Hasib Momand
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Space of the poché

If walls perform a function of separation and connection, can they not perform other functions simultaneously? Can the walls become active participants in the spaces we inhabit?
Site selection based on open space

The open space immediately north of Sheldon is a nice and quite space. The trees in this area provide shading from the sun.
Site selection based on seating

Existing seating areas were mapped to identify seating patterns. The seating map reveals areas of site that could benefit from seating furniture.
Site selection based on circulation

A critical volume of students pass through the site quickly, specially during hot Nebraska summers, by providing shelter and an object to interact with, traffic will slow down which in return turns focus to Sheldon Museum of Arts' Garden, while providing a pleasant outdoor experience.
Selected site

Overlaid site information reveals the highlighted spot to be an ideal site for the wall. Based on the idea of needed seating in the area and the goal of slowing down traffic in order to turn focus to Sheldon Garden, it was proposed that the wall incorporate an element of seating.
Wall development

The user interface with the wall was the first point of departure for the design in that seating platforms were extruded out of a monolithic block. The immediate problem that became evident due to extrusions was the harsh and sharp edges of the platforms for seating purposes.
Wall development

These sharp edges were softened by blending mass of the platforms with mass of the wall. The result was an organic continuous surface that was seemingly malleable.
Wall development

Apertures are added so further form development can happen with respect to views created by apertures.
Wall development

Quick orthogonal drawings are generated to help increase precision of the design and study the wall and its anthropometric properties.
Wall development process

Skin is fine tuned point by point with the aid of curvature map to ensure soft transitions across the skin.
Wall development process

At this stage, the design of the wall on the computer is stopped and the process of manually manufacturing the wall is started. One of the constraints of the project is that no digital fabrication processes can be used.
Clay blocks

No digital manufacturing processes can be used. Because of this, the digital model can only be used as a guide and measurements have to be transferred manually. Initially, clay models are built to generate an form approximately the same as the digital model which would later be transferred to a plaster model.
Plaster block

The plaster block is manually carved using the digital model as a guide. The plaster block is used to generate the skin of the wall.
Cloth skin

The first skin idea is to laminate multiple layers of cloth with glue to give the skin form and rigidity. The process for this method is tedious, time consuming and the final result is too flimsy to make for a rigid surface that withstands the elements.
Aluminium foil skin

The aluminium skin uses layers of thin aluminium foil laminated together using glue. The white finish on the surface is acrylic Gesso. While this method of generating the skin works, it is extremely costly to produce a skin thick enough to withstand the elements.
Bake clay skin

Bake clay is similar to clay used for hobby projects but it hardens and holds a rigid form when dehydrated in the oven. The problem with bake clay is that the entire skin needs to be baked at once. This manufacturing process is still costly at 1:1 scale and one would have to rent a firing kiln. This would cost a lot.
Plaster block 2

Before any more skin testing can happen, students are asked to scale up to a 3/4" scale from a 1/2". This bigger block is created as a new base for testing skin materials. Notice that the form of the block is also updated from the previous iteration.
Plaster with mesh

Plaster with mesh seems to be the most promising solution (despite the failed model here). Although the 1:1 scale model would be made out of concrete and wired mesh as reinforcement, the process remains the same and in the representational model plaster with cloth mesh is used.
Final skin

After many iterations and trial and error, the perfect combination of plaster to mesh is found and the final skin is created from the plaster block.
Reverse engineering process

The plaster block is created manually by carving the block bit by bit while using the previously made digital model as a guide to for carving. In areas that the plaster is broken in chunks or too much is carved, modelling clay is used to fine tune the form and get it closer to the digital model.
Reverse engineering process

Even with the modelling clay, it is hard to accurately transfer a computer model to the real world; the block is cut into sections and each section profile is traced transferred to the computer using a scanner. The newly created digital model is used to further manipulate the design and allow for measured drawings to be created.
Computer model 2

The skin modified to allow for sunlight and views.
Structural system

Structural system is simulated with respect to the skin.
Mock-up model

Full mock-up model is built to give insight into construction details and assembly.
Final model assembly

Primary, secondary and tertiary structural members are assembled.
Final model assembly

Skin is implanted with wires that get welded to the secondary structure.
Final model assembly

Finish coating is applied.
Final model

View of primary & secondary structures through apertures.
Final model

Skin attachment detail.
Final model

Side view, looking north.

Although the end product was the desired object that addressed site conditions, the process through which the design was realized was the most important aspect of the project. The constraint of not using computer manufacturing posed a design challenge: precision of manufacturing & design development through manual processes.

[Fall Semester 2010 - Work retained for accreditation purposes]

[Instructor: Peter Olshavsky]

Although the wall is often a passive element, it performs a crucial and powerful role in the composition of architectural spaces. Walls are created as an act of spatial demarcation in the same way that a line delineates the surface of a drawing, denoting a division between two areas that once were one. What are walls made of? Why do we typically pochè between the parallel lines delineating a wall in an architectural drawing? If walls perform a function of separation and connection, can they not perform other functions simultaneously? Can the walls become active participants in the spaces we inhabit? Can the pochè of walls be activated to accommodate function and occupation and become contributors to the functions adjacent to them? Do the systems that make up a wall have to be concealed in the wall, covered as if they are unattractive and displeasing to the eye?

Constraints of the project

Proportion/pattern requirements:

Structure/framework requirements:

Dimensions of wall are 3'w x 12'h x 24'l