Wednesday, 16 March 2016

DESIGNED BY TIME, SHAPED BY LIFE

From earliest age, people know how to make shelter for them. Initially man use naturally available material like stones, tree trunk and animal bone for making a dwelling which provides protection against severe weather and wild animal. Later on, they used clay blocks and bricks as a foundation whereas stems/straws for upper structure. The recognition of concrete as a building material is about thousand of year ago. In Nineteenth century a French industrialist Coignet built first iron-reinforcement concrete structure. On the other hand, Home Insurance building erected in Illinois, Chicagoin in 1985, was supposed to be first steel frame building with masonry cladding for lateral stability.
After a brief review, let’s come back to the modern age. Cost, material and energy efficient, environment friendly and self energy sufficient structures, closed-to-nature and fulfilling one’s imagination is the call of modern age construction. This is the age of Dynamic Architecture and Structures. The buildings of modern age are going to have a fourth dimension that is time. We experience continuous moving space, moving planets and stars, our own activities, mood swings, why not we should adapt it in our buildings. More appropriately in Dr. David Fisher (Italian Architect) words:

“I call these buildings DESIGNED BY TIME, SHAPED BY LIFE”.

1.    DYNAMIC TOWER
Italian architect David Fisher proposed the architectural design of Dynamic Tower or Rotating Tower or Da Vinci Tower. The 420 meter high building consisting of 80 floors is going to serve as a residential apartment with swimming pools, gardens and car lifting facilities. It featured revolving floors, providing the building with constantly changing shape along with a changing view for the residents. Each floor of the building will rotate independently at 360O along a main core or shaft by mean of power generating wind turbines. Construction strategy is to fabricate each module at workshop and then assemble these pre-fabricated units at site, which lead to fastest construction with lesser workmanship. It is planned to build a concrete central core to provide lateral stability to the highrise, with modules made up of steel, aluminum and fiber carbon. Each ready to use module (completed with electrical and plumbing facilities) will be hooked to the main core with a sequence of one module each week. The massive single concrete core will increase building lateral stability against earthquake and wind, whereas module will offer ease in maintenance and customization of individual unit. Construction of Rotating tower is still on hold, Architect Fisher claimed that the building would be able to identify and adjust according to climate and temperature changes both internally (room temperature) and externally (outer building surface). Wind and solar power will be used to generate electricity. Wind turbine will be fitted to each floor to meet the electricity requirement of the building as well as surplus energy. This building can be considered as first Green Building project. (Note: Do not confuse Rotating/ Dynamic Tower with Cayan/ Infinity Tower. Cayan Tower is 306.4 meter high 73 storied building with a twist of 90o. Its construction is completed in 2013).
Views of Dynamic Tower with schematic plan and elevations

2. MORPHOTEL:
Latest, In December 2015, architect and engineer Gianluca Santosuosso gives a new concept of “tourizen” which will eliminate difference between “citizen” and “tourist”. Theme of project is to build a lavish floating hotel which is constantly moving around the world, following ocean current. It is not only a medium of travel between two destinations but to enjoy a segment trip of this luxurious floating paradise and discover the space in between. Morphotel is designed as “vertebral spine” which has the ability to keep changing its shape according to the weather condition and site morphology. It is intended to produce energy through the movement of spine using the concept of Pelamis Wave Energy Converter. (The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter is a technology that uses the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The movement of connected sections of converter generates electricity) One kilometer long moving spines will provide the residents of hotel ever changing views from their rooms. This structure will serve as a connected city harbor providing the facilities of theatre, commercial areas, restaurants and fitness center. During its long ocean crossing, it will act as floating harbor generating an artificial bay providing shelter to boat and ships. Along with the central capsule, helipad is connected with a passage for emergency conditions. At the end of spine, independent boats are also there, that can leave the main structure and sail nearby. Solar panel will be used to meet further energy requirement. A part of self produced energy will be used to filter and store the collected rainwater and to desalinate sea water. Vegetable farms on central spine will contribute food requirement of the residents. Each module will be made up of waterproofed metal frame consisting of orthogonal and diagonal sections. Structural connections will be controlled electronically to allow movement.
Different views of Morphotel showing orthogonal helipad and vertebral spines.

Pelamic Wave Energy Converter floating in a harbour, side and top views.
3. NAUTILUS HOUSE:
Designed of Nautilus House give the feeling of aquatic organism, “mollusk”. Mexican architect Javier Senosiain designed a unique shell shaped house for a young Mexican couple who want to have a non-conventional, creative and close-to-nature house for themselves. Nautilus house differs from traditional house with no sharp edges. Structure is surrounded by beautiful combination of natural curves from structure to furniture, facade to plumbing and lighting, with colors of marine life and rainbows. Logarithmic Spirals of Sea shell transmits a pleasant impression on mind with ever changing feelings. A frame of steel-enforced chicken wire with concrete will be used in the construction of such delicate curves. This technique is called as ferro-cement construction. Stained glass windows at roof enrich the house with gleaming light of nature. According to architect, the Nautilus house is earth-quake proof structure, required lesser cost and workmanship. Architect Senosiain of Arquitectura Organica called this house a wonderful example of “Bio Architecture”. Throughout the structure, there is no parallel wall, which gives the sensation of floating in a fluid.  Senosiain explains, “This home’s social life flows inside the Nautilus without any division, a harmonic area in three dimensions where you can notice the continuous dynamic of the fourth dimension when moving in spiral over the stairs with a feeling of floating over the vegetation.”



Written by,
Engr. Zainab Ekram

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