Early on these depressions were seen as a freely distributed structural arrangement and earmarked as conduits of natural light and bending moments, breaking what might have been, given its 150-metre (500-foot) long side, an implausibly deep building. By size and organisational pattern, like satellite images of the artificial borders of large mid-western US states, the MOCAPE’s plans look more like geographic regions than interior layouts, which in the absence of any actual boundary other than the occasional occurrence of depressions is what they actually are. The requirements included an unusual programmatic mixture of art galleries and administrative planning offices splashed over 88,000 square metres (950,000 square feet), challenging competitors to adapt their ultra-specific working methods to the amorphousness and enormity of a contemporary socioeconomic brief. Larger programmatic spaces such as exhibition galleries fit into the ‘empty’ areas of the plan. Critically it is an unusually massive building; the variegation of the formula offers an unscripted relief from the artificial problem of composition, as well as from the grim sterilities of repetition. Structural diagram of the external envelope: the gradual merger of cones erodes the field to produce internal or external spaces. One of the great challenges of the brief was the subdivision of a great expanse of programmed spaces. Final model (details). com
monumental in use and wide enough to channel the mass movement of visitors. On the ground, space wraps freely around closed, semiopen or open depressions creating generally differentiated patterns of access and circulation. Fine-tuning the interval of the sampling revealed more of the sine-, cosine – or tangent-shaped troughs, producing in return an array of punctual, linear or superficial depressions. Openmirrors. George L Legendre and Max Kahlen, Analytic
Mathematics implicit field©, 2004-7
Worksheet featuring a (simplified) set of equations for the project. Specifically, the concept makes use of the elastic dimensional properties of a parametric surface model known as implicit field©. Space flows freely around cones, whose original position is statistically calculated to attain sparser or denser concentrations of matter. Based on a single three-dimensional superficial expanse, the 80,000-square – metre (860,000-square-foot) interior can have no extraneous partitions: it is the surface itself that must provide them. The number and final position of the depressions is not predetermined, but is statistically calculated to produce average amounts of aggregation or dispersal. The first step was eliminating all curvature from the surface and distributing discontinuities across it by sampling three periodically shaped troughs. During late 2007, guest-editor George L Legendre of IJP Corporation and Max Kahlen of Dyvik & Kahlen, Architecture, joined forces to develop a competition design for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) in Shenzhen. Based on the aggregation of several periodic functions, the implicit field© is defined by the discontinuities between these functions, which are the salient feature of this surface and form the basis for a building proposal deriving its structure, layout and access to natural light from wherever such discontinuities occur. In the summer of 2007, the announcement of an international competition for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) of Shenzhen (People’s Republic of China) marked the final major building venture in the newly redeveloped city centre of this fast-growing metropolis. Images © George L Legendre and Max Kahlen 1
Text © 2011 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. In this ‘flat – topped’ version of the original seed, the distribution of adjacent depressions is statistically controlled by sampling a sinusoidal path cutting across the field. This constraint resulted in the integration of the exhibition functions within one open plan, strategically subdivided by the only mode of partition available: a variable density of adjacent discontinuities.