Saturday, October 30, 2010



Because my model was practically life size, I found it very hard to fit the entire thing on screen, but I did manage to capture some images that seem to be from a human perspective looking up. I also got some cool interior shots using the QR codes.


1: (-33.918441, 151.228121)

2: (-33.918407, 151.227952)


Final Interactive Poster/Link



Final Static Poster/Link


Draft Text


The Shell is a dynamic structure combining style, space- saving efficiency and environmentally friendly technology.

Each of the shell’s fifteen levels has been built from white-washed concrete and is cross-shaped, with each consecutive floor rotated ten degrees clockwise to achieve the spiral effect. Curved steel pylons provide external support, while two internal shafts provide additional strength while also housing the elevator and stairs.

Two way ramps provide quick and easy access to each level, with another connecting the ground floor with level three, serving to hasten traffic flow when the lower levels are congested.

Car parks built in city centres are often blamed for encouraging the daily commuting of motorists between the suburbs and the CBD. The Shell attempts to offset this by reducing its own carbon footprint significantly through its use of solar panels, which line the roof of the structure. These generate enough power to ensure that the shell is totally independent of electrical sources of energy.


The Vitra Design Museum:

The Shell has taken key forms and styles from the Vitra and attempted to somewhat rationalise them. Whereas the Vitra is an amalgamation of random geometric forms, the shell uses some of these shapes to create a more logical, coherent result, while still maintaining visual dynamism.

Why was the Vitra Museum used in the way it was?

The primary function of a multi-story car park is to save space, and therefore they must be efficient and compact in design. The “changing swirl of white forms” that characterises the Vitra Museum, while visually impressive, would have been unsuitable for meeting this requirement. Thus two main features of the museum were chosen - the cross and the spiral stair - and these were used to inspire a new structure that is both spatially efficient and interesting to look at. The other features used from the Vitra, namely the warped cube and the curved ramp, are simply tributes to Gehry’s design and to the way he was able to use random shapes to capture visual interest.

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao:

Another of Gehry’s buildings, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, demonstrates the sort of free-flowing, curvaceous quality that the Shell aims to capture. Its free-flowing curves give it an almost organic look, and the same can be said about the aptly named Shell, with its shape bearing a distinct similarity to a spiral sea shell.

The curved, flowing lines found on the Guggenheim, such as the one in the image above, relate well to the smooth curves of the Vitra’s spiral staircase, and it is the combination of these two elements that led to the concept for the Shell’s overall shape.

Draft Grid and Draft

For some inexplicable reason, blogger will not upload my draft grid and draft images, no matter what I do, so I have put them on megaupload. Sorry for the inconvenience! Here is the link:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Final Renders in Context

Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers

The Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers in Nagoya, Japan exhibit a similar spiral effect to the one I achieved, with much of my influence coming from this incredible structure.

Final Model

As the images below show, my concept has changed somewhat since my last update on my direction. Each floor has been rotated ten degrees further than the one below it, creating a spiral effect similar to that of the Vitra Museum's spiral staircase. The steel pylons on the exterior of my car park have been remodelled to fit the structure's new shape. This has moved my design away from Gehry's Rasin Building, but has brought it more into line with my case study's (the Guggenheim) curvaceous form. Most other elements remain unchanged, such as the cube above the main entrance and the curved ramp. Two central cylindrical pylons have been added inside the car park as extra support, doubling as the elevator and stair well. The ramps between each level have ended up as simple curves, but I think they work well with my overall design. I have also decided that the cross-shaped roof will be a solar panel, giving my design an environmentally friendly lean.

By remodelling the shape of my building I believe I have made the design more interesting, and more in keeping with the free flowing curves of some aspects of the Vitra Museum, as well as the Guggenheim. My car park bears definitive hallmarks of the Vitra but takes the randomness of the Vitra's design and converts it into a more ordered structure that fulfills the requirements of efficiency that every multi-story car park must do.

A3 Montage

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Texture Palette

Concrete - Will be the main material used. The ramps, roof, floors and central pylons will all be made primarily from it.

Wood - Will be used for details such as signs and doors.

Steel - Will be used for the external support pylons and the frames for the solar panel.

Solar Panel - To be positioned on the roof of the car park.

Yellow - This colour will be used to adorn certain details, such as signs, parking lanes, directional arrows and barriers.

Frank Gehry Case Study

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao:

The Guggenheim Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum, featuring permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. It is seen as one of the most important works of architecture completed since 1980, and is admired universally by critics, academics and the general public.

The curves on the museum were designed to appear random, and Gehry has been quoted as saying that “the randomness of the curves are designed to catch the light”.

The Guggenheim Museum is a prime example of Gehry's style and method. Like many of his other works, its structure consists of sculpted organic contours, with its reflective titanium panels resembling fish scales.

This organic affiliation is a feature commonly associated with Gehry’s work. Located as it is in a port town, the museum is designed to resemble a ship. Also typical of Gehry is the fact that the museum is a product of the technology of the time. Computer aided visualisations were used prominently in the design process. This enabled the construction of shapes that had previously been unfeasible.

The Museum was surprisingly completed on time and on budget, a rarity for architecture of its type. Gehry insists he achieved this through preventing political and business interests from interfering in the design process, formulating a detailed and realistic cost estimate before he began work, and using computer aided design to control costs during construction.

The Guggenheim Museum was constructed as part of a revitalisation effort for the city of Bilbao, and upon its opening became an immediate popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the globe. The building had been widely credited with placing Bilbao on the map.

- Wikipedia, “Guggenheim Museum Bilbao”,
- Great Buildings Online,
- DeTnk,
- "Building Anticipation",

Update on the Direction of my Re-representation

As my design has progressed, my vision has followed suit. My carpark is now much taller than five stories, as I had to add extra levels to compensate for the previously excessive ceiling height of each level. I have for now scrapped the idea of an external car park, which was going to slope up from the ground floor to level 3, reminiscent of the sloped form to the left of the Vitra Museum's main entrance. In its place I am constructing a curved ramp. However I have not ruled out an external car park altogether, and will explore further ways of incorporating one into my design. I have also scrapped the idea of using bright colours.

While I have attempted to somewhat rationalise the abstract nature of the Vitra Museum's design in my own structure through my repeated use of the cross shape, I will continue to add interesting features to my car park that will further highlight its origins in the Vitra Museum. These may include more use of white, further inclusion of solid forms, and the addition of more randomised geometric forms.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Further Research Into/ Development of Re-representation

Some renders showing my design's progress. As you can see, more floors have been added to bring the ceiling height down, and construction of the curved ramp has begun.

The spiral staircase of the Vitra Museum will be used in my design as ramps from one floor to the next.

The sloped form seen on the left of the Vitra Museum in the picture below has inspired a curved ramp running from the main entrance of my carpark up to level 3.

The warped cube above the main entrance of the Vitra Museum will be replicated above the main entrance of the carpark, to be used as a sign post.

The cross on the top of the Vitra Design Museum informs the overall shape of my design, and inspired the tilted glass and steel roof of my structure.

The warped nature of the external supporting pylons was influenced by Gehry's Rasin Building, seen below. These rough renders show them in a partially completed state. Internal pylons will also be added.

I am considering incorporating vibrant colour into my design, reminiscent of Gehry's Venice Beach House, seen below: