The Architectural Association Visting School Jordan: Project co.evo

The project is a proposal for an observation platform on the top of mount. Rum. Starting from the observation of rock formations, the project aim was to engage erosion processes as an active phenomenon to articulate project qualities both functionally (water collection) and aesthetically (definition of controlled surface erosion patterns).

The platform main articulation was defined by exploring many different spatial articulations and continuously verifying their capacity to create self-supporting structures through the use of the Millipede plug-in for Grasshopper. Multi-agent based strategies was then utilized to define surface patterns capable to intentionally drive the structure erosion during time and at the same time to act as water/moisture collection strategy.

The self-supporting structure was located on the mountain based on a simulation that articulated the easiest, shortest hiking path possible. The optimized structure is then set to engage erosion as natural phenomena to maintain the path, and continue altering the aesthetics of its form.

Simulation-informed design decisions

In the above simulation the location of the platform was articulated by the agents based on the modeled geometry of mount. Rum. The agents defined the easiest, shortest hiking route to the top of the mountain.

The platform was conceived as a self-supporting structure pointing towards three spectacular rock formations in the Jordanian desert. Three loads were used to kick-start the form finding process, resulting in the final optimized form.

The final form was then influenced by the simulated rainfall to carve into it tracks that would then point to the suggested water collection reservoir. The rain would also maintain and further carve the hiking track in the mountain.

The team utilized two analogue approaches to 3D printing with D-shape material, the first approach used an adjustable frame as a support and a track to move vertically as the process of spreading out sand layers and spraying them took place. The layers shape was an imprint of paper stencils. The final outcome of the first method confirmed that the sand to D-shape ratio demonstrated the desired mechanical properties.

The second approach used laser cut foam-boards that acted as an incremental form-work that was then removed when the sand hardened.

The material studies that were conducted focused on varying the source of the sand used and the ratios of sand to d-shape mixed.

AAVS Jo '13:

  • In Collaboration with Tala Fasheh, Mohammad Al-Majed, Adeen Ghaith, Hashem Joucka, Sounia Al Nimiri, Suha Hasan / Year 2013 / Directed by Riyad Joucka / Tutors Tommaso Casucci and Alessandro Zomparelli / Software used Rhino + Grasshopper and Millipede, Blender, Processing 2.0. / Materials used Sand from the Jordanian desert, D-shape