Tensegrity as defined by Buckminster Fuller:
“Islands of Compression inside an ocean of tension.”
Tensegrity expanded definition by Rene’ Motro:
“A Tensegrity system is a system in a stable self-equilibrated state comprising a discontinuous set of compression components inside a continuum of tension components.”
Tensegrity historically has operated as an engineering solution to enclose architecture (Biosphere by Fuller), as sculpture (Needle Tower by Snelson); stadium enclosure (Georgia Dome, La Plata,
Pascal Grand) and one instance as a cantilevered floor system (Blur by Coop-Himmelblau). It has however never been used at a scale of Architecture dealing with more than only span or enclosure.
Architecture has an ability to meld both engineering and sculpture into building and more. Using tensegrity systems as a volumetric sub-divider at various scales enables it to accomplish basic architectural functions of floor, wall, ceiling, roof, room, furniture in a manner that will also create an architectural effect/affect through material, light, repetition and density.
Suburban sprawl and a non-existent manufacturing sector have left many industrial buildings defunct, Islands of industry in a sea of suburban tracts. These large open volumes have been the cause of their inability to adapt. These massive volumes are perfect for demonstrating tensegrity ability to volumetrically sub-divide space to create new productive spaces as well as inherent architectural effect/affects.
Retro Tense Architecture from Richard Lucero on Vimeo.
Tensegrity Structured Tower
One Day Model + Photoshop Exercise
Leading up to midterm I was getting exceedingly tired of working on the same project modeling very tedious detail things. I decided that post midterm I would design a tower, render and Photoshop in the course of a single day. I ended up breaking up the going a bit over time as a result of some over obsessing on a few things but other wise I kept to the schedule pretty well.
The first twenty minutes or so was spent sketching the rough idea for the tower. The next the next four hours were spent modeling the structure and surfaces. I bit more detail then necessary I think but It seemed to help. Rendering was quick multi-layer passes without material in just white.
The following day 2 hours or so was spent adjusting the base model renders placing sky and buildings and starting to lay in people and make rough adjustments.
The last day 4 hours was spent tweaking everything adding more bit and cleaning everything up. Then adjusting contrast hue levels and all the like. Over all pretty satisfied with the result except a few things that would have taken too much time to correct but oh well. good fun exercise.
Calder Museum Space
One Day Model + Photoshop Exercise
Another quick exercise to break up the routine. This museum piece is base on some ideas/ suggestions I made to a colleague. The concept is base on viewing a very heavy sculpture,in this case a Alexander Calder sculpture, in suspended space where it might feel a bit precarious. The sculpture would sit over a translucent floor where it could be viewed from below and seen against a cityscape rather then the more typical corporate tower exterior or lush garden. Being an exterior sculpture typically louvers felt appropriate to regulate light and frame the view as well as juxtapose the curving red steel.
This being another exercise I decided to be a bit more stringent on the time. Cutting time for modeling down to four hours which included time for a quick sketch based on ideas I had. One hour of this time was spent modeling the Alexander Calder Flamingo sculpture itself.
Photoshop time down to four hours for the second image. This included constructing the background from 5 images, placing people and adjusting levels, curves, hues, saturation, adding shadow and highlights. The second image was far quicker being mostly a render with some trees and sky, this was about 30 minutes plus an hour of render time.
Retro Tension Expressionism
Tensegrity Retro Fit of an Existing Guard Station
Thesis Exercise: Two of Four
Improvement through the addition of support structure instead of replacement and attachment. Using tensegrity as a means of supporting additional function without touching the existing but greatly affecting the existing in many regards.
Taking influence from a sort of retro structural expressive aesthetic using cables and tension in a Rodgers manner. Utilizing only framing members and membranes to accomplish the task of shade, security and signage. Using weights to help counter act movement and cantilevers as well as counter weights for security window closures.
Viewed best from actual perspectives. There is something about seeing this in perspective that is far more pleasant then from a distance. Normally a guard station is usually only seen in a car and out of a booth window. In this regard it makes sense to design with this in mind.
Less satisfying then perspectives in some instances as the scale seems a bit out of proportion from the front and rear but remarkably thin from the side. over all the proportions still seem right. Even though the cables seem in excess they really are not given load and the need to support position in three dimensions from three posts.
Since the first station was at the entrance I felt the need for it to have greater presence. This station however is in the back and is manly the central guard station that would have surveillance equipment. I decided to be more restrained and limit the exercise to only a canopy from a single large mast and re-skin the booth in a translucent membrane exposing the wood framing.
Fairly Straight forward design. A single asymmetrical mast the ties back to two existing pylons. Membranes are stretched and folded to create the surface. A central X frame is used a base for the membrane.
Creative Cooperative Commune
Utilizing a defunct Circuit City parking lot as a foundation for a multi-functional creative collaboration hub.
Independent office creative work space situated in the vast unused parking lot. Above the ground as to not lose parking while also creating privacy and allowing easier passive cooling.
Like the system the conceptual representation is of different mediums translated here to print.
A need for privacy and views is always a problem. This problem is exemplafied when situated in the middle of a large parking lot. A way of mitigating this is through the use of membrane louvers that obscure site lines from below as well as still aloow plently of light and clear sight lines outward from inside the Office.
The westside is mostly comprised of a large counter weight. The idea is to create multifunctions with a single move. Not only does this sharply contrast the the louvers through its simplisity it also prides an amount of structural support and privacy. It can also provide a surface in which the Name/ Brand/ Idenity of the office can be place prodominately for all to see from freeway, street and entrance.
Keeping the ground free enables the ability to keep the use of the ground plain for things like parking, parklet space or utility functions
As a result of the massing being off center there needs to be a counter weight to off set this. The weight is also used as a means of privacy and protection from afternoon solar gains.
Treated like a landed spaceship the entry to the offices uses the same structure throughout to extend a landing stair for entry. A break in the membrane exposes the underlying structure upon entry. The protruding truss is sheathed in a membrane that offers protection from elements while also acting like a light well and formally like a formal entry hall.
Just as light and as expressive as the rest the entry floats above the payment succeeding from the ground as a means of distinction and separation from its former condition.
Using three basic building types, positive presure, negivitive pressure and tension, to creat unique and individual offices with mebranes and frames that would be relatively light and flexible. These two attributes being important in order to keep them suspendeding with in the framework and enable a amount of flexibility and change and movement at a later time dependant on the inhabitants.
The office each have their own unique character and each is expressive of a building typology.
Chain Link Fence Post Shade Structure
Solar Decathlon Frame Design
The external formal qualities were decided upon to be expressed through a shade device / structure that would be attached to the home and move with the home. The design used for mock-up deals with an issue of overlapping structures that result in a significant cantilever. In order to resolve this angular cross bracing and welding key components is necessary.
Fabrication for the most part was rather straight forward. Took Leodan Castillo and myself about a week to construct the house framing and assembling the fence post structure.
Folding Residential Dwelling / Pre-Midterm
Solar Decathlon Schematic Design
The primary driver for this scheme was to create an easily transportable and deployable residential dwelling. The project developed from a fairly complex design with multiple moving parts and portions that slide vs fold.
Single Family Home Construction Documents
Owner: Amos Hardwell
Address: 1628 Magnolia Ave, Los Angeles, Ca 90006
Code: 2008 Los Angeles Building Code
Building Type: V a