Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Digitally Fabricated World

Issue 9  -Stationary  "Transformative"  Facade
By: Don Olsen

Welcome back everyone. So this week when I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about I merely looked at the background on my computer. The image in figure 1 has been my desktop background for about six months and is a project that still amazes me every time I look at it. This is a parking garage at the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. When this project was first approached there was an idea of a "camouflage evolved." The architects, Urbana, decided that rather than hide a unappreciated infrastructural building they wanted to highlight it. They wanted to create something that could be a talking point for the area.  They said that at first they looked at kinetic sculpture, but eventually decided against it due to the maintenance issues and constant need for upkeep. They instead decided to go with a passive kinetic approach. By doing this and eliminating all the additional costs that go with it, they allow the people passing by do all the work. As you can see in figure one through three the building facade transforms as you travel past it. The transition is the result of 7,000 angled metal panels that vary in direction across the facade. Each one of these panels was painstakingly water jet cut and the then welded together to create 8 total large sections that would later be added to the already constructed parking garage.  Depending on the vantage point of the viewer and that position of any given panel, the resulting views can varying widely. The thing about this project that always amazes me is that the amount of dynamic views created are endless though the facade never moves or changes in position. They were able to create something that will almost never really be the same no matter how many times you pass it. Everything from your speed to your height and path will always come into play as to the view that you get with every pass.  The amount of work and thought that went into the shift changes in this project will always seem endless. This is truly an amazing piece of architectural art and a good example of what digital fabrication can be used for. Till next time keep fabricating

Figure 2

Figure 3

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