Good news!

I have recently been contacted regarding my (and Vlassis Ntaoulias) entry project to the Treehousing competition from the XIV World Forest Congress held this September in Durban, South Africa, and I am happy to announce that our work will be included in a poster exhibition next year. I will post more information before the launch of the exhibition. Go team Merchants.  To see the project please visit Isihlangu Towers.


So recently I finished working on my first competition entry and I didn’t want to post anything about it before the results were released. Today’s morning was the ‘judgement day’. My team didn’t win and we could have done more, but that was our best for the given time and circumstances. However it is worth mentioning the level of our work was really close to the winning student prize project…. (For more check: Isihlangu Towers)

ISO A1 Layout

Solo Houses: When Architects Are Given Carte Blanche

After searching for completely different things I found an amazing experiment called “Solo Houses” featuring number of houses. All the designs are interesting ,but what got my attention was the Casa Faustino by Didier Faustino. It has been quite a while since the last time I have seen a building with both unusual and well considerate design. This house was designed by the French-Portuguese architect Didier Faustino better known for his experimental installations. It is a 2,260 sq ft house made from box-like volumes in a mountain/forest environment. What I like is that each box frames a view of the surrounding landscape in such way as it is a composed piece of art. Of course this is only how it looks on the renders, I doubt the house was built, but it definitely made a clear point of how important poetics is in architecture and that we should find the beauty around us and capture it in our buildings.

To browse through all the houses visit Solo Houses.

Casa Faustino / Didier Faustino. Image ©, via Solo Houses
Casa Faustino / Didier Faustino. Image ©, via Solo Houses
Casa Faustino / Didier Faustino. Image ©, via Solo Houses


ZHA Kartal Pendik Masterplan Breakdown

I undertook this project to learn more about the use of parametric systems in urban design. My intentions were to recreate the Kartal Pendik Masterplan and understand the principles behind it. As this is an ongoing project I do not expect to create exact copy of the project, but to get myself thinking in a linear logical way despite the experimental nature of the project. Here is some more information on the project by the lead architect Patrick Schumacher: The project is to constitute a sub-centre on Istanbul’s Asian side to release the pressure on the historic centre. The site is being reclaimed from industrial estates and is flanked with the small grain fabric of sub-urban towns. The parametricist taboo of unmediated juxtapositions implied that we took the adjacent context – in particular the incoming lines of circulation – as an important input for the generation of the urban geometry. Maya’s hair dynamic tool achieved a parametrically tuned bundling of the incoming paths into larger roads enclosing larger sites. The resultant lateral path system that exhibits the basic properties of Frei Otto’s minimizing detour network. The longitudinal direction was imposed via a primary artery with a series of subsidiary roads running in parallel.(Schumacher,2008) For more information please watch the video .

Download link to  project files package

Wool-thread Definition
Wool-thread definition
Wool-thread simulation
Marek Kolodziejczyk, Wool-thread model to compute optimised detour path networks, Institute for Lightweight Structures (ILEK), Stuttgart, 1991

Depending on the adjustable parameter of the thread’s sur-length, the apparatus – through the fusion of threads – computes a solution that significantly reduces the overall length of the path system while maintaining a low average detour factor. (Schumacher,2008) However the following experiment is developed using Rhino and Grasshopper instead of Maya, so the results are similar. The definition logic is to connect the intersection points between the area of interest and the major road and thus to create a network. It is then refined by deleting the connections which do not meet the criteria: fall outside the domain of [400,2000] metres length and form angles outside the domain of [0,60] degrees with the area boundary at their end points. The successful lines are then used in wool-thread model simulation.

Deformed Grid Definition_ts_240915
Kartal Pendik Analysis Definition
Progression_080515 to 120515
Wool-thread simulation output

24.09.15 After a few months break from the project I had some thoughts how to push it further. Next steps I made were towards the next stage of the project – developing deformed grid. Guessing exact parameters is almost impossible, so instead many sliders were included in the definition for manual control. These were used to achieve the most similar variation of the grid to the original design. It may have been said somewhere above in a true parametric design the manual work should be kept to minimum, because often behind such manually controlled sliders are parameters based on intensive research. However lets continue. The deformed grid was developed by using the boundary curve of the area of interest ,which was broken into 4 parts- North, East, West and South. I this particular scenario the East/West pair seem to play crucial role, because their are longer than the North/South pair which means having more site information. The main idea for the deformed grid is adaptation or integration (which ever is more appropriate) to the surrounding context. Apart from East/West curves another constant is the design is the central spine curve. Using the best to fit method several curves longitude curves where created by ‘tweening’ the E/W curves and the central spine curve at specific parameters. These longitude curves serve as the base of the deformed grid. They are split into segments and the control points are use to move to or away from preselected attractor and repeller points to create the later deformed grid design. The final longitude and latitude curves are used to split the area into regions/blocks which were off setted inwards to create the roads. For more detailed breakdown follow the Grasshopper definition above.

Deformed Grid Animation
Grid Deformation Animation
Deformed Grid_ps_240915
Deformed Grid

21.05.16 To finalise the project the region are extruded. The extrusion options are endless. Below are shown extrusion by distance of regions to middle curve, which creates a valley effect and extrusion by size of region, following ‘the larger the taller’ logic.

Volumes by distance to mid curve (Left) Volumes by area m2 (Right)