Thursday, May 1, 2014


This work is about 6 months old.  It can be regarded as a supplementary exercise, partially related to my more recent Gherkin studies.

The aim was to make an abstracted version of the Gherkin floor plate, highly parametric and configurable.  A form-finding tool to help you get your head around what happens when you rotate each successive floor by some angle or other.

This is all done in the standard family editor, no massing or adaptives.  I started out with a component with 6 arms (representing 6 lettable floor areas) and a variable outer radius.

Stack this up and vary the radius according to the position in the stack and you get something like a christmas tree, depending on how extreme you make the numbers.

Or it can look a bit more sensible.

At this stage, my parameters were looking something like this. Quite messy.  But the idea was to use some simple formulas to derive the offset & radius of a given ring from its position in the stack.

That was in the parent model.  The nested child looked like this. linking parameters through to instance parameters so I can place a whole bunch of these stacked rings in a project and play with them.

After a while it had cleaned up to something like this.  Now the N parameter is also driving a rotation angle.

Flushed with success I decided to vary the number of arms (or the number of voids, it amounts to the same thing.  So the nested family becomes a disc with a radial array of voids.

The voids themselves are sweeps based on a loaded profile.  The profile has 3 parameters which can be linked up so that they can also be driven from instance parameters in the stack.

I still have an inactive parameter in there for the number of floors.  I was hoping to figure out how to hook this up eventually, but it didn't happen.  The rings are just stacked up manually and given numbers by user input.

I guess it would be easy to do automate this with Dynamo, but I haven't crossed that bridge yet.  But I have got a family that is pretty flexible and can be layed out in a systematic manner to illustrate the permutations possible.

After that I made my stacks a bit taller and looked at some extreme cases.  By now I had made my floors much thicker so that they represented the entire habitable space, rather than just the floor slab.  This makes it easier to visualise the atrium spaces that spiral up and to see the little wedges of floor and ceiling that intrude into the atrium space, assuming that the side walls of remain vertical, as indeed they are in the Gherkin.

I decided it would be interesting to wander around my little city of stacked gherkin rings, so I exported to DWF and took a little walk using Design Review in perspective mode.

That's it really.  Nothing spectacular, but I enjoyed myself and it's something that could be taken further one day, perhaps with a bit of help from Dynamo.  I am trying to develop the idea of simplified abstract versions of a design concept that you can play with, much like we used to cut up pieces of carboard and fiddle around with them.

If you're interested, you can download the family from here  ....  actually it's not quite ready and I want to go home for the weekend, so maybe I'll upload the family on Sunday.  If that sounds confusing remember that we have a Friday/Saturday weekend :-)

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