Re-thinking Structure

Presenter: joseph di bella

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
Student Type: Graduate
PI: Joseph Di Bella
Award Winner Category: Humanities and Arts

Thermodynamics and adaptability in design have become challenging topics in today’s architectural practice. Over time, many buildings fail to adapt to new program types which decreases their resiliency and life-span. Our proposal aims to solve the design challenges at hand through an innovative exoskeleton structure paired with a strategic massing framework. The innovative exoskeleton creates the shell for an extremely adaptable interior.

Firstly, the uniquely shaped diagrid structure takes on a passive role. This innovative exoskeleton enhances thermal comfort through complete shading in the summer months while allowing for full heat gain during winter months. Secondly, the adaptability challenge is addressed by using the concrete exoskeleton to maximize interior flexibility. In order to maximize adaptability, the massing responds to a framework of “soft” and “hard” program, which impels the level of mechanical systems used. The “soft” and “hard” program is further divided into sizes of small, medium and large, in order to easily fit various future program types.