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DRX Prototower 02

DRX 2012

Prototower 02 - Singly-Periodic Shell Structure

The project is the result of exploring the architectural potentials of periodic minimal surfaces. Here the surface is realized as a single concrete shell. The spatial and structural properties that result from different variations of this parameterized minimal surface are utilized for different architectural programs.
Mathematically generated minimal surfaces exhibit two interesting properties with regards to their translation into architectural systems. Primarily, the surface can be developed from a small “fundamental patch”. This element can be assembled into a continuous infinite surface. A trivial example is a small plane “patch” that could be assembled into an infinitely large plane.
Here, the double curvature of the surface behaves as a structural element and resists against different vertical and horizontal weight forces. Additionally, this type of minimal surface divides the adjacent space into two congruent spaces. After an extensive research of methods of modelling minimal surfaces a tool was developed to investigate the extent to which minimal surfaces can be altered to meet various programmatic requirements without compromising structural and functional integrity with regards to high rise structures.  
The main structural element of the tower is the concrete shell. The design features a double curvature surface that shapes the shell and interconnects at the centre to support the structure and prevent buckling.
In the prototype model, the lower section of the structure holds large contiguous floor areas which function as office spaces. The shell provides natural ventilation and lighting through its inherent minimal holes. In the upper section, the structure transforms into a triple tower with residential / hotel use.