The Town Council of Vinaròs held a competition for the design and construction of a restaurant and leisure area at the north end of the town’s Mediterranean seafront promenade. We decided to develop a parametric arboreal system in which all of the units were self-similar: both the structures that rest on the ground and those that rise up to expel fumes or take in light.
The structures are of 3 mm painted galvanized steel, thin enough to be easily cut and folded to create a continuous hollow structural element. The openings in the structure are filled with glazed and opaque surfaces, on which the LED lights are mounted. All of the structures have a hexagonal pattern that is deformed on a regular basis on the side facing the coast.
The process of fabricating these structures, involving the plasma cutting of some 1,736 different pieces, was an opportunity to experiment with the use of advanced manufacturing systems in which the architect directly produces the components of the project using parametric design and scripting programmes.
Extraction of the basic geometrical principles of a natural element from a study of its geometry, and the search for growth systems that can be generalized to all similar elements.
The members of any family of elements originating in nature have at one and the same time a similarity in their basic physiological and geometric characteristics and a certain formal diversity. From the great complexity of human beings, to all the trees in a forest, or the simplicity of a pebble in a river, to be natural means to be at once equal and different. Parametrizing serves to define the geometrical characteristics of a family of elements and to define the properties that permit their formal variability.
In order to parametrize an element of nature it is necessary to define a series of basic geometrical principles that define the essence of the element being studied. On the basis of these principles we can then define the variables and formulae with which the variations are produced to ensure that while the resulting elements share certain common characteristics they are nonetheless all different. Their reprogrammability means that having defined a certain parametric set, could be modified a project in real time if appear new conditions that modify it, unchanged their its basic characteristics.
The fabrication of a series of parametric objects, or the pieces that form a surface or a parametric structure is possible only where the production processes use machines such as laser cutters, three-dimensional printers or digital milling machines to manipulate the material directly, from the computer files used to draw up the project.
Date: 2007-2009 Architecture: Guallart Architects Main architects: Vicente Guallart, Maria Díaz Collaborators: Daniela Frogheri, Fernando Meneses, Luis Fraguada, Andrea Imaz, Theodora Christoforidou, Fotios Vasilakis Models: Christine Bleicher Construction: Lluquet Photographer: Adriá Goula