Warsaw Cultural Centre – TU Delft Graduation Project

27 10 2010

Warsaw Cultural Centre was a graduation project at the TU Delft in the Hyperbody studio. The project was developed under tutorship of dr. Nimish Biloria, dr. ing. Henriette Biere and Martin Sobota. I would like thank them for all the help.

URBAN / ARCHITECTURAL PROBLEM

Plac Defilad is a main square in the city centre of Warsaw and despite of the fact that it seems to be the most interesting and valuable place for urban development it still stays almost empty. There have been lots of discussions about its future appearance, and many urban plans were made. However none of these investigations were finally accepted and still there is no clear decision how Plac Defilad should look like in the next ten or twenty years.

The design task was to propose a new, alternative solution for Warsaw’s city centre. It needed to be multifunctional project, consisting of cultural, business and commercial activities. The big challenge was also to integrate all different transportation facilities and create here real social hub.

PROJECT IDEA

The idea of the project derives directly from the urban structure of the city of Warsaw. The site and its surrounding was fully destroyed during the second world war and it is still full of undeveloped areas and empty lots of land. There is a lack of proper city structure with a geometry of streets and squares. Thus the form of project starts from a ‘bounding box’ of the site, including all the city regulations. Then this box is gradually eaten away at, based on the site characteristics and parameters. It gave a final form which in some places still kept box geometry, nicely filling the gap in the city. However functional configuration inside follows geometries from the site analysis program and is not constrained by the outer bounding box.

METHOOLOGY

The purpose of the WCC project was to show how computational techniques can be used on different design stages, starting from conceptual sketches and finishing with preparing files for materialization. The crucial point was to introduce them not as one ‘master’ tool, which solves all the problems, but as a set of small interconnected programs solving separately specific issues. In that case that was always possible to rethink all the decisions and create feed-back loops to find optimal solutions.

The design process started from a site analysis and the first functional diagrams. For this purpose computational procedure was written in Processing language. The result of that was briefly describing project geometry and providing internal communication plan.

On that base in the next step a couple of scripts (Rhino VB scripts) were used to generate exact geometry of the project and develop parametric skin components, which were able to be driven by all gathered information.

Another important part was to introduce a tool to create customized and unique structural strategy for the project. In that sense construction methods were following design ideas, not another way around.

In the last part of the project separate code was written to generate files for final materialization. Produced prototype in 1:25 scale was fabricated by using CNC techniques like laser cutting and 3-axis milling machine. More information about the fabrication process and final appearance of the prototype will be posted soon.

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