Structural systems are often taken for granted by those employing them through the incorporation of an engineering process seeking only implementation without strategic inquiry as to the geometric composition of the system, the phenomenological existence of the spatial totality, or sometimes even the fundamental importance of the mathematics supporting these various feats of engineering genius. As a result, when designing especially in an academic setting, the reality of the project (i.e. structural logic) is overlooked in pursuit of a conceptual genius that inevitably ties together the justification for the design process and outcome. Inevitably, therefore, a disconnect exists between the formal process and the realization of the structure, leading to either successful strategies that intelligently incorporate existing engineering methods or unsuccessful outcomes that revert to mundane solutions for problems that have potential for highly-articulated and fascinating products.
The direction of this studio, and thus of my individual design investigation, stemmed from this notion of the role of structure in architecture; both as it is used in its original form in addition to the way it can be manipulated to dictate a design process rather than implemented as an afterthought. Opting to analyze hyperbolic parabaloids, this project’s design develops a contemporary understanding of the hypar’s structural geometries through manipulation, deformation and intersection.
(San Francisco Studio, Multi-Use Facility on Pier 27 for the 2013 America’s Cup Sailing Regatta. Professors Branden Hookway, Lisa Iwamoto).