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DRX Prototower 03

DRX 2012

Prototower 03 - Ultra-lightweight Spaceframe Structure

The design concept of this Prototower was derived from the formations of soap film. In the physical world, Soap film consumes the least amount of surface area given a certain boundary. Here we investigated the formation of soap film under special boundary curves. Specifically the emergent formation of spatial minimal paths along the edges of multiple minimal surfaces formed the base for this research. These minimal paths can be considered as curve networks which consist of linear elements with a shortest overall length between all boundaries. 
The main structure of the tower is a three-dimensional space frame, which was created using minimization methods and shortest path algorithms. Together with the concrete slabs, the emergent network forms a stiff system that can substitute conventional structural solutions. This stable structure allows the space frame to stand without a central core. This feature gives the tower maximum freedom when choosing an interior program as well as superior ventilation throughout.  
Similar 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.  
The proposed system is an 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.