Tidal House
Terry.Terry Architecture

Tidal House

Terry & Terry Architecture as Architects

As part of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, the Collateral Event “Time Space Existence” at Palazzo Mora - This project explores an architecture that embraces environmental changes and proposes a structure that will ebb and flow with the tides, that will respond to predicted environmental changes, and that creates a community to exist in harmony with the sea and our coastal landscape in perpetuity.


Borrowing and shrinking the scale of the technology of mobile offshore drilling units and exploratory platforms, the structures are designed to relocate as necessary. Legs are deployed to or retracted from the bottom of the Bay using a rack and pinion gear system. Each leg operates independently from the others as a leveling device, and people can set the structures as close to the surface of the water as desired or as needed when anchoring. The aerodynamic spherical roof withstands great winds and provides ample surface area for integrated electricity-generating photovoltaics.


The San Francisco Bay Area is geologically young. Twenty thousand years ago, the Bay did not exist. A warming event that lasted ten thousand years caused ice sheets to melt. Valleys filled with water, hills submerged, and land was lost to the watery bounds of the Bay. Today, a more rapid climate disruption brings various natural disasters with an increased frequency worldwide, and coastal regions like the Bay Area are highly susceptible to the effects. Rising tides are alarming. Nature’s dynamic forces cause erosion, tides rise as much as several centimeters per year, and coastal populations are increasing. Tidal House community is built around a floating dock that weaves the structures together and connects them to the shore. The structures are laced to the dock with adjustable gangways, and each structure has a retractable platform that allows people to reach the water and provides boat mooring. Depth of water will vary along the dock, and each structure will be subject to unique conditions related to its position along the dock. The density of each community will vary through time, as each structure will relocate in response to its unique environmental conditions.


This case study explores a simple dwelling within a small neighborhood. The design concept can adapt to different lifestyles, programs, and can evolve to accommodate a wide range of communities. The challenge for the architecture is to be able to adapt when space and time change.


On Exhibit 28 May through 27 November 2016

Tidal House

Moddler as 3D Printing

We were contacted in March of 2016 by Alex at Terry and Terry Architecture to help produce 3d prints for their Tidal House model project.


Together we nailed down the full scope of the project, including exactly what elements needed to be printed and how they would be incorporated into the final model (e.g. attaching prints to acrylic base, sizing and how the prints would be separated out for optimal printing and post-assembly).


Once we have the final count and sizing. I began modifying the existing Tidal house models provided by Terry and Terry. This required some modification to the wall thicknesses for structural integrity, As well as sizing the support poles height and thickness to allow for attachment to the houses themselves and allow variation in height. Other modified elements include separating walkway and the house entrance ramps and dock elements with keys to allow for seamless alignment when assembling the prints.


Once the file modifications were finalized and signed off on, by Terry and Terry. We proceeded to print a total of 11 houses with 3 variations. Printing was done our Objet Eden 500v in VeroWhite material, an acrylic based photopolymer resin. The 500v prints with an amazing 16 micron layer thickness, thinner than a strand of hair. The build bed is roughly 20"x15"x11" allowing us to print all the elements of the project at once in under 10 hours. After printing we use a combination on hand cleaning, water jetting and a lye bath clean the support from the parts, leaving the parts sparkly clean and ready to be turned over to Terry and Terry Architecture.

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