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Amphibious Hamburg: Parametric Designs for an Olympic Aquatic Centre

Exhibition in Hamburg

An exhibition of the results of work carried out in the Academy for Architectural Culture (acc), at Campus Rainvilleterrasse from 7 to 25 July 2014
Address: Rainvilleterrasse 4, 22765 Hamburg / Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10.00 to 18.00 o’clock

In the first lab, the aac will investigate how the design process changes through the use of parametric design approaches on its geometric, material and structural level. The exploration is based on a specific design task and the parametric modelling environment of Rhino/Grasshopper. The lab is conducted in cooperation with CITA (Centre for Information Tech­nology and Architecture) at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

Tool or new architectural form of expression?
A device to optimize or a magic wand for constructions with free form?
Design supporting or design generating medium?
A new way to the same objective?

The institute CITA of The Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, School of Architecture, an innovative, young research unit, investigates the interface between architecture and digital technology. Their main area of focus is related to potentials for architecture that emerge from novel computational tools and their subsequent integration into the architectural design and production process. CITA pursues a practice based approach in which physical prototypes and demonstrators are a key mean of research into the interface between the digital and the material. Here digital design tools are seen as an enrichment of the architectural tool set which will allow the profession to continuously find simple solutions in an increasingly complex and specialised environment.

The new swimming stadium with leisure pool for Hamburg has been selected as a specific design brief for the practical approach to the digital design process. Once again we were able to base the brief on a real scenario. Both Hamburg districts HafenCity and Veddel are growing continuously, the demand for a centrally located swimming pool for the inhabitants has emerged. The “Kleiner Grasbrook” is centrally located between the two districts on the southern side of the river Elbe. The “Kleiner Grasbrook” constitutes an exemplary port side industrial site with a centuries-old history, fallen derelict due to the transformation from general cargo port to a container port. Additionally, due to its special location, it offers a stunning view over the River Elbe to the Hamburg skyline. Also, in parallel, the city of Hamburg wishes to develop the area of the “Kleiner Grasbrook” into an international sports complex of Olympic dimension. The proposed swimming stadium is part of an unmistakable gesture towards a future Olympic bid.

Based on this scenario, in this Research Lab we will approach the brief both in a classic way and with the support of methodically parametric design. Special attention will be drawn to aspects such as materials, construction and light as well as general topics of the structural and urban development.

The objective of this two-week Research Lab is to introduce and apply parametric design approaches. Lectures and tutorials introduce the programmes and the architectural challenges of the brief. The participants may test (dis-)advantages, the potentials and constraints as well as the possible limits of this methodology in their own design proposal. Regarding that, how will we then answer the question of meaningfulness and identity of form and construction? Immediately following the two-week lab the results of the Research Lab will be presented to the public at Campus Rainvilleterrasse.