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Cirrus House

cirrus house cover.jpeg

Designing parametric tools for differential, gradient, "cloud-likepoche.

Cirrus House :: Inhabitable Frame Poche System

Harvard GSD Research Seminar :: Computational Design :: Fall 2018

Project Team :: Aticha Bam Siriphand, Matthew Pugh, Yang Fei, Hong Xi, Xin Zheng

Instructor :: Sawako Kaijima

     Featured in Harvard GSD Platform 11


This project designs and tests a package of parametrics tool in C# and grasshopper for quickly and intuitively designing cloud-like fields of building poche, -- parametricizing existing work such as in Neri and Hu's Sulwhasoo flagship store, or Sou Fujimoto's Serpentine Pavilion. We test this design suite in a simple pavilion-like structure, where poche gradient helps define space-use in a single-floor dwelling.


Generating Cloud-Like Poche

Our design system for generating cloud-like poche was inspired by Chinese landscape painting techniques, where a few simple, wet brush strokes allow ink to spread freely in soft patterns.


Custom computational tools were designed in c# to imitate such a design process in 3d modeling space, with zones of “white ink” quickly and intuitively dropped into a solid black poche volume. These enable the designer to quickly and easily differentiate large areas of poche into zones of different opacity, density, and lightness.

Design system for generating differential fields of poche density. Click for gallery.

These abstract, cloud-like digital fields of lightness and opacity are materialized in a 3-d frame system, drawing from contemporary architectural experiments with inhabitable frames (ex. Neri+Hu’s Sulwhasoo Flagship, Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion). This frame is parametrically differentiated into zones with different member thickness and frame subdivision density to capture the cloud-field’s different effects of porosity, density, and transparency.

Design options for generating a structural grid from this field. While we selected option 1 for our frame connection pattern and option 2 for our frame density strategy, our tools are designed so any designer could easily and intuitively swap between options. Click for gallery.

Our design system for cloud-like frame structures is tested in a design for a small, single-story house. Areas of density and porosity within the poche correspond to programmatic zones in the house, controlling the amount of sunlight filtering through the frame and visibility between different areas of the house through the poche. Certain zones are made “light” enough for the frame to disappear completely, allowing one to move into zones of inhabitable poche within the frame structure.

We tested these tools in a simple, pavilion-like house. Click for gallery.

Click for Full-Sized Gallery:

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