Triquetra was a semester-long project that began as an exploration into the modeling methodologies of 4 architects; Candela, Fisac, Otto, & Isler. To explore each of these methodologies students were divided into four teams, my team was assigned Heinz Isler. Each exploration involved recreating and exploring different materials and methodologies. Much of Isler’s architectural exploration involved dipping and draping different materials into materials like clay, plaster, and concrete and then suspending them to create unique architectural forms when inverted. Likewise, we pursued a similar exploration making use of different materials and tensile structures in order to generate different forms. The exploration of all of these methodologies culminated in a competitive midterm review in which each team presented their vision for a pavilion made using the methodologies of their architects. Team Heinz Isler won, and the remainder of the semester was spent refining and testing forms and materials for the final design. the testing consisted of 3 main explorations:
From these numerous tests; the materials, structure, and construction method was finalized for the final pavilion. The pavilion form consists of sewn cheesecloth whose form is generated through tension using fiberglass rods. This form is then solidified and reinforced with cast hydrocal Plaster that is manually placed on the form. Before construction on the final pavilion was started, an algorithmic model was made with Grasshopper (more specifically with the plugins: kangaroo and karamba). This was done to test the shape and material properties of the pavilion as well as determine the distances on the wooden bases that anchor and add tension to rods that stretch and support the structure. After this was done, construction and completion of the pavilion , now named Triquetra for its 3 arc structure, was undertaken by all of the groups collectively.
Grasshopper and its plugins Kangaroo and Karamba were used throughout this project to test and experiment with different forms. It allowed for the more complex simulation of gravity, materials, and structures before going into physical prototyping.