Separate but Tied.
As the bench before this the wood was sourced from scrap I found in Studio over two Years ago. Over the course of two days I made a stool that I use for tying my shoes and holding my bag.
The Completed Stool
When I initially was cleaning out the soon to be Solar Decathlon Studio I found some used old lumber in a somewhat dire condition. The first was turned into a bench for friends and the second I used for a stool.
Since I first saw the piece I knew the "broken" bit of lumber could be a interesting little piece of something. It had wonderful grain on one of the ends and the split was pretty clean and interesting. I had a few initial ideas that involved rods and as linkages but decided to opt for something a bit more simple and cleaner.
I used 1" Angle 1/8" thk. to create legs and a carriage to both keep the pieces split but supported. The wood was slotted to accept the angle and the angle was drilled and countersunk to accept screws that would be flush from the underside. This part took me from mid day to night. I stopped here because I was not sure what to do with the rest of the legs.
After much consideration and sleeping on it I decided that I would cross the legs over eachother. This accomplishes two things conceptually for me. The first was the idea that I did not want the piece to become something everyone has seen before, a little square stool with a square base that would diminish and not complement the wood it supports. The second was an idea I had for a future piece in that the base is a continuous loop of structure that does not intersect itself. Fabrication of this part took half the the next day. Everything was measure and cut by hand and eye, no modeling or foreplanning. Doing in this way I feel is almost quicker and easier than If I were to model and draw up shop drawings. Mostly due to the fact that is time intensive and the real world isnt perfect and my fabrication skills and tools cant be that as exact, ( I no longer have the luxury of the SCI-Arc shop and only have what I have at home) so this shooting from the hip and working with what I got makes it both immensely fun and satisfying.
The last bit was cleaning everything and prep for its layers of protection. The metal was recieved a few coats of clear matte enamel and the wood received a few coats of polyurethane.
Day 1 Fabrication
Day 2 Fabrication
Hudson Commercial Residential Speedway
Originally A competition Entry with Collaborator Leo Castillo. I decided to do my own take on the exterior and interior. The Drawing was what was submitted a long with Renderings done by Mr. castillo.
Conceptually based on the idea of using various track typologies as a programmatic massing. Certain types of tracks lend themselves to certain types of spaces and movement based on form. Using Drag strip typology for food as finding and knowing all options as soon as possible is most ideal. The Indy track on the other hand is used for larger retail where a desire to be more casual and slower paced is fine; this is also where a Large Anchor resides 4 stories up over two floors. A Nascar bank is planted green space and below is smaller retail, at center are farmers market kiosks.
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.
Refinished, Reinforced and Refined.
Originally made from scrap in a day it lasted well over a year before needed refinishing and repair.
The Completed V3
What may have felt like years ago, perhaps it was, I made a bench / coffee table for a couple of friends. Taking only a day to complete and I gave it to them unfinished and raw for them to do or not do as they saw fit. Suffice to say it stayed that way and over time with parties, food and drinks it got super dirty and eventually broke. The brake was because I wanted the legs on one side to look as if it should not be stable or attached and likely to fall out. eventually they did with all the wear and tear. I took the bench back with intention of cleaning it, fixing it and protecting it. The goal was to make it better than new and stronger than ever.
The key issue with the design was that there was no lateral bracing and the leg was mounted in one direction. The solution was to add steel tabs to the legs and notch out the wood 90 degrees to the legs so that it can resist movement from either side. Tabs were cut and welded. The welds were ground down as low as I could. The locations of the tabs marked on each piece of wood and proceeded to drill and notch out the wood. I needed it to be a tight the fit to insure that it would be able to resist side movement and be stable. Once everything was fitted I disassembled and set them out til I got to protecting them with a finish. The finishes were rather straight forward, the wood was finished with a polyurethane and the metal with a matte clear enamel. A few coats of each and it was set. I also countersink the screws so that they would be flush and unseen when looking under. By the end it looked better than before as it got a bit darker and more defined. It also needed up looking better in my friends place as it was closer in tone to their floors. The tabs worked great. There was no way the legs were coming off. The process itself was in total 4/5 days.
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.