Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tutorials and re-modelling 30 Oct 2013

31 October 2013: We have decided to have Studio on both Thursday and Fridays except when special visitors come to Nottingham (logically we would want them to see All students).
The MArch group have a crit next day so are working hard in the studio to create new models and posters. This group Sing-ZCC were told to work more 'together' last week, and it is clear that they are working on the advice - a totally new and unified design!
Later in the afternoon (before next day's crit) the studio is buzzing with activity, a new model coming from every group in Rotterdam or Singapore.
The Tianjin students are having their crit-tutorial time today, and are having discussion about their 'agenda' for their building.
Hanniya thinking hard about a Dance academy tower.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Initial designs moving along

28 October 2013: We hoped that Jason Pomeroy would spend the day with us, but the entire rail network from London to East Midlands was cancelled for the day with over 200 trees down on rail and electric lines following the weekend's wind storm. The MArch students had done new models, but it was a good exercise because they were able to show them to DNC, Phil and Yuri.
Harsh and Kushboo (HK) have a new model for Singapore, it's closer to the real scale, but still seems small for a triple tower - there is a real effort to engage with the ground plane.
  They have two other models, but this seems to be the favourite - offers more opportunities for mixed use and free flowing ventilation, although the footprints of each mini tower need to be enlarged.
The ZCC group are still working as individuals and showed us three models for Singapore. This one by Jay is a single small tower on a broad podium above the MRT station.
This model by Chao of ZCC is a triangular plan, with some interesting ideas about facade shading, ventilation and core positioning. Very promising. There is a strong precedent for triangular tall buildings, and most of them have a void in the centre with cores at the corners or in an attached block.
      Zhaochen also showed his model from last week of the one with a large LED screen.
Hemant and Sanjiv (HS) showed use last week's model, but we are far more interested in their new one, which seems a lot more advanced in thinking. It fills the site well, and is not a single tall building, but more of a complex of connected structures of varying heights. It has a variety of daylight wells and air holes through the structure, and this idea could be developed to fill more of the site.
The Rotterdam group (ELS) have redesigned since last week, and come up with something very powerful. There's a detailed physical model, plus a Sketchup model to back it up with. Above all, this demonstrates the benefits of creative physical modelling. This idea couldn't have been thought up by mere plan drawing, or by trying to CAD model it first. Foamboard, clingfilm, kebab sticks and straws allow for real creativity.
The Rotterdam design is not a single building - it is a 3D mesh of linked high rise structures offering great opportunity for varied uses, for public access high up into the building, for vertical greening and for phasing of the development. It includes an idea for building over the existing low rise housing on the site. The vertical farming component must be positioned to get best sunlight.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Revising design for Jason

25 Oct 2013: We had a crit on the 24th, but there is excited anticipation of Jason's visit and Phil's return next week, so some of the groups are doing further work to come up with new design ideas for Rotterdam and Singapore.

The Rotterdam group are making progress during the weekendHmmm, looks interesting and more like the right scale. 

Students in Tianjin, China

15-25 October 2013: Eight of our students are on a field trip to Tianjin, China. It's a large coastal city SE of Beijing. They have a tall building site in the new developing district (shown in the model, above), and have a small part of this to master plan. The project is a cultural exchange with Tianjin university whose students are also doing a tall building project on the same site. 
The Nottingham students have greater freedom with the brief, to pick a research agenda to add complexity to their tall building design.
Here is the total group at Tianjin. 
Having done the hard work, the group found time to do a bit of tourism in Beijing before returning home on 25th October. The cost of the flights is sponsored by the Jason Pomeroy Studio, Singapore.
They all touched down safely in the UK on the evening of 25th October.

Initial Design Ideas 24 Oct 2013

Three of the 'crit team' having a coffee break before it starts: Grace, Putri, Noura and DNC
24 October 2013: The Tall Building studio (who are not in Tianjin) are doing sites in Singapore and in Rotterdam, and we have had only one week since they presented their Context, Climate and Culture site analysis.
      They have been preparing their 'first response' to the site. Anything is possible at this stage, ranging from a systematic mathematical study of floor space potential, to a highly intuitive sculptural idea - we are open to everything. We don't mind how it is done, provided it isn't just talk - we like models in foam-board, foam block, wire mesh, kebab sticks, wood block, brown packing card, paper etc. We also like posters with hand drawn ideas and photos of models.

We do not expect any seriously finished or unique designs. If there is a group, we will ask for one big idea per person. First group are Harsh and Kushboo who provided three big ideas for the Singapore site, backed up with three models and three A1 posters of the ideas taken into more detail - a wonderfully pluralistic mixture of every possibility, leaving nothing out!

The other students may look a bit worried because they haven't done so much. But it is a learning experience for them to see what these two have achieved in just a few days.

Another group show us some ideas for Singapore. Having had a lecture from Prof Edward Ng the day before about Hong Kong, everybody was super-keen to retain and enhance green space at the ground plane (not forgetting that they have a MRT station on the site below the tower) and to avoid building towers that block out airflow or view to other buildings.

John Ramsay joined us for the crit because Phil is in China. We had a lively discussion of a proposal for a building with a large LED based facade - apart from the potential for advertising and special events, this could also be an 'invisible' building with the lights displaying what cameras can see on the reverse side. It could also be a permeable mesh by daytime, allowing ventilation and daylight to the space within during the day.

Hemant and Sanjiv showed us models for Singapore, towers mounted on large arches over the station. This idea is perhaps a bit too small for the large site. Small footprint buildings are uneconomic and we also hope for slightly more crazy ideas at this stage. They will do another in time for Monday.

The Rotterdam group showed us three ideas for the site - this one by Shuo is oversize for the base model, but has a good intention to shape itself organically to the site. There are some ambitious ideas for the structure and for special strategies such as rainwater catchment and vertical farming.

Yes Shuo, it is a bit big for Rotterdam. But it's a good start!

After the presentations, DNC completed the third of three lectures on Bioclimatic design thinking - Climate analysis, Primary strategies, and Detailed Solutions.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trips to Beijing and the Great Wall

22 October 2013: The MArch Part 2 students are still in China, and rounded off their trip with some tourism in Beijing, and to the Great Wall north of Beijing.
High speed train Tianjin to Beijing
Beijing skyline, with CCTV to the left
Street scene
Street scene
Forbidden City, main entrance
Forbidden City, inner main courtyard
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Great Wall
Great Wall
Great Wall
Great Wall
Great WallStreet scene
CCTV main building, by Koolhaas. The Lattice pattern on the facade is precisely calculated to fit the stresses caused by the cantilevered design.The building alongside CCTV was burnt in an accidental fire about 3 years ago and is still a burnt out shell.
Birdsnest Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium
Stadium interior concourse spacesStadium interior concourse spaces