Proportional Networks

Images: pp 58-9 © Arup, photo Tristan Simmonds (AGU); pp 60-1, 62(b), 63-5 © Arup; p 62(t) © Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Heatherwick Studio, British Pavilion, Shanghai, China, 2010
Close-up of the spike distribution. The hierarchies and regularities of the geometric pattern facilitate the segmenting of the structure in panels that are easily transportable and buildable on site like interlocking pieces of a puzzle. By employing a mathematically rigorous method, recursive algorithms have been coded in computer applications as the new tools of the designer and used to promote the emergence of a rich world of new spatial networks where habitable space, circulation, structure and pattern can be found. In the past few years the AGU has demonstrated, through built projects, that new spaces and structures can be formed by the introduction of systems of organisation not previously explored in architecture or engineering. The recursion and extension of this rule generates a complete network which folds from the roof of the pavilion to the walls to form a rigid structure. The pattern of the facade is a simple polygonal chequerboard of glass and aluminium panels.

Updated: 29.10.2014 — 18:42