The Cleveland Medical Mart project spoiled us a bit with how quickly the project went from design to construction, drastically compressing the time between making design decisions and seeing them become reality. Construction of the feature wall panels for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts has been more of a slow burn, but no less a rewarding experience. The mockup of the feature wall is under construction and we’ve received some photos, but before showing all of them we’ll share a bit of how we got to this point.
While modeling the Feature Wall we made an effort to incorporate all of the critical features into the parametric model with the hope that our 3D geometry could go straight to the fabricators with little translation necessary. This meant having to model the joint between all of the panels which at first seemed easy but presented a few hurdles. In the previous Feature Wall Panel Layout post, we discussed how we were UV mapping the panel layout from a 2D pattern to the doubly curved surface of the feature wall. This worked great for getting the pattern mapped onto the surface, but it required that each panel edge be touching the adjacent panel edges. The reason is that the UV mapping distorts the geometry in order to go from a flat pattern to the curved surface so if we had modeled the correct joint in 2D then it would no longer be correct once mapped.
There were two of us working on this and it made sense at the time to have the panel surfaces modeled in Rhino and the layout with some surface manipulation occurring in Grasshopper. We could have used a box morph operation to get our panel surfaces onto the wall but we wanted a workflow which gave us more parametric control of the geometry once it was on the wall. We developed a workflow that takes and redraws the curves from their orthogonal orientation to the curved orientation based on analyzing where the curves intersected the boundary, measuring their amplitude off a straight line, and creating a curve on the wall with similar proportions.
The great thing is that our modeling is paying off. Stromberg Architectural is currently building the mockup for the feature wall. Our Rhino model of the panels was used to cut the positives from high density foam, molds poured against that and then GFRG poured into the molds to make the final pieces. Below are some photos of the mockup so far.[table]