West End, Atlanta
This installation commissioned by the Atlanta Beltline Partnership sought to call positive attention to Atlanta’s abandoned BeltLine rail in order to transform it from a place of debris and detachment to a place of communal connection and exchange. The aim was to create an occupiable space that improved community connectivity and invited the restoration of character for the neighborhoods surrounding it. This project also served to demonstrate the need for an adequate number of pedestrian friendly public green-spaces along the BeltLine that could be easily accessed using sustainable modes of the transportation. Using computer simulations, shadows created by BeltLine earth banks were mapped onto a five thousand square foot area along the path. The data output from these simulations were physically represented by a matrix of vertically oriented slender fir columns installed along a five foot grid within the designated area. The resulting field of columns registered both the solar effect of the earth banks and the surface that once connected the contiguous neighborhood areas.
This installation commissioned by the AIA aimed to celebrate the BeltLine’s ground-breaking urban strategy that increases density within the city while also restoring the wildlife habitats that were devastated by 20th century sprawl. Instead of resisting the ecological forces present within the place, the project questioned whether design could achieve a form of longevity through the embodiment of such conditions. Collaborating with Chip Clark, a modified tensegrity aviary was developed for the BeltLine that served as a place of cohabitation between local bird species and wildlife enthusiast. The lightweight cloud comprised of compressive bird feeders and tensile bird perches floated overhead, projecting over 75’ beyond its small 5’ x 10’ footprint, mapping the local system of ecology onto a unique force-expressive system. Finite element analysis models and full scale functional prototypes were used to test the performance of this new system which enabled the structural dynamics of the system to be calibrated prior to being transported to the site for final installation.
This installation comprised of recycled plastic water bottles was developed for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival’s Eco-Village children’s program and the Tall Oaks Montessori outreach program in 2011. Through the re-use of bottles generated by the campus of Virginia Tech, the goal of the design was to playfully contribute to the awareness of everyday sustainable efforts for young children. A paper shell served to position bottles relative to one another while the stacked bottles provided structure and rigidity to the shell membrane. Aided by solar illuminance simulations, the effective volume of light within a park clearing served to generate the installation’s form. The resultant stacked bottle surface created a light-filled play space for children to move through. Light danced through the clear bottles onto the translucent paper shell creating dynamic shifts of tone on the inside of the skin. As the sun moved across the sky, the installation would glow within the tree shadowed park calling attention to a good day’s work and the latent potential of material reuse.
Archeological Research Complex
In support of archeological activities, this sustainable research complex adapts passive thermal zoning strategies uncovered in ancient settlements, providing a variety of spatial types which buffer, constrict, and block prevailing wind patterns from the northwest. The design distributes the research program elements across the site using a clustered organization. The physical proximity of programmatic units is carefully determined to take into account the potential use of the interstitial spaces they create. Articulated ground conditions, projecting parasol roof planes, and the exterior walls of each programmatic unit establish the thermal characteristics of these intermediary zones. Three distinct zones are established where each zone provides a unique response to changing conditions of climate: enclosed zones differentiate themselves from given conditions; porch zones diminish given conditions; and breezeways intensify given conditions. Together, the thermal gradient invites the archeologist to locate activities in protected zones during extreme weather and in exposed zones during ideal conditions.
Located along the Aegean coastline in Turkey, this vacation residence resides 45 minutes north of Izmir in a small 12th century town named Chandarli. With the summer design high temperatures if this area of around 100 degrees F partnered with 10% cloud cover during those months, the strong prevailing breezes became an important characteristic of study in developing a design that sought to maximize its passive summer cooling potential. A range of technologies were used to examine the characteristics of airflow as influenced by the design of the dwelling spaces on the site. CFD simulations and wind tunnel tests were used to model the interaction of the prevailing airflow characteristics with the proposed spatial enclosure, defined as a series of boundary conditions. Employing a subterranean space allowed the house to benefit from summer earth cooling, allowing the home to stay near average annual temperature during those months. This space was used to hold cooler air and promote a higher rate of air exchange within the more exposed spaces above ground.
Sense & Sustain-ability
The studio was formed in 2005 while working through a series of design experiments that explored the emerging issues of technology and sustainability in architecture. Through these early experiments we examined how the use of digital modeling and computational simulation could lead to simpler and smarter sustainable design decisions. Today, as our studio continues to grow, we still hold a digitally informed sustainable practice of architecture in the highest regard. It is this expertise that most distinguishes the studio’s work partnered with the unwavering commitment to fulfill a clients needs with the most innovative and environmentally sensitive architecture.
We value the genuine characteristics of each individual client; we take their places very seriously; and we believe that good architecture is one that intertwines the genuine client with the depth of their place. (Images: Cloudland Residence, MODA, 2010)