Freeform Façade

Fast forward to the 21st Century, with the advent of more powerful computer and processing technology the creation of freeform façade has seen a spike particularly in booming economic powers such as the Middle East and China.

To this date many alternatives to form finding and model making have become available. Computer model can mimic the work of nature quite perfectly as demonstrated by the ‘draped clothes’ design of Zlote Tarasy building in Warsaw. Others include numerical model of ‘soap bubble’, the forerunner of tension membrane system as evidenced in the use of ETFE at Suvarnabhumi concourse building.

Zlote Tarasy created via ‘draped clothes’ sequence, Architect - The Jerde Partnership.

Membrane structure as modeled by soap bubble.

To this end, regardless of technological advancement, the fundamental concept of form finding will always remain the same. The role of the engineer in creating ‘blob’ is, first and foremost, to quantify and rationalize what may seem to be an indiscernible pattern. This can be done via a physical, numerical and geometrical approach, just to name a few, the choice of which will ultimately have a bearing on engineering, fabrication and construction of the project in question.

As of February 2012, Meinhardt Thailand is undertaking the design and engineering of Central Embassy, potentially one of the most challenging projects in terms of complexity and soon to be the highlight of architectural icons in Bangkok.

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February 10, 2012

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