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Augmented architecture : public space in a post-digital Vancouver Le Quellec, Philippe 2019-12-19

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I AbstractI I - AbstractAugmented Architecture: Public space in a post-digital VancouverThis thesis challenges the current state of public space. Living in a post-digital world, our experience of public space has shifted exponentially. In our physical world we are bound to gravity and experience public space as the nolli map of the city. In our digital world we become untethered and experience public space as the extents of our smartphones. This project re-imagines the architecture of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza in Vancouver. This public space becomes a new interface for creating and interacting with digital landscapes in the physical world.II Table of ContentsIII Abstract    pg III Table of contents   pg IIIII List of figures    pg IIIIV Acknowledgments   pg IV01 Thesis Statemet   pg 0102 Precedents    pg 0503 Competition    pg 1704 Site Conditions   pg 2905 Key Concepts    pg 3706 Project Proposal   pg 4507  Appendix    pg 6908 Bibliography    pg 78 II - Table of ContentsIII List of FiguresIII III - List of FiguresFigure 1. Superstudio 2,000 ton city, perspective drawingFigure 2. Archigram Walking City, drawingFigure 3. MVRDV The Stack, section and perspectiveFigure 4. DS+R The Shed, Perspective ViewsFigure 5. Ensemble Studios Big Bang Tower, PerspectiveFigure 6. Competition Perspective 1Figure 7. Competition Section 1Figure 8. Competition Section 2Figure 9. Competition Section 3Figure 10. Competition Perspective 2Figure 11. Vancouver Map 1Figure 12. Vancouver Map 2Figure 13. Vancouver Map 3Figure 14. Vancouver Map 4Figure 15. Vancouver Map 5Figure 16. Diagram 1Figure 17. Diagram 2Figure 18. Model Diagram 1Figure 19. Model Diagram 2Figure 20. Diagram 3Figure 21. Section 1Figure 22. Elevation 1Figure 23. Section 2Figure 24. Elevation 2Figure 25. Section 3Figure 26. Elevation 3Figure 27. Plan and Perspective of Ground FloorFigure 28. Plan and Perspective of 2nd FloorFigure 29. Plan and Perspective of 3rd FloorFigure 30. Plan and Perspective of 4th FloorFigure 31. Plan and Perspective of RoofFigure 32. Perspectives of ModelIV AcknowledgmentsIVI would first like to thank Mari Fujita the Chair on this thesis Committee. I would like to thank my mentor Chris Doray for his contribution to my education and the thesis.I would like to thank Hong Ahn and Chee Choy for their guidance as committee members. I would like to thank my family For their support.I would like to thank Sarah Baxendale, Kim Luttich, James Hock, Annick Le Quellec, for helping make models.I would like to thank my friends for their support.I would like to thank Nathan Keebler for his support and help with the project. IV - Acknowledgments0201Thesis Statement 01 - Thesis Statement1 Signore, Marcella Del, and Gernot Riether. Urban Machines: Public Space in a Digital Culture. ListLab, 03 I began the thesis interested in exploring the meaning of public space. How has public space evolved over time, and how has urban public space responded to the post digital age? Marcella Del Signore and Gernot Rietcher respond to a similar concept in the book Urban Machines: Public Space in a Digital Culture. “ Projects that engage information technology as a catalytic tool for expanding, augmenting and altreing the public and social interactions in the physical urban space”1 are expanding throught cities. These types of urban public spaces begin to merge both the physial world and the digital world. This exploration into Marcella Del Signore and Gernot Rietcher earlier reserach has led me to further question and develop a thesis question; How can we create public space in a post digital Vancouver?  The inital research began by investigating a series of maps, directions and landmarks of Vancouver’s public realm. These tools are used to wayfind, therefore providing different ways for people to experience the city. Traditionally Parks and Plazas have been physical public spaces for people and communities to occupy, and self program. A less Formal but equally public and physical space of the city are the streets. The Streets are places for trade, movement, and interaction. The nolli map has been traditionally seen as the void space within the fabric of the city. How has this wayfinding of the city and public spaces changed in the post digital age? Companies such as google and apple have created tools to digitally wayfind yourself through the city. These tools curate your experience by extracting landmarks and monuments to draw your attention as you move through this digitally fabricated world. This digital world of google maps extends our reach into other digital public spaces. As we transcend from one digital space to another, interactions, communities, and cultures are formed. Digitally devices and spaces can also be used to transform physical space. With examples such as Pokemon go, one can experience digital public activity within the proportions of physical public spaces. Digital public spaces can also exist primarily virtual. Internet communities can share experiences, culture, and develop relationship through these digital public spaces. Returning back to the question, how can we create public space in a post-digital Vancouver? The Thesis project uses architecture to merge both the physical and digital world. The physical constraint of the project exists within gravity and proportion. The digital constraint lies with the interface. The Architecture can react to the gravity of the people and the city, create a variety of proportion to define space, and become the new interface for the digital world.One location in Vancouver that fosters an interesting relationship between both digital and physical realms is the queen Elizabeth theatre plaza.  This site has adjacencies to the amazon headquarters. Amazon is a digital public Space that is empowered by the physical world. Another adjacency is the Vancouver art gallery. This building is a physical object that is empowered by the digital world . This building has become a Vancouver icon through its reach in the digital public spaces ie. Instagram, facebook, and google. The Vancouver Public Library is a pre digital program that is ever evolving through the post-digital age. A program that fosters change and evolution and is designed to be completely flexible. This collection of architectural adjacencies all have a unique relationship with the digital and physical world.Public space in the post-digital Vancouver is space for people and the city to manipulate both the digital and physical worlds. In This Thesis, This is done through an architectural intervention on Elizabeth Theatre Plaza where gravity and proportion are manipulated by the architecture and  the architecture enables the creations of projections.04 01 - Thesis Statement06 02 - Precedents02Precedents The collection of architectural precedents provide insight to the thought process and research of the thesis. The thesis expands on the principals and design methodologies learned from these examples.071  Frassinelli, Gian Piero, and Davide Sacconi. Savage Architecture. Black Square, 2016. Super Studio’s twelve ideal cities is a critique of our society’s faith of urban planning and technology. In the “2,000 ton City, Each inhabitant lives in a cell, which satisfies all his desires - but if he formulates thoughts of a rebellion against this perfect world twice, the ceiling comes down with a force of 2,000 tons, crushing him.”1 This project by Superstudio is a great precedent to show conceptually how architecture can control the program and adapt to the user in the building. This project although lacking in formal flexibility, uses a machine to provide flexibility with the occupants of the building. If the occupant does not fit the means of society or the means of the building, the architecture acts as a mediator eliminating the occupant, providing opportunity for new occupants to join the architecture.  Members of Superstudio such as Adalfo Natalini, Gian Piero Frassinelli, and Alessandro Magris, were all part of the Italian Radical Architecture Movement in Italy 1960. These designers were visionary thinkers, that speculated about dystopic/utopic cities, future building systems, and societal values. These conceptual ideas are a great precedent when speculating about the future of the skyscraper typology.Superstudio: 2,000 Ton City08Figure 1. 02 - Precedents091  Cook, Peter, et al. Archigram. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.2  Cook, Peter, et al. Archigram. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999. Ron Herron of Archigram speculates a city in a future technological world. He defines walking city as “A hybrid that is sometimes machine, sometimes architecture, sometimes animal-like growth, sometimes electrical circuitry, sometimes part of a mathematical progression and sometimes completely random.”1 This conceptual project by archigram is another great precedent of the 1960’s Italian Radical Architecture movement.  Here the speculation of architecture deems appropriate to the thesis, as the architecture is illustrated as purely robotic. The differentiation between the city and the robot is unknown, as they are joined as one. “The seams of building type are at last broken. It means that the following work is sometimes difficult to explain on a comparative basis. It means that there is an accelerating distance away from buildings as built: Yet in the mind of the designers of these projects this breakaway seems to have brought a new reality, unfettered by the architectural hangup. If an assembly can choose its parts or its references from any set available, there is the chance that the result is really appropriate to a particular situation.”2 This quote portrays the flexibility within the architecture as well as the shift of domain as to what architecture is. If we let go of the “architectural hangups” one can begin to think freely about what the means of architecture is in the future.Archigram: Walking City10Figure 2. 02 - Precedents111 “The Stack.” MVRDV, The Stack by MVRDV is a design competition entry for the Melbourne Southbank Tower. This conceptual project is a great precedent for this thesis as it deals with dividing public green space vertically throughout the skyscraper. As you can see from the diagram on the right, Green Space is divided up into four zones and placed on a different floor throughout out the tower. “Disregarding the traditional tower and podium typology prevalent throughout Southbank, The Stack proposes a confident prism with public interfaces on all sides. The 265,000 m² mixed-use tower represents a stack of neighborhoods including offices, residential, hotel, retail and entertainment, which are connected by four publicly accessible gardens. A special feature is a series of façades; open at the park levels, transparent façades for the offices, hotel rooms and apartments, and more opaque facades in the entertainment sections.”1 This project is an example of how public space is currently being challenged within the skyscraper typology. MVRDV: The Stack12Figure 3. 02 - Precedents131 “The Shed.” DS+R,§ion=projects. The Shed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro is a precedent for this thesis that engages both the public realm and the flexibility of robotics engaged in the infrastructure of the architecture. Here large hydraulic systems moves a shed like structure to provide protection and create interior public space. As well as involving these mechanics into the architecture to engage the public, the program of the skyscraper provides 8 floors of public space.  This public space in addition to the public space created by the robotic shed, is elevated off the street level and acts as a community center. “The Shed’s eight-level base building includes two levels of gallery space, a versatile theater, a rehearsal space, a creative lab, and a skylit event space; a telescoping outer shell can deploy from its position over the base building and glide along rails onto an adjoining plaza to double the building’s footprint for large-scale performances, installations, and events.”1 Here we see architects and designers starting to elevate the public realm with the use of robotics.Diller Scofidio+Renfro: The Shed14  02   PrecedentsFigure 4.151 “Ensamble Studio Big Bang Tower.” Ensamble, “Ensamble Studio Big Bang Tower.” Ensamble, The Big Bang Towers by Ensemble Studio, is a design concept that challenges the “Core and Shell” ideology of designing within the skyscraper typology. Here the core is exploded and the shell bleeds in and out of the vertical circulation. “Big Bang Towers explore the spatial and structural opportunities that derive from exploding the conventional central core in a high-rise building. Different parts result from this action; smaller cores each with their own physiognomy adapted to the server space contained; thick asymmetric columns with mechanical capacity which resolve at once the vertical structure and infrastructure: everything the space needs to accommodate activity. The rest is served free space.”1 Quoted by Ensemble Studios, due to the flexibility of the infrastructure of the tower, the free space that is created is given back to the public. This inherently creates a vertical domain for the public to access and enjoy.  This design concept also shows how different public amenities and programs can be designed to be access vertically. “The big scale of the skyscraper is broken by the insertion of public spaces and diverse spatial typologies that create a vibrant environment, and an exciting experience, open to regular users or sporadic visitors.”2 Ensemble: Big Bang Towers16Figure 5. 02 - Precedents03Competition During the research and experimentation of the thesis, I participated in the Evolo international competition. The intent of this competition entry was to challenge how people interact with architecture. Here people can interact with a robot. This robot in this design is also the architecture.18 03 - Evolo Competition191 Kries, Mateo, et al. Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine. Vitra Design Museum, 2017.IntroductionIf architecture is to keep up with the exponential growth of technology, change is inevitable. Reflecting on the past 50 years of robotic technology, integration between humans and robots have been rapidly increasing. In “1974 ABB pioneered the first microprocessor-controlled industrial robot. Today, the company is one of the largest producers worldwide in the field of industrial robotics.”1 This evolution of the industrial robot first simply began by connecting our brain to a robotic arm that operates simple tasks. Now this arm can be programed to carry out many complex tasks. This extension of our brains to machines continue to grow and expand. In 2007 Apple invented a robot that connects our brain to the internet. The iphone like previous robots have evolved through history and can carry out more complex tasks than initially designed for. Humans were first able to transfer their voice to different places around the world using a telephone. This then lead to being able to capture memories, access distant thoughts, and direct message globally with the use of the iphone. As these robots grow and evolve over time, Humans evolve with them. We bocome dependent on robtos and adapt our way of life to these intelligent machines. The question then becomes, as we change with robots, how does architecture change with robots?03 Evolo Competition20Figure 6. 03 - Evolo Competition21Robot ArchitectureThis skyscraper blurs the line between what is robot and what is architecture. By integrating robotics into the core of the building, the architecture can be adaptable, self-constructable, and customizable. This integration of robot and building allows the user of the building to create space and add program as needed. This inherently connects our brains to buildings, just as ABB and Apple have done before. The line between robot and building is blurred. Buildings may identify as robots, and robots may choose to become buildings. Our human brains can then be integrated in the infrastructure of architecture. The InfrastructureThe core of this skyscraper consist of robotic arms and drones. These robotic arms move vertically throughout the architecture and can extend out into any of the spaces. This robotic arm consists of a standard 7 axis robot that can rebuild itslef or break down when needed. This allows the robots to access all the space in the building, as well as grow or shrink as the building needs. Drones live in the core of the building as well. These drones are used to transport people and materials to and from the skyscraper. The drones help maintain the wellbeing of the robots, and the robots help maintain the wellbeing of the drones.Self-ConstructabilityThe robotic core of the architecture can self assemble itself and grow. Precast concrete members can be made off site and drones can carry the members to the robots. The robots can then add higher to the existing core and infinitely create a more vertical home. The robotic core of the architecture can also create program space around itself. Using a simple method of steel beams, curtain wall system, and concrete paneled raised floor, the robots can assemble any space required for the human. These spaces can change and adapt to different needs of the human.22Figure 7. 03 - Evolo Competition23Section 1Section 1 of Robot Architecture illustrates the process of the flexibility of this skyscraper. This is not a design but merely the concept of flexibiility of structure, form, and program using robotics. Here the Drones are transporting the material that was prefabricated off site to the robots that are then assembling the architecture. This section of the architecture illustrates how the building can change, adapt, and evolve, as humans change, adapt, and evolve.Section 2Section 2 of Robot Architecture shows how the building can be accomodate the collaboration of both human and robotic space. As the building rises from its own core, robotic domain exists on the bottom, with space designed for minimal human interaction. As the tower rises up, a human think space is desired, so the architecure adapts by creating space curated to the human body, less to the means of the robot. At the top of the tower, we see the lack of human operation and but a great deal of robotic fabrication. this space is designed purely for robotic testing and fabrication. Here in this programatic scenerio, this architecture has adapted for both human and robotic work.Section 3Section 3 of Robot Architecture, illustrates the robots controlling the outcome of the design, operating within the space, and adhearing to minimal human interaction. This scenerio shows how possibly the program may need minimal humans to operate, and how the architecture adhears to this desired programtic shift. This drawing shows how buidlings may be used more by robots than humans. 24Figure 8. 03 - Evolo Competition25DomainDue to the efficiency of robotics integrated into the infrastructure of the architecture, this skyscraper can be located anywhere. In this scenario, the skyscraper is located essentially in no place, but in the water. This creates a paradigm shift in not only the infrastructure of architecture, but he infrastructure of travel, and real estate.26Figure 9. 03 - Evolo CompetitionFigure 10.2728 03 - Evolo Competition04Site Conditions 04 - Site Conditions30 I  started my research by investigating a series of maps, directions and landmarks of Vancouver’s public realm. These tools have been used to way-find, therefore providing different ways for people to experience the city.31Parks and Plazas Traditionally Parks and Plazas have been physical public spaces for people and communities to occupy, and self program. Here i have began to map the physical public plazas in the downtown Vancouver.Streets A less Formal but equally public and physical space of the city are the streets. The Streets are places for trade, movement, and interaction.Nolli Map The nolli map has been traditionally seen as the void space within the fabric of the city. Here we can way-find ourselves through the city experiencing different physical public spaces. How has this wayfinding of the city and public spaces changed in the post digital age.Internet Mapping Companies such as google and apple have created tools to digitally way-find yourself through the city. These tools curate your experience by extracting landmarks and monuments to draw your attention as you move through this digitally fabricated world.MappingFigure 11.32 04 - Site ConditionsFigure 12.34Figure 13.34 04 - Site ConditionsFigure 1435Figure 15.36 04 - Site Conditions05Key Concepts38 05 - Key Concepts The design approach on the site was to mediate these two interfaces. The physical interface, and the digital interface. Our physical interface with the city is gravity and spatial proportion. As we start to see the site not only in plan but in section.  The gravitational pull of elements in the city becomes three dimensional. Here we see the space being manipulated by attraction to the world of amazon and to the world of the Vancouver Art gallery.  The Digital Interface becomes redefined as a skin that controls and manipulates the physical space.  The Combination of these two interfaces creates a series of new  physical and digital worlds. Each world has it proportionality, which in turn lends itself to being experienced in different ways. Each world actively projects itself onto the city. The proportion of the space determines the orientation of the skins projection of activity in the city.Figure 16.39Figure 17.40 05 - Key ConceptsFigure 18.41Figure 19.42 05 - Key ConceptsFigure 20.4344 05 - Key Concepts 06 - Project Proposal46 In this project, The relationship between the digital and physical is not about the skin itself or the infrastructure, it is about what they together enable. It is about allowing the void to be populated with experiences, installations, and new ways for people to engage in public space.  The reflection of the skin on the site reacts to the exponential change of the city itself. The project will adapt to the nothingness or everythingness that is happening around it. In conclusion, this project aims to create a public space in Vancouver where people can engage in both a physical and digital world. The outcome in essence is a reflection of the city and a reflection of  the people themselves.06Project ProposalFigure 21. 48Section Looking North 06 - Project ProposalFigure 22. 50Elevation Looking North 06 - Project ProposalFigure 23. 52Section Looking West 06 - Project ProposalFigure 24. 54Elevation Looking West 06 - Project ProposalFigure 25. 56Section Looking East 06 - Project ProposalFigure 26. 06 - Project Proposal58Elevation Looking EastUPUPDN59Figure 27.Figure 28. 06 - Project Proposal60UPDNUPDN61Figure 29.Figure 30. 06 - Project Proposal62DN63Figure 31. 06 - Project Proposal6465Figure 32. 06 - Project Proposal6667Figure 33. 06 - Project Proposal687007Appendix 07 - AppendixWest Georgia StVancouver Art GalleryAmazon HeadquartersVancouver Public LibraryPhysical Interface- Infrastructure that Manipulates gravity and proportion- Structure is circulationDigital Interface- Skin provides internal and external projections Digital Skin- Lasers and cameras are hosted to structure- Lasers are used to create projections - Cameras are used to track humans and manipulate projections- Light is reflected off air particles- Reflection creates a volumetric point of light in space.- A collection of points creates an projection in space- Temporary tactile structures are used for projectionsCBC Radio CanadaNQueen Elizabeth TheatreDunsmuir StRobson StCambie StHamilton StHomer StBeatty St71Section Looking NorthElevation Looking North72 07 - AppendixSection Looking WestElevation Looking West73Section Looking EastElevation Looking East74 07 - AppendixUPUPDNUPDNUPDNDNGround Floor Plan 1: 3002nd Floor Plan 1: 3003rd Floor Plan 1: 3004th Floor Plan 1: 300Roof Plan 1: 3007576 07 - Appendix08Bibliography78 08 - Bibliography79“The Stack.” MVRDV,, Peter, et al. Archigram. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.Frassinelli, Gian Piero, and Davide Sacconi. Savage Architecture. Black Square, 2016.Kries, Mateo, et al. Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine. Vitra Design Museum, 2017.Manaugh, Geoff. Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions. Actar, 2013.“The Shed.” DS+R,§ion=projects.“Ensamble Studio Big Bang Tower.” Ensamble, Colman (2001) DRAWING THE LINE BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND NATURE IN ARCHITECTURAL THEORY: Blade Runner’s Critique of the Intention of the ‘Primitive Hut’, Architectural Theory Review, 6:1, 156-174, DOI: 10.1080/13264820109478423Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York: a Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. The Monacelli Press, 1994.Citations80Signore, Marcella Del, and Gernot Riether. Urban Machines: Public Space in a Digital Culture. ListLab, 2018. 08 - Bibliography81Bauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity. Polity Press, 2015.Cook, Peter, et al. Archigram. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.Carpo, Mario. The Second Digital Turn: Design beyond Intelligence. The MIT Press, 2017.Didero, Maria Cristina., et al. SuperDesign: Italian Radical Design 1965-75. Monacelli Press, 2017.Frassinelli, Gian Piero, and Davide Sacconi. Savage Architecture. Black Square, 2016.Ferriss, Hugh. The Metropolis of Tomorrow. Dover Publications, 2004.Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York: a Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. The Monacelli Press, 1994.Koolhaas, Rem, and Bruce Mau. S, M, L, XL. Monacelli Press, 1998.Kries, Mateo, et al. Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine. Vitra Design Museum, 2017.Manaugh, Geoff. Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions. Actar, 2013.Bibliography82Natalini, Adolfo, and L. Andreini. Adolfo Natalini: “Four Sketchbooks”: from Superstudio to Natalini Architetti. Forma, 2015.Olgiati, Valerio, and Markus Breitschmid. Non-Referential Architecture. Simonett Et Baer, 2018.Rossi, Aldo. The Architecture of the City. MIT Press, 2007.Signore, Marcella Del, and Gernot Riether. Urban Machines: Public Space in a Digital Culture. ListLab, 2018. 08 - Bibliography


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