collaboration with Marie Boltenstern and Kais AL-Rawi 2013


Cellular Complexity investigates the potential of porous and cellular systems within the architectural facade’ context. The current architectural application of such systems is limited to the abstraction of basic structure and aesthetics; often overlooking their efficient structural capabilities and passive performative qualities. The aim is to assimilate these qualities into a single architectural facade system which responds to given programmatic and environmental conditions. Conventional facades consist of several separate sub-systems, contradictory to how nature integrates material, form and structure. The ambition is to achieve a mater ial efficient system with spatial and str uctural proper ties. 


The developed prototype investigates metal fabrication processes and the potential of large scale fabrication and assembly methods. The processes include robitically controlled plasma cutting of thicker outer structure parts at acceptable tolerances, and laser-cutting of finer inner structure parts at very high precision. The fabrication and assembly is entirely out of standardized sheets and proprietary mechanical fixings. The result however is a complex cellular geometry which produces double curvature at a global scale, and allows for adaptability and variation throughout different parts of the facade. The adaptability is controlled by the porosity of the cellular system at different parts, which would correspond to facade performance aspects pertaining to natural light, str ucture, enclosure and v entilation.


This research investigates natural cellular systems and their inherent properties which include structural, thermal and acoustic properties. Their performance is generally affected by geometry and material. As part of the investigation, computed tomography (CT) scans were conducted for natural artefacts. These provided a view towards the interior of these artefacts through slicing images, allowing us to understand their internal structure. Most of these artefacts reference mathematical space-packing models which are considered optimal and efficient. This proposal exploits the feature of variation within cellular systems towards an architectural context. The adaptability of porosity allows for varied performance behaviour at different parts of the facade based on the programmatic requirements and site specific data. This provides the opportunity to control day lighting, ventilation, views, and structure within an efficient and unified facade system.




2014 - TEX FAB SKIN Prototype exhibited at University of Houston

2013 - Finalist TEX FAB SKIN Competition - exhibited at Acadia Conference Toronto, Canada