vendredi 22 janvier 2010

# Project Carbon by Yaohua Wang

Project Carbon is a project designed by Yaohua Wang for Peter Testa's Sci-Arc studio. Its level of achievement is remarkable since Project Carbon presents a real engineering innovation associated with a very interesting level of poetry (whether it is in its architectonicity or in its representation) and a real interest for the construction means.
A lot of so called innovative vertical urban design are visible nowadays without really bringing any degree of innovation, however Yaohua's project introduces a very smart interpretation to what Peter Testa already achieved with his carbon structures.

Here is the text related (once again, I particularly recommend the animation below for its high level of didacticity):


Material is always one of the most important driving forces for the evolution of architecture. Nowadays, architecture are facing greater challenges than ever in the contexts such as climate changing and urbanization, but also are given greater opportunities with the emerging of new materials. Carbon fiber is one of those 'Pioneer materials' with the advantages such as lightweight, good continuity, excellent tensile and the construction process that closely linked with the automated machinery. Meanwhile, as all the other materials, carbon fiber is not a material of perfection---it has weak compressive strength.
Project Carbon makes an attempt at using carbon fiber to create new opportunities for architecture's spacial quality, visuality and micro/macro climatology. Also, the project dives into the practical carbon fiber construction process.
Two diverse material systems work together for Project Carbon: the internal steel cages contain the multiple functions of the building; while the external carbon fiber layer works for the structural and environmental function of the building. Steel cages are arranged in a precarious condition which is usually purposely avoided but here works perfectly for keeping the carbon fiber layer in tension rather than compression. A new possibility of architecture section is created by taking advantage of the interaction between these two systems: the linear load transfer mechanism in the traditional skyscrapers is one of the key restraints in creating new skyscraper section; this type of load transfer mechanism is substituted by using carbon fiber to disperse the load in a 'field condition', which leads to the freedom of the section formed by those steel cages. In the meantime, the three diverse layers of carbon fiber serve different functions. For example, the environmental layer composed by dense carbon fiber strings is not only working for bearing horizontal load but also functions as a blur boundary between interior and exterior, providing new opportunities such as shading and natural ventilation.


The traditional construction methods and the sequence that the construction solution comes after the architectural formal design become inapplicable in the Project Carbon. From the very beginning of the project, the architectural form is generated by taking into consideration the construction methods and creating a way to make these two working together. The distinct construction process of carbon fiber makes the involvement of robot important than ever. Two types of robots called construction machine 1/CM1 and construction machine 2/CM2 engage in completely different tests: the former is used for the construction of the 30cm diameter carbon fiber main structure; the latter is responsible for the creation of the 15cm diameter en-winding layer. The detail construction sequence is: firstly, CM1 will finish the braiding of the first linear layer of carbon fiber structure; secondly, the crane let down the prefabricated independent steel cages into the initial carbon fiber layer, meanwhile, CM2 will finish the second looping layer of carbon fiber structure; lastly, CM2 with operator will finish the last step of en-winding layer of carbon fiber structure.

Testa X_Lab final presentation from Foral on Vimeo.

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