BUILDING PRINCIPLES

Building Principles

Students: BAAS Year 2, 2019 Fall

Introduction

‘There is simply no Architecture without Structure’ Jean Prouve

This course addresses the fundamental principles of structure. It presents building structures in masonry, timber, concrete, steel, glass and composite and examines the structural possibilities and limitations of these materials. It seeks a broad understanding of the reciprocal dependencies of structure, material and construction and their impact on architectural design.

Content

This core course was taught in lecture series in 3 blocks, focusing on structural principles, structural systems, and material.

The students were asked to:

maintain a handwritten, individual, well-structured, comprehensive diary, that documents the lessons learned, the questions asked, and the experiments conducted through text, sketches, technical drawings, photos and collages.

create a physical, educational model, exhibiting structural principles. This model displays the simple, but fundamental behavior of linear elements under tension, compression and bending, and the relationship of load, system, element and supports. Each team picked from a pool of topics and use predefined materials, formats and annotations to build an interactive display.

choose a reference project and adapt its design to build a partial model at 1:20. The model showcases a spatial arrangement of primary and secondary structure and supports, including exterior (and interior) facades. Special focus is set on the specific use of materials, and how they influences the sizing, connection of members as well as the overall space and elevation.

Learning outcome

+ Learn about the behavior and terminology of tectonic systems, material properties, structural principles, in correspondence to a historic, technical and social context.+ Critical reflection of structural behaviour in relation to form and topology and spatial impact of architectural design.

+ Develop an intuitive understanding of structural behavior, the dependence of form and force, and its impact on structural design.

+ Attain the skill to communicate structural constructive systems efficiently through drawings and presentations.

+ Attain the ability to critically situate a specific work of architecture and elaborate on its broader intellectual pursue and social and historical context.

Asymptotic Building Envelope

Introduction

There is an urgent need for innovative building construction methods that combine high structural efficiency with low production cost, offer design freedom and integrate well into the built environment. Great potential lies in double-curved systems, such as gridshells. These form-active structures enable a spatial load transfer via compression and tension, allowing for optimal use of material to create lightweight, transparent building envelopes. Nonetheless, their application in architecture remains rare and specialized, as their free-form geometry creates high costs in the fabrication and assembly of individual and spatially complex parts. To achieve a shell-load-transfer, a consistent double curvature and tangential supports are necessary, which constraints the design and often lacks to integrate with the urban environment.

The research branch of Architectural Geometry (Pottmann et al. 2015) has produced fundamental insights on topology optimization for curved structural grids (Bo et al. 2011; Bartoň et al. 2013; Pellis and Pottmann 2018) as well as curved building skins (Liu et al. 2006; Huard et al. 2015; Eversmann et al. 2016) with the goal to simplify fabrication and allow the use of planar or developable building elements.

Recent research on elastic gridshells has presented asymptotic curves (following the path of vanishing normal curvature), as beneficial network for lamella construction, as they facilitate simple fabrication from straight and flat elements with repetitive orthogonal nodes (Schling 2018). Asymptotic lamella networks allow for a simple, self-forming erection process, where the weak axis of the lamellas is elastically bent and twisted to form the design shape, while the strong axis creates high resilience against external loads (Schikore et al. 2019).

This system thus combines the structural benefits of a gridshell and grillage, offers a versatile design from curved to flat, and allows smooth integration into the urban environment. However, this design method has only been used for free-standing sculptural projects without a cladding solution (Figure 1). The potential for integrated building skins has not been investigated.

This project investigate a construction system for doubly curved curtain wall systems, which combines a structural layout along the asymptotic curves with a cladding layout along the principal curvature lines. Both networks are combined in an isothermal web on a minimal surface (Pottmann et al. 2007, p. 648) bisecting

each other and thus creating reciprocal benefits for structural bracing and façade connections.

Objectives

  1. Develop a computational workflow for the design of asymptotic structures, that integrates geometric modelling, structural form-finding and analysis within one digital environment for architects and engineers.
  2. Create a robust and sustainable construction system for building envelopes through the systematic development and testing of two full-scale prototypes for (a) a vertical curtain wall module and (b) a horizontal roof structure.
  3. Establish architectural applications by designing urban scenarios for asymptotic building envelopes, investigate their geometric limits and evaluating their functional qualities.
  4. Disseminate our knowledge through peer-reviewed articles as well as conference presentations, exhibitions, workshops and digital media for the academic and professional community.

The overarching, long-term goal of our research is to enhance the design and implementation of repetitive construction systems as a sustainable strategy that embraces simple fabrication and construction without sacrificing the high structural potential of free-form design.

Output

  • Schling, Eike; Hsu, Chih-Lin; Ma, Muye (2021): Asymptotic Building Envelope – Combining the benefits of asymptotic and principal curvature layouts. In: CAADRIA2021, Hong Kong (to be published)
  • Design Build Workshop at HKU and NTUST for a 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 prototypical façade module.

Impact

By creating the constructive and computational method to design low-cost, light-weight asymptotic building envelopes, this study will become a building block for sustainable and affordable architectural applications for the twenty-first century. It thus offers an alternative to the extravagant and bespoke design solutions currently used for free-form construction.

References

Bo, P., Pottmann, H., Kilian, M., Wang, W. and Wallner, J.: 2011, Circular arc structures, ACM

Transactions on Graphics, 30 (101)(DOI: 10.1145/1964921.1964996), 1-11.

Bartoň, M., Shi, L., Kilian, M., Wallner, J. and Pottmann, H.: 2013, Circular Arc Snakes and Kinematic Surface Generation, Computer Graphics Forum, 32(2pt1), 1-10.

Eversmann, P., Schling, E., Ihde, A. and Louter, C.: 2016, Low Cost Double Curvature. Geometrical and Structural Potentials of Rectangular, Cold-bent Glass Construction, K. Kawaguchi, M. Ohsaki, T. Takeuchi (Eds.): IASS Annual Symposium 2016, Tokyo.

Huard, M., Eigensatz, M. and Bompas, P.: 2015, Planar Panelization with Extreme Repetition, Philippe Block, Jan Knippers, Niloy J. Mitra, Wenping Wang (Eds.): Advances in Architectural Geometry 2014, London, 259–279.

Liu, Y., Pottmann, H., Wallner, J., Yang, Y.L. and Wang, W.: 2006, Geometric modeling with conical meshes and developable surfaces, ACM Transactions on Graphics, 25 (3)(DOI: 10.1145/1141911.1141941), 681.

Pellis, D. and Pottmann, H.: 2018, Aligning principal stress and curvature directions, Lars Hesselgren, Karl-Gunnar Olsson, Axel Kilian, Samar Malek, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Chris Williams (Eds.): Advances in Architectural Geometry 2018, Gothenburg, 34-53.

Pottmann, H., Asperl, A., Hofer, M. and Kilian, A.: 2007, Architectural Geometry, Springer & Bentley Institute Press, ISBN: 978-3-211-99765-9.

Pottmann, H., Eigensatz, M., Vaxman, A. and Wallner, J.: 2015, Architectural Geometry, Computers and Graphics, 47(DOI: 10.1016/j.cag.2014.11.002), 145-164.

Schikore, J., Bauer, A.M., Barthel, R. and Bletzinger, K.U.: 2019, Large torsion on elastic lamella grid structures, Carlos Lázaro, K.-U. Bletzinger, Eugenio Oñate (Eds.): FORM and FORCE 2019, Barcelona, 807-814.

Schling, E.: 2018, Repetitive Structures. Design and Construction of Curved Support Structures with Repetitive Parameters, Ph.D. Thesis, Chair of Structural Design, Technical University of Munich (DOI: 10.14459/2018md1449869).

 

Responsive Structures

Introduction

Hong Kong’s diverse and international festival culture plays a vital role in defining its identity as a liberal, cosmopolitan city. Especially in times of political uncertainty, nurturing this tradition and its future development becomes of high significance.

Located on the east side of Lantau, Peng Chau increasingly attracts visitors who are interested in its historical village dating back from the Qing Dynasty. Kept aside from the last century’s urban expansion, Peng Chau retains an authentic tradition of festivals, which is rare in today’s modern metropolis of Hong Kong. However, when culture is packaged to be ‘consumed’ by a mass of visitors, the fragile local ecosystem and the cultural tradition is at threat of being eradicated. Tourism and heritage are often seen as conflicting entities. But in fact, the risk of suffocation from the local communities is not necessarily related to the number of visitors per se, but to the lack of care in the management and infrastructural installation. When planned well, culture and touristic installation have the capacity to positively nurture the social interactions and to act as a hinge between the young and the old generation.
Our goal is to prepare Peng Chau for future growth while creating an opportunity to strengthen its identity and cultural heritage.

Content

We use cultural festivals, such as the local dragon boat race, as a vessel to investigate Peng Chau’s history, technology and community. Through a systematic analysis of site and culture, structure and craft we will define 10 briefs at 10 locations along the waterfront that address the challenges and opportunities of Peng Chau’s cultural development. The students will engage in a series of workshops that target context mapping, parametric thinking and prototypical development in order to achieve highly articulate, critical and comprehensive design proposals.
Teams of two students are asked to design an adaptive infrastructure for festival events with a permanent and temporary component working in tandem throughout the year. The challenge is to minimize the negative impact on the island while maximizing the richness of contextual and architectural qualities, combining local traditional craft with modern technology.

Learning outcome

  • To think critically about the impact of cultural events on the local identity
  • To promote a deep sensitivity to a site, its history, community and culture
  • To foster structural innovation through experimental design and physical construction
  • To create holistic, realistic documentation and prototyping of architectural spaces

Kinetic Grid Mechanisms

Project Description

Transformable structures are 4-dimensional and offer to design through time, beyond the static, by adapting to environmental conditions, structural influences or user’s needs. We can distinguish between conventional rigid-body mechanisms and compliant mechanisms (Howell 2002) which utilize the elastic properties of the material to perform a change in geometry without the need for hinges. Recent developments in computational modelling (Kiendl 2011) have substantially elevated the possibilities for designing and simulating large deformations, thus paving the way for a new research branch of bending active structures (Lienhard 2014).

This project researches fundamental principles of semi-compliant mechanisms, focusing on quadrilateral grid structures with uniaxial rotational (scissor) joints built from initially straight, continuous beams. We use specific lamella profiles that restrict the elastic deformability (Schikore et al. 2019), disabling at least one of the three local bending axes. Depending on the orientation of the profiles, we can categorize three families – double-ruled (straight), geodesic and asymptotic networks (Schling et al. 2017) – each exhibiting distinct kinetic properties with limited degrees of freedom. By controlling the structure’s parameters, we can design their shape and behaviour.

Even though we approach this topic from an architects point of view, we can find fundamental similarities with the theory of differential geometry, some of which have been described as early as 1897 by the mathematician Sebastian Finsterwalder (Finsterwalder 1897), who describes the analogy of curvature lines on surfaces and physical members within elastic grids.

This typology has recently been re-discovered for architecture through the erection of a lamella gridshell following the asymptotic curves on a digital design surface (Schling et al. 2018). Current investigations on deployable grid structures called “X-Shells” (Isvoranu et al. 2019) as well as a subclass limited to geodesic grids called “G-Shells” (Soriano et al. 2019) are dealing with similar compliant transformations, investigating their design from an initially flat starting point.

Objectives

It is our goal to establish a comprehensive digital workflow to design kinetic grid mechanisms, simulate their behaviour in dependency of geometric and mechanical parameters, and analyze their structural performance in the dynamic and static state. We will use this workflow to create an analytical morphology that informs future architectural design. We will focus on one specific architectural application, the Kinetic Umbrella, to develop feasible constructive solutions, looking at their materiality, actuation and locking, as well as load-bearing capacity.

The Kinetic Umbrella

The Kinetic Umbrella is a transformable structure of 8 m span, that is currently being developed and will be the primary output of this research project.  The structure is designed from continuous GRP profiles on two levels. The umbrella performs a semi-compliant transformation from a packed bundle to a deployed umbrella. The mechanism is actuated through meridian and ring cables, which shorten the distance between joints and thus change the angles of rhombuses within the structure. Shortening the upper ring will close the umbrella, shortening the meridian cables will pull the umbrella down into its unfolded shape.

 Output

  •  Schikore, Jonas; Schling, Eike; Bauer, Anna M.; Oberbichler Thomas (2020): Kinetics and Design of Semi-Compliant Grid Mechanisms. In Olivier Baverel, Helmut Pottmann, Caitlin Mueller, Tomohiro Tachi (Eds.): Advances in Architectural Geometry 2021. (to be published)
  • The Kinetic Umbrella: Construction, exhibition and workshops in Munich, Paris and Surrey 2021

Anticipated Impact

We hope that this project will become a key stone in making kinetic grid mechanisms available for architectural applications, allowing for innovative, efficient, material saving and adaptive building structures and envelopes.

References

 Finsterwalder, S. (1897): Mechanische Beziehungen bei der Flächen-Deformation. GDZPPN00211626X. In Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung (Ed.): Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung, vol. 6. Göttingen: Teubner (6), pp. 43–90. Available online at https://www.digizeitschriften.de/dms/img/?PID=GDZPPN00211626X, checked on 2/13/2019.

Howell, Larry L. (2002): Compliant mechanisms. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Isvoranu, Florin; Panetta, Julian; Chen, Tian; Bouleau, Etienne; Pauly, Mark (2019): X-Shell Pavilion. A Deployable Elastic Rod Structure. In Carlos Lázaro, K.-U. Bletzinger, Eugenio Oñate (Eds.): FORM and FORCE 2019. Barcelona: International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), pp. 606–613.

Kiendl, Josef (2011): Isogeometric Analysis and Shape Optimal Design of Shell Structures. Dissertation. Munich.

Lienhard, Julian (2014): Bending-active structures. Form-finding strategies using elastic deformation in static and kinetic systems and the structural potentials therein. Zugl.: Stuttgart, Univ., Diss., 2014. Stuttgart: ITKE (Forschungsberichte aus dem Institut für Tragkonstruktionen und Konstruktives Entwerfen, Universität Stuttgart, 36).

Schikore, Jonas; Bauer, Anna M.; Barthel, Rainer; Bletzinger, K.-U. (2019): Large torsion on elastic lamella grid structures. In Carlos Lázaro, K.-U. Bletzinger, Eugenio Oñate (Eds.): FORM and FORCE 2019. Barcelona: International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), pp. 788–795.

Schling, Eike; Hitrec, Denis; Barthel, Rainer (2017): Designing Grid Structures using Asymptotic Curve Networks. In Klaas de Rycke, Christoph Gengnagel, Olivier Baverel, Jane Burry, Caitlin Mueller, Minh Man Nguyen et al. (Eds.): Design Modelling Symposium Paris 2017. Humanizing Digital Reality. Singapore: Springer, pp. 125–140.

Schling, Eike; Kilian, Martin; Wang, Hui; Schikore, Jonas; Pottmann, Helmut (2018): Design and Construction of Curved Support Structures with Repetitive Parameters. In Lars Hesselgren, Karl-Gunnar Olsson, Axel Kilian, Samar Malek, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Chris Williams (Eds.): Advances in Architectural Geometry 2018. 1. Auflage. Wien: Klein Publishing, pp. 140–165.

Schling, E.: Repetitive Structures – Design and Construction of Curved Support Structures with Repetitive Parameters. Dissertation 2018. Chair of Structural Design, Technical University of Munich.

DOI: 10.14459/2018md1449869

https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/doc/1449869/1449869.pdf

 

Soriano, Enrique; Sastre Ramon; Boixader, Dionis (2019): G-shells. Flat collapsible geodesic mechanisms for gridshells. In Carlos Lázaro, K.-U. Bletzinger, Eugenio Oñate (Eds.): FORM and FORCE 2019. Barcelona: International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), pp. 1894–1901.

 

Repetitive Structures

Introduction

Understanding the complexity of a spatial network not only offers simplification of the construction with substantial cost savings. Foremost, it gives the architect the control over their designs: It opens up a spectrum of solutions to choose from, rather than capitulate to the most advanced fabrication tool. Being aware of the dependencies of shape, segmentation and building part lets us decide what rationalizations are most effective, which topology might be beneficial, and which tool to use for fabrication.
Moreover, combining geometric expertise with the knowledge in material behaviour helps us find new fabrication-aware designs that display a symbiosis of form and structure.

 The research project “Repetitive Structures” builds off of previous research conducted by the Principal Investigator (PI) (Schling 2018). The novel theory combines both geometric and constructive criteria to define repetition within doubly curved grid structures based on ten simple parameters. It thus allows a comprehensible analysis of complexity, and a systematic development of design solutions for gridshell construction with repetitive parts.

 Objectives

The project aims to build up on existing research in the pursuit of four main objectives:

  1. Establish a research team at HKU and create a network of partners in academia and the industry.
  2. Establish an analytical research branch to investigate and compare existing structures and thus compile a comprehensive library of existing construction methods and their complexity. Such analyses are of great relevance in the restoration of gridshells.
  3. Establish an investigative research branch to further the collaboration with mathematicians and engineers at HKU and abroad in the field of construction-aware design. This branch aims to continue and broaden existing research projects.
  4. Establish a design-driven research branch by redeveloping the computational design method and constructional process of asymptotic gridshells at HKU with the objective of constructing and testing new prototypes.
  5. Successfully apply for a GRC/ECS grant and establish a research hub for construction-aware design solutions of highly-efficient, lightweight grid structures.

Establishing these research branches ultimately aims to initiate a long-term, international investigation of construction-aware design. Its goal is to simplify the construction of complex, double curved structures. The research is situated between the disciplines of geometry, engineering and architecture, combining insights from all disciplines within a digitally-driven architecture design process.

Output

  • Jiang, Caigui; Wang, Cheng; Schling, Eike; Pottmann, Helmut (2020): Computational design and optimization of quad meshes based on diagonal meshes. In Olivier Baverel, Helmut Pottmann, Caitlin Mueller, Tomohiro Tachi (Eds.): Advances in Architectural Geometry 2021. Paris. (to be published)
  • Workshop and Exhibition ”Design and Construction of Asymptotic Gridshells” at the Advances in Architectural Geometry Conference in Paris 2021

Impact

Our research ultimately fosters a new way of thinking about structural design, embracing simple solutions without sacrificing the potential of free-form shapes. This will become a building block for sustainable and affordable structural solutions for the twenty-first century.

The research combines insights from mathematics and structural engineering within the architectural design process. This interdisciplinary research has proven highly relevant to all three fields and has thus also spurred further investigations in structural engineering and mathematics.

Inquiries have been received from universities all over the world. Workshops and design projects have adapted and contributed to the new construction method of asymptotic gridshells. The first commercial project, the Asymptotic Canopy for the Intergroup Hotel in Ingolstadt, was completed in October 2019.

References

Schling, E.: Repetitive Structures – Design and Construction of Curved Support Structures with Repetitive Parameters. Dissertation 2018. Chair of Structural Design, Technical University of Munich.

DOI: 10.14459/2018md1449869

https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/doc/1449869/1449869.pdf

Šuchovs bent gridshells

Project Description

At the turn of the 19th century, the Russian engineer Vladimir Šuchov developed a globally outstanding language for steel construction. His extremely filigree constructions – from lattice shell to the suspended roof – still impress with their economy, lightness and – not the least – simplicity. Šuchov combined a profound geometric knowledge with deep mechanical understanding to reach an astonishingly pragmatic design. A decisive strategy for simplification was the deliberate (elastic and plastic) deformation of Z, L and I steel profiles into continuously curved elements. As a result, Šuchov was able to assemble complex double-curved grids using only repetitive components and simple flat rivet connections.

This research analyzes the curvature of Šuchov’s grids along four exemplary structures with increasing geometric complexity: the hyperbolic NiGRES tower at the Oka, the rotationally symmetric hanging roof in Niznij, the cylindrical barrel grid in Grozny, and the double-curved gridshell in Vyksa.

For the first time, the three axes of curvature of each rod are systematically examined. This way, we can detect all deformations of the bars and their associated bending stress. The results enable to draw conclusions about the construction process, the prefabrication and the load-bearing behavior of Šuchov’s lattice constructions and thus form an important part of the building research and repair measures.

Output

  • Schling, Eike; Rainer Barthel (2021): Šuchovs gebogene Netze – Krümmung und Verformung. in ‘Vladimir Šuchov’, Ed. Rainer Graefe 2020, Innsbruck. (to be published )
  •  

    Schling, Eike; Rainer Barthel (2021): Šuchov’s bent networks: The impact of network curvature on Šuchov’s gridshell designs. In: STRUCTURES Volume 29, February 2021, Pages 1496-1506. DOI: org/10.1016/j.istruc.2020.12.021

Anticipated Impact

The curvature analysis reveals the extent of Šuchov’s artful play with elastic bending and this paints a new picture of his timeless constructions. We hope this new understanding will inform historical interpretations as well as modern developments of doubly curved steel structures.

References

 Beckh, Matthias (2012): Hyperbolische Stabwerke. Suchovs Gittertürme als Wegweiser in den modernen Leichtbau. 1. Auflage. München: Institut für internationale Architektur-Dokumentation (Edition Detail).

Graefe, Rainer; Gappoev, Murat; Pertschi, Ottmar (1990): Vladimir G. Šuchov1853-1939. Die Kunst Der Sparsamen Konstruktion. Unter Mitarbeit von Klaus Bach. 1st Edition. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt.

Nozhova, Ekaterina (2016): Networks of construction. Vladimir Shukhov. Unter Mitarbeit von Uta Hassler. Munich: Hirmer.

Schling, Eike (2018): Repetitive Structures. Design and Construction of Curved Support Structures with Repetitive Parameters.

Making Connections

Introduction

Because of the temporary closure of the HKU campus, this design studio was conducted partly online. The use of digital media, referencing and student interaction was incorporated to foster an online studio environment.

The course introduced first semester students to architectural design as a symbiosis of space and structure. This complex task was addressed through theoretical lectures, hands-on workshops, project analysis and presentations, as well as iterative design tasks focusing on conceptual sketching, technical drawing and crafting of models.

The studio was taught using the methodology of research by design, with students interacting and engaging in parallel to creatively investigate a multitude of solutions and share their individual insights.

Content

The studio was taught in 3 blocks, focusing on structure, prototypical design, and media:

In the first exercise ‚structure‘, students were asked to create a 1m timber structure for various support and load conditions. The structures were tested with weight until failure. Their deformation and collapse was documented In film and technical hand drawings.

The main part of the semester was focused on Block 2 design. Students were asked to create an abstract, volumetric site model of either CITY, COURTYARD, or SLOPE. Students then had to join up in groups of four to create a neighbourhood and assign circulation and assembly tasks for architectural intervention. Each student had to design two models in timber, which related to the site context, showed structural and spatial understanding, develop an architectural language and interact with his fellow team members.

The final block was conducted remotely and focused on technical drawings and digital modelling at a closer scale. Students were asked to survey their individual room, create technical hand drawings at 1:10 and create a detailed 3D model and axonometry of this room. The rooms were finally referenced together to create a common labyrinth connecting the individual spaces.

Learning outcome

+ Exploring and discovering the range of possible design solutions through progressive design iterations.

+ Critical reflection of structural behaviour in relation to form and topology and spatial impact of architectural design.

+ Develop the terminology to describe and communicate space and structures and the skill of documenting and presenting such insights through various media.

 

Making Architecture: Shophouse

Introduction

Under the unprecedented influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, this design studio was conducted entirely online. The use of digital media, referencing and student interaction was incorporated to foster an online studio environment.

Hong Kong is based on trade and commerce. Subsequently, many commercial typologies have emerged. The Tong Lau is its most prominent Hong Kong specific type of the shophouse, consisting of a ground floor shop and an upper floor which is used for storage and/or the owner’s living quarter. A courtyard is located either at the backend or in the centre.

This project introduces context, program and volume for architectural design. Students were asked to work in thee neighbourhoods with different topologies, interacting with their neighbours and the urban slope. The studio was focused on two streams of output: A portfolio, documenting the separate steps using multimedia of photography, text, sketches and technical drawings, as well as digital drawings, which were references to a collective plan displaying the interaction and creating a sense of team effort in the neighbourhood design.

Content

1 Analysis. The first exercise focused on observation and abstraction. Students learned from an existing context by observing, studying and drawing. Students chose any shop in Hong Kong (hawker stalls, wet market, shopping mall etc.), took one specific spatial photo in b/w of that space and drew an isometric drawing, a section, and write a 100 work analytic text.

2 Speculation. The reference project only acted as a starting point to critically investigate a spatial idea and its potentials. Students sketched a speculative section and wrote a 100-word concept about its purpose and function/performance.

3 Variations. Each student proposed three options for a single shop focusing and emphasizing aspects of their speculative section. This created an important transition from abstract drawing to a scaled and functional architectural intervention.

4 Design. Three imaginary urban sites were given with specific site conditions. Each student designed a spatial concept for their Tong Lau based on the previous steps 1-3, interacting with their neighbours and taking into consideration aspects of the environment, context, tectonics and construction.

5 Detail. This exercise focuses on synthesizing the conceptual idea of the shophouse into a constructive detail. A pars pro toto emphasized the consistency of design from big idea to small detail. Students summarized their shophouse in one particular spatial detail at scale 1:20.

Learning outcome

+ develop an intellectual and consistent argument for the development of design
+ understand the impact of structure and construction on the design
+ develop a project based on creative and innovative use of drawings and models
+ design with study models on various scales