In looking more closely at the character of the surrounding buildings, we became intrigued with the prominence of the joint between masonry units. Our largest precast panel size of 8’x10′ was much larger than the masonry units used in the surrounding buildings. This removed the necessity of having joints as often but we decided to establish a rhythm of joint-like ribs as the main textural theme.This led to the development of a new Grasshopper definition that allowed us to flexibly explore the potentials of this concept. These explorations ranged from altering the height and depth of the joints as well as how the joints receded back into the flat base of the panel.
As mentioned earlier, our initial texture studies explored the effects of alternating panel orientation. We returned to the alternating orientations while building a physical model of the varied joint concept. The alternating orientations followed a checkerboard pattern where every other panel is flipped upside down. This creates variation across the facade and an interlocking pattern between panels while using the same number of parts. The ‘A’ and ‘B’ tags are used to document the orientation of the panels. The position of the ‘A’ tag always remains constant while the ‘B’ tag floats with each of the different panel heights.
The varied joint concept produced some exciting visual effects, and it also solved a significant fabrication issue. The cost and production time of the custom polymer formliners would need to be minimized, so each ‘joint’ became a location where the form could terminate. This allowed one master form to be used for creating every panel size. We’ll discuss this further in a later post about the fabrication of our study models and the actual panels…
In the next post we’ll be highlighting another study that happened on the interior of the Medical Mart atrium where we used Grasshopper and Exposure to layout lots of Solatubes.