• 20 Marvellous Computational Design Generated Structures 2023

    Computational Design is an innovative approach that makes use of algorithms and computer-aided tools to generate, optimise, and refine design solutions. At the same time, it has the ability to iterate through countless design possibilities in a fraction of time. Although it was invented in the late 1980s, there is still much to explore in the field of Computational Design in architecture. Computational Design tools and software, such as Rhino 3D and Grasshopper, are widely used in generating facades and testing simulations.

    Let’s take a look at 2023’s best Computational Design structures that are opening avenues for creativity and experimentation.

    1.Hotel Morpheus – Zaha Hadid Architects

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Virgile Simon Bertrand

    The Morpheus Hotel is the first free-form high-rise exoskeleton in the world. The structural form negates the need for columns and internal walls that could obstruct and clutter the interiors. Situated in Macau, the 40-story Morpheus also evolves as a new architecture, rising from its site conditions and context. Rhino 3D and Grasshopper play a great role from design to the analysis and fabrication of the steel exoskeleton.

    2.Davidson Tsui Store Fitting Room – Mamou-Mani and Arup Associates

    Computational Design
    Image Credits:

    The Origami Tree in Davidson Tsui Store is a giant sculpture that serves as a dialogue between customers and the store. Situated in Shanghai, the design of the curved shape of the exterior contrasts with the triangular shape of the interior. This contrast is a reflection of the notion of duality (ying-yang) in Chinese culture. Rhinoceros 5, Grasshopper3D, Kangaroo, Freeform Origami, Autocad, and TroCAM were used to create and analyse each of these shapes and curves.

    3.Tokyo Shopping Centre – rat [LAB] and NonScale.Co

    Computational Design
    Image Credits:

    New Delhi-based Rat [LAB] and Tokyo-based NonScale Co. are collaborating on a shopping centre at the SC Fair. Sushant Verma, the principal architect of rat [LAB], explores computational design to develop variations in adaptive skin. The complex roof structure utilises computational techniques and methodologies that can adapt to dynamic environmental conditions.

    4.Harbin Opera House –  MAD Architects

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (Adam Mørk)

    The sinuous form of the Harbin Opera House is the focal point of the Harbin Cultural Island. Situated in the northernmost province of China, Harbin’s wetlands surround the opera house, which is climatically responsive. Gehry Technologies assisted with the conversion of the model into different formats using Rhino 3D without losing its shape. It was possible due to the software’s vector graphics capabilities.

    5.Habitat ITESM Leon – SHINE Architecture and TAarquitectura

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (SHINE Architecture)

    El Habitat ITSEM was a retrofit project that transformed an underutilised space into a design studio workshop through bioclimatic strategies. It aims to become a creative laboratory for design students through a no-classroom system. Simulated and parametric preliminary studies contributed to the understanding of building performance, which was later verified on site. Parametric experiments in Grasshopper determined how to reduce material consumption.

    6.Vertical Tides – Atelier Alter

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (Atelier Alter)

    Atelier Alter’s Vertical Tides looks to establish a transition space connecting the designer hotel and office building. The design aims to solidify the dynamic sea as fabricated parametric panels. Computational software helps to achieve the right size and thickness of the curved surface. As a result, the form balances the cost of producing the entire wall with the visual experience of a bump.

    7.Michael Schumacher Snowflake Tower – LAV

    Computational Design
    Image Credits:

    Optimal natural light and air distribution are the key needs of the Snowflake Tower project in Abu Dhabi. It takes inspiration from the geometrical form of a snowflake and a racing car’s aerodynamics. LAVA realised that nature’s own geometrical orders can create highly efficient structures and intriguing spaces. With computational tools and intelligent systems, the tower can react to external influences such as air pressure, temperature, humidity, and pollution.

    8.Danubio Budapest – T2.a Architects

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (Zsolt Batár)

    Facing the banks of the Danube River, T2. a Architects built Danubio, a residential complex in Budapest. A script using the Grasshopper plugin allowed for creative freedom in the interior layout of each new home. It gives the resident the opportunity to specify the typology, orientation, and placement of their future home during the design process. The algorithm changes accordingly with each new resident moving into the neighbourhood.

    9.Partition Wall – Orprojects

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: StirWorld (Orproject, Shovan Gandhi, Suryan & Dang)

    A reflective partition wall by Orprojects gives a cave-like futuristic interior for fashion designer Amit Aggarwal’s boutique in New Delhi. The walls attach themselves to the ceiling to create a floating, wide-ranging experience for the viewers. Amit Aggawal’s edgy, sculpted dresses blend with the dynamic, fluid character of the interiors. Rhino 3D’s precision can be seen in the fabrication and modelling of this glimmering partition wall.

    10.Antonio Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia (Ongoing) – Jordi Fauli

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família)

    Antonio Gaudi’s partially completed masterpiece, Sagrada Familia, is using stereolithographic 3-D printers for speedy completion. The legendary architect left behind traces of “proto-parametric” drawings of the construction strategy. Although the Spanish War anarchists destroyed most of them, 3D scanners are digitising the remaining fragments. Reverse engineering is the technique used to recreate the drawings and computer models.

    11.The Little Island: Blossoming Greenways – Heatherwick Studio

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (Timothy Schenck)

    The Little Island is a series of cast-in concrete planters in New York’s Hudson River. Heatherwick Studio used parametric Grasshopper scripts in Rhino 3D to generate the CNC-milled foam form and concrete piles. The team decided to automate the entire process and didn’t have to create a single surface manually on Rhino. The design features performance venues and a public park with a diverse landscape.

    12.Bayfront (The Future of Us) Pavilion – SUTD Advanced Architecture Laboratory

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (Lim Weixiang)

    Bayfront Pavilion is an important landmark in the Garden by the Bay in Singapore. The perforated envelope flows into the surrounding ecosystem and allows interaction with nature. It creates the visual experience of walking under the canopy of a tropical forest. It is built using 11,188 prefabricated metal plates, where computation tools helped achieve the precise count beforehand.

    13.E8 building – Coll-Barreu Arquitectos

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Archdaily (Aleix Bagué)

    Designed as part of the expansion of the Alava Technology Park, E8 building has a transformable form and an efficient climate control strategy. The building has two layers, where one is an isolated shell and the other is a ventilated exterior. Incorporating such a strategy is significantly reducing emissions and energy consumption.

    14.LabOvo Pavilion – Van Belle & Medina Architects

    Computational Design
    Image Credits: Van Belle & Medina bvba

    The concept of the light grey concrete facade of the LabOvo Pavilion goes back to the early beginnings, where all forms of life resemble one another. The project is an ideal space for walks and is about halfway into Cosmopolitan Culture Park. LabOvo is a cross-disciplinary collaboration that offers a space to experiment. It comprises an amphitheatre, workshop space, and a quarantine zone.

    15.Public Bathroom – HHD_FUN Architects

    Image Credits: Archdaily (Zhenfei Wang, Chenggui Wang)

    The public bathroom project covers public shower rooms and restrooms facing the Shanhaitian Beach in China. The outstretched prototype reflects the soft curves of the surrounding beach. The application of a technique called “Low Technology Parametric Design” helps to fight the current construction scenario in China by taking help from local low technology manufacturers.

    16.Vedeggio-Cassarate Tunnel – Cino Zucchi Architetti

    Image Credits: Archdaily (Cino Zucchi Architetti)

    The tunnel connecting Vedeggio and Cassarate is a simple idea, where a series of repetitive poles are kept at an angle as per parametric design programs. The poles reach a height of 10m and meander in convex and concave forms. The white pebble ground creates an optical illusion where the structural detail of the pole base disappears from a distance.

    17.Mediopadana Station – Santiago Calatrava

    Image Credits: Parametric Architecture (Oscar Ferrari)

    Mediopadana Station is a high-speed station connecting Milan and Bologna over the River Po. The large undulated form consists of 457 steel frames with one-metre spacing. Each steel frame has translucent glass panels placed such that they give a fluid-like appearance. Being Santiago Calatrava’s signature style, the white tone adds simplicity and delicateness to the station’s design.

    18.Atyrau Bridge – New Moon Architects

    Image Credits: Archdaily (Евгений Ткаченко)

    Atyrau Bridge is a pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Ishim River, which connects the old city on the right and the new city on the left. Thus, the design of the bridge is an amalgamation of traditional symbols and contemporary techniques. The fluid form is a reflection of the ripples and waves of the sea.

    19.BAD Cafe – Nuru Karim

    Image Credits: Archdaily (Sameer Chawda)

    The buzzing city life of Mumbai called for a quiet space that was insulated from the outside world. Like a skin that protects the body from germs and diseases, a building needs a skin too. The black PVC pipes grafted onto CNC aluminium composite box panels to give a fluid-like illusion take inspiration from the taste buds of the tongue or the sweat glands on the skin.

    20.The Twist Museum – Bjarke Ingels Group

    Image Credits: Archdaily (Laurian Ghinitoiu)

    Located in Kistefos Sculpture Park and crossing over the Randselva River, the Twist Museum by BIG Architects is a beam that bends to an angle of 90 degrees. Although it seems like an aesthetic feature, it is the twist that helps rise from the lower forest area to the hillside area. The structure functions as both a bridge and an exhibition hall with flat aluminium panelling.

    Computational Design is instrumental in addressing sustainability challenges. By simulating environmental conditions and material properties, designers can make informed decisions that minimise environmental impact and enhance the project’s longevity. From generative algorithms that optimise structural efficiency to parametric models that adapt to dynamic environments, the possibilities are truly awe-inspiring. As a result, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in how we conceive and realise design concepts. Thus, architects, designers, and engineers in India require upskilling themselves while staying up-to-date with the latest trends in Computational Design.

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