Art615 Pavilion – Aalborg University students

It has been a pavilion kind of week!  Art615 project was conceived and built by the students of Aalborg University, DK during their 4 week workshop program: Social Technologies 2010 at the Department of Architecture & Design.  In collaboration with Dolle Trapper the students had 4 weeks to master and design a project utilizing CNC fabrication techniques and parametric modeling.  The intention was to create a pavilion to be installed in a high crime park, to draw attention from the unsafe park and bring a feeling of a safer environment for visitors.

SCHOOL: Aalborg University
STUDENTS: Senad Gvozden, Bjarke Mejnertsen, Kenneth Rytter, Bjarke Apollo, Jacob Hilmer, Dennis Jensen
LOCATION: Aalborg, Denmark 

“We wanted to work with the inside and outside of Art615 and also make a spatial connection between these two spaces. By perforating the shell, the scales are able take advantage of the displayed light on the inside and at the same time create a visual and audible connection between the two spaces.”

An Intense work of 43 students at the Department of Architecture & Design, Aalborg University(Denmark), creates the framework for the workshop ‘Social Technologies’. The workshop explores the basic exercise in the development of dynamic architectural concepts and computer-generated geometry. The vision was to challenge the complex programs of the urban field and to explore the inherent potentials of new digital tools. Working with two main focus areas, the workshop simultaneously aimed at developing advanced spatial systems for organizing and articulating new social complexities, and at utilizing and adapting different advanced digital design methods for exploring various principles of form generation and advanced production.

In collaboration with architects, CNC-manufacturing companies, media artists, sociologist and the Danish National Crime preventing council – the students participating in the workshop sought to explore the ways in which advanced digital design methods can generate new alternatives for the existing anti-crime initiatives, where technology is often being used to identify guilty persons. The workshop encourages research in the crossing between performative formations and interactive light systems, thus enabling discussions on local culture production and social potentials in form.

During the workshop the students were among other things introduces to: the development of dynamic architectural concepts, digital tools as Grasshopper for Rhino and RhinoScripting, the utilization of sensor technology and dynamic light control in the software vvvv, and to work with digital technologies and interactive urban environments on a conceptual level.

After three weeks of intense work, seven individual projects were selected among 43. The 43 attendants were then merged into seven groups – one for each selected project – and now had one week to finalize the projects, by making them ready for CNC-production, finalizing sensor technology and dynamic light control. To train the students’ ability to work with different factors of challenges at the same time – including the possible difficulties by working with specific materials – the winning project, Art615, was to be realized in full scale, solely in MDF-wood.

Originally Art615 is meant as an art pavilion for a crime-related park in Aalborg, Denmark. The concept mainly focused on drawing attention from the unsafe park, and ensuring the feeling of a safer environment for the visitors.

Inside the pavilion, three monitors display art from local artists. The lighting – programmed in VVVV – analyzes the colors and proportions of the art and a nearby projector displays these colors on the pavilions scales. This creates a picturesque environment inside the pavilion – presenting the visitors a new interpretation of the art, by giving them a chance to “step into the art” itself.

After one week of assembly, the pavilion mainly stands as a structure at Platform4 in Aalborg (Denmark). The main form of the pavilion is originally described as a simple surface in Rhino. The form is derived and chosen out of multiple iterations – where the main focus was to create a semi-closed space and emphasize the increasing build-up of the shape from the smaller end to the larger. Parametric modeling in Grasshopper allowed us to tweak all parameters controlling the form, until we were satisfied with the structural abilities and overall aesthetic.

The surface is then dissected into 32 vertical and 4 horizontal struts by using Grasshopper to define a structural waffle-system. The system allowed us to connect the different struts, by merely sliding them into each other – the size of the gaps in the struts and the character of the MDF, meant that they interlocked and were kept fixed.

With the CNC-milling machines’ material dimension limitations of 2,4×1,2 meters, and with some of the struts reaching lengths of 6,5 meters – the individual struts had to be dissected into shorter fragments. A puzzle-joint made in Grasshopper was inserted between these fragments. To ensure static stability, metal-plates were bolted and screwed around the joint itself.

The scales define the overall form of the pavilion and are the result of a paneling definition done in Grasshopper. The main idea with the outer shell is working with transparency.

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