3535 Hayden Detail Abstraction

Project for a class about tectonics at The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), instructors John Bohn and Alexis Rochas, 2015

with Jordan Hartman, Cristina Macia Briedis, Dennis Huynh and Aakash Shah

This project undertook a study of a particular detail from Eric Owen Moss Architects3535 Hayden Building. In studying the joint between wooden timbers, a steel plate and bolts, the project examined the necessary spaces and elements in an architectural composition as productive grounds for interpolation.

The project sought both to particulate the detail as an architectural intervention into an existing condition and to examine our contemporary modes of architectural documentation, particularly in the emerging case of photogrammetry software.

Techniques of 3D scanning were compared with idealized reconstructions, from which a model was abstracted to represent the material seams and discontinuities.

This facilitated the reconstruction of an idealized geometry for the detail, from which texture, hierarchy and arrangement could be representationally and formally explored as methods for describing intersection.

If tectonics are about bringing together a wide array of materials and forms, this project undertook a precise examination about what exactly it entails in terms of materials and organizations to make such situations both occur and function.

Axonometric and elevation views of abstracted detail object

Understanding the object as a mesh rendering of itself approximated the abstraction and material indifference of the computer, consequently flattening the understanding of material joinery that has for so long constituted the disciplinary prerogative of architectural tectonics, in senses both documentary and representational.

Axonometric and elevation views of abstracted detail object, rendered in mesh wireframe