

More information about the project is available here


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