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CHAPTER 1 View The Architecture From A Parametric Perspective


Harbin Opera House / MAD

This is one of my favorite architectures designed by one of my favorite architects Ma Yansong. This building has “dangerous curves”. And it is a continuation of the natural environment as it becomes part of the landscape.

In my first sight, it uses two keys, wireframe & discretize

About wireframe, this approach aims to develop the perceptual framework of a shape. From the structural point of view, it is associated with particle-spring structural simulation methods, which attribute to the vertices the role of centres of mass and application of loads, and to the lines the role of elastic elements. The relationship between architectural configuration and structural reasoning can also be recognised in Arnheim’s atatement “the perception of shape [is] the grasping of generic structural features”. Although the reference in this case is to geometric-cognitive structures.

The building has the perceptual framework of a shape. I could see that an amazing relationship between building and city, and nature and human had been realised.

About discretize, it means finding the smallest particle that can describe the whole. It means working on the texture that generates the perception of form. In this case the element is not just an object supporting something else but the real protagonist of the composition. The challenge in this kind of approach is to find the balance between the continuity of the form and the discontinuity of the components; if the components are too irregular in shape, material, colour, surface treatment, and spatial arrangement, the result will be an indecipherable form.

We can see a strong form of the glass curtain wall system. The constant repetition of diamonds, squares and lines enhances the visual effect, giving a strong sense of space.

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