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caustic architecture: synaesthetic ice museum

by Francois Mangion & Shuchi Agarwal

Jan.20, 2014

archiable-caustic architecture

Never before has there been such variation in techniques and methodologies, all with the potential to overcome new barriers. Designing has become a multidisciplinary language delving into new fields of inspiration and understanding that for centuries have been completely distant from architecture. Francois Mangion and my colleague Shuchi Agarwal have teamed up to develop this investigation that sets a continuation to optical art and a starting point towards optical architecture. Carried out during the past academic year (2012 -2013) this research formed part of the B-Pro Bartlett School of Architecture programme under the tuition of Pro. Marjan Colletti and Guan Lee (http://rc2gad.blogspot.co.uk ) and now forms part of an ongoing personal research.

Dealing with the challenges of materiality and its performative potential - poetics in architecture, the following are a series of small investigative design applications applying light as a performative tool to form architecture - an architectural philosophy situated in the argument between the analysis of light caustics and the rules of optics.

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digital fabrication

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seasons elevation

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digital fabrication

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seasons elevation

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side elevation

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digital fabrication

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plan

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digital fabrication

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logic

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digital fabrication

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harmonic pavillion

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digital fabrication

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light generated masterplan

SYNAESTHETIC ICE MUSEUM

Located on the opposite side of the historical French-Canadian city of Quebec in Canada, across river St. Lawrence, this project represents an initial step towards the integration of the, previously described, investigative design applications and the harmonic instruments to design a performative architecture through sound into expressions of formal proportion in architecture.

A harmonic layer of string arrangement, designed through the synthesis of harmonic proportions, forms an Aeolian pavilion that uses wind energy to generate synaesthetic sound. The spatial and functional implications of the museum become key requirements for it to function both as a museum and an Aeolian building. Structured round several prototypes and investigations, the design explores tectonic analysis related to both the architectural language, generated through caustics, and the inclusion of fully functional harmonic strings. The goal of this project is to be able to translate and re-interpret a combination of sound and light through form; to better understand how to create a one unique performative experience.

The trend of movement and transition of light caustic patterns studied through meticulous data mapping and the relation between the light source and the initial pattern protected onto a designed recording surface were investigated through a fully functional physical generative model. Multiple light sources were computed individually providing arrayed projected curves. Combining the human scale, structural possibility and the relationship with the environment, the projected arrays of the caustic pattern were further refined and optimised.

Evolving light into habitable spaces, the museum redefines human occupancy within the built environment hence experiencing a homogeneous correlation between the volumetric qualities of light and sound. Operating as a sensorial extension of the city, the Synaesthetic Museum engages the users in an full optical and harmonic experience. Like an Aeolian harp, the building played by the wind unifies the riverside's environment visually and acoustically transforming the full character of the juxtaposed natural sound of the breaking frozen river in the harsh Canadian winter.

Synaesthetic Museum is a visual and aural application generating a poetic aesthetic of a fully experiential architecture that awakens one's exploration through various areas of perception.

This project was successfully awarded the highest distinction at the Bartlett MArch and initial light studies were also featured in the yearly Bartlett summer show catalogue 2013 and published in several online architecture platforms since completion.

Research Video: ( http://youtu.be/pL5E6UULRBw )
Tumblr: ( http://francoismangion.tumblr.com )
Personal Blog ( http://francoismangion.blogspot.co.uk )
Research Portfolio (http://issuu.com/francois.mangion/docs/portfolio_final )


Semester design
Student: Francois Mangion, Shuchi Agarwal
University:University College London, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Professor: Marjan Colletti, Guan Lee, Hannes Mayer
Semester: 2012-2013
Category: cultural building, experimental design

submitted on 2014.01.12

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