- Key / Essential / Unique Design Features that you explored in your project.
- The most unique design feature is the flower-like geometry, which leads to the curved slanted facades and curved sloped roofs. This is an interesting feature but causes a lot of trouble. It affects windows, doors, columns, beams, and pipes. I ended up keeping one slanted curved curtainwall and two slanted curved regular walls. The rest of them are vertical with openings, patios, and overhangs. A key design feature is that different types of facades are associated with different functions and orientations of the rooms.
- Another essential feature is the skylight, atrium, and stairs in the middle. I forgot to mention this in the video, but the spiral stairs under the skylight are fairly smart designs that I’m proud of, and they are the main circulation of the building.
- Your Big Successes -- what worked very well and what features you're most proud to share as examples to inspire others.
- I managed to solve the difficulties created by the unique flower geometry. I was not able to place windows and doors appropriately on slanted walls, but then I decided to design different types of facades. Some of the space types like storage rooms, restrooms, and mechanical rooms do not need to have window openings. They have slanted wall facades. Some areas like offices, lobbies, conference rooms, and classrooms need daylight. They have curtainwalls or window openings on vertical walls.
- Your Big Challenges -- what aspects of the project created the biggest challenges and what would you do differently (in hindsight) to avoid or overcome these challenges.
- Structural designs are the most challenging part. Because of the geometry, I designed a beam system like a spiderweb. However, since the columns should not block the openings and some other important fixtures, I have to adjust the positions of the columns and beams. The maximum spans of beams should not be too wide as well. The maximum value is around 33 ft. In short, the beam systems do not seem like a regular spiderweb but should be supportive.
- The sloped roof and slanted walls are also challenging. Here is how I deal with them. I initially designed slanted columns, but then I figured they did not make any sense. The columns are all vertical, but the beams under the roof are slightly sloped.
- My building has interior walls of radial patterns. The partition walls are already difficult to design, and the piping system is even more difficult to place. I rotated the pipes and fixtures for multiple times.
- Lessons Learned -- what sage words of advice would you share with other students who are embarking on a similar project.
- I think the clarity of geometry is fairly important. Because of my complicated geometry, I have encountered a lot of difficulties creating structural systems, HVAC systems, and plumbing systems. I have managed to solve the problems of structural and plumbing systems. For the HVAC system design, I was not able to run the HVAC load report successfully. I think it is because the geometry is lack clarity. The report ran for hours and still could not calculate a result. I had to estimate the supply airflow myself based on space types and volumes. They are probably not accurate.
- The other thing is that the unclarity results in a weird energy model. It recognizes vertical walls, curtainwalls, windows, and doors, but it does not recognize slanted walls. The roof has some problems as well. Only one piece of it is recognized as a PV area. Therefore, the EUI calculation may not be accurate as well. More insights can be found in the presentation.
Video Presentation / Tour of Your Project Features
Here are the downloadable file versions and link versions in case one of them goes wrong. My video is around 14 minutes, a little longer than ten minutes.
Below are my design journal entries. I have edited their titles to make them clearer. From those journals, you will see my initial designs were a lot different from the final design. It has been a very useful and interesting journey that I have spent with the class. I really appreciate that.