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Parametric Architecture

We are attracted to parametric design as a resource with which it is possible to achieve efficiency and fidelity between the design concept and result of a project. Through geometric and algorithmic relations, it also forms a bridge between traditional architectural production and new technological possibilities.

At the moment, Zaha Hadid and J. MAYER H. are leading the way in parametric design. Others whom we follow closely include Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, SANAA and Herzog and de Meuron. They manage to combine parametric design tools and traditional manufacturing to obtain elegant results.

Exemplary projects in parametric design include the Serpentine Gallery, UK pavilion for the Shanghai Expo and interior design for Starbucks Coffee Dazaifu. The Serpentine Gallery by Sou Fujimoto produces different volumetric and spatial experiences using only two materials: acrylic and steel. Its ephemeral nature allows full integration into the context. From these three examples, Heatherwick Studio’s UK pavilion is the one that can be understood as an iconic object given the significant burden it represents. It becomes an inspiration for the consistency between concept and built project. Kengo Kuma’s design for Starbucks Coffee is a very well-made intervention using low-tech resources applied to wooden construction, obtaining a sophisticated image.

Our design for the Pavilion Ricchezze is created as a differentiated space for the exhibition of furniture. The sculptural shape of complementary curves arises from the ergonomy of a seat and the emulation of wood grain. The key idea was to use MDF, the material used to fabricate the exhibited furniture, as a material for design. The space was modulated from standard MDF panels and the geometry and arrangement of trimming curves were designed to achieve zero waste.

By Mercedes Escudero, BarriosEscudero

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