Sem 05 | Technology

Large Span Structures

Technology Module (Semester 5), the studio focused on developing an understanding of spanning larger volumes with inquiries into material properties and geometry articulation through an iterative form generation process. This studio's provocation was to investigate how geometry is deduced from material properties, forces in the structure system and construction technologies.

For this studio, the students were asked to choose a site anywhere in the global context. Further, each site was investigated based on socio-cultural aspects along with terrain and climatic conditions. The programme on the site was the maker's space. Based on their study of the site, each student worked out what this maker space will be in that specific context - this was based on readings of the society, the landscape of people and their engagement and practices, social and cultural practices, etc. The material palette and geometric articulations were formulated through the local building practices, local craft and character, climatic and geographical conditions. Along with the initial site study, the students explored different engineers and architects who have explored materials and processes in varied contexts. Works ranged from Frie Otto's bubble experiments to sandbag experiments of Santiago Calatrava to origamic explorations to generate folded plate variations.

Based on this study, each student developed a base diagram for their programme. Each material presented the students with its potentials and limitations within which their structural system was optimized. The structural system ranged from portals, shell structures, folded plate forms, advanced slabs, and tensile structure. The students articulated the envelope according to climatic conditions and construction possibilities.  This envelope was evaluated through software for structural analysis, building physics - airflow, daylighting, and thermal comfort. Based on the conceptual understanding of the building envelope performance, the details for the same were designed and detailed.

The derived structural geometry and form were further articulated for spatial experience, programme, building systems and environmental considerations. This course traced the trajectory of the tectonic idea in the evolution of larger spans through precedent examples and tested the limits of material to span over larger volumes.  
Diwakar Motwani

In September 2018, the European Union approved a controversial copyright directive that gave record labels like Sony, Universal Studios, and various other collection societies a right. They can legitimately charge several existing content-hosting websites like Youtube and Instagram for hosting their content without a license. Thus, Article 13 obliged all these platforms to be legally responsible for the content they host, which even included memes!

Memes without their referential pictures are fundamentally dead, and a meme-making space was seen as an opportunity, which is further crafted by the spatial exploration of humour and diagrams. The site is in the Union parliament's immediate context and the national museum of Brussels, Belgium. The composition includes three boxes and several footbridges used along with the PTFE membrane. At the periphery of the roof, the skin consists of four-layered glass allowing optimum inlet solar radiance, and beam cross-sections are designed to channel water to the columns that flush it through the plinth. The skin is further designed to allow passive heating in the winters and passive cooling in the summers. The structure is detailed through modularity, where the assembly units are articulated to allow the structure to modulate.  

Smit Lakkad

The maker space's idea is to encourage Japanese traditional health care methods in Melbourne city, Australia. The geometry takes the form of a large roof that envelopes the whole structure, unifying the interior spaces. It sits around huge boulders which elevate the structure from the ground and some of which are included in the interior. There is an exciting play of light through skylights and openable building skin, which allows the exterior as habitable open spaces in dialogue with the interior air-conditioned rooms, proposing a new relationship with nature where indoors and outdoors blend. Based on environmentally sustainable construction methods, the building uses a composite of wood and steel for easy construction and stronger joineries.

Neel Shah

The maker's space articulated as a music studio and the concert hall located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The project revolved around sound and experiments on how brick can be used in long-span structure with the help of steel trusses. The form is derived by multiplying a structural unit number of times, each scaling the original unit. The project also attempts to control the quality of the light entering inside by using shading devices and skylights.