Free Form Facade for OIC Headquarter
Image 1: OIC Headquarter with landscape and tower.

The OIC Headquarter consists of a large free form landscape and a 162 m high tower clad with anodized aluminium.
Landscape. The landscape covers an area of approx. 285 x 175 m. The geometry of the landscape is based on a single parametric element. It was instanced in countless variations by exploiting the power of the parametric CATIA constructive solid geometry kernel. Class-A surfaces were created by sustaining C2 continuity throught the whole landscape.
Beneath the landscape there are three conference halls, the welcome lobby and a large parking area.

Image 2: CAD model of the landscape in CATIA.
Image 3: Simulation of the naturally lit facade geometry (Jeddah, 6 p.m., July 1).

Tower. The tower accomodates the main administrative tasks of the OIC. The geometry of the tower facade resembles two ribbons, which are wound around it. The ribbons are materialized in 311 individually shaped tiles, made of anodized aluminium. To handle the complex geometry, a software was developed which allows to generate the geometry algorithmically. This allowed to easliy test the visual appearance of various modifications (such as the lateral dilation of facade elements, eventuality of buckling,...). Thereby, several geometrical constraints had to be considered (such as developability) .

A number of different facade materials were tested. Their physical interaction with light was measured by a specialized method. The interaction with natural light was then simulated by an unbiased, physically correct algorithm for several instants in time (see Fig. 3). In addition, a number of material properties (such as surface roughness, mesh type, application of bumps) were optimized for visual appearance.

The substructure of each aluminium tile consists of a steel tubular frame. Naturally, also the substructure was created on an algorithmic basis. The resulting models can be used directly for prefabrication of the facade parts.

To ensure an interesting visual appearance throughout the year, several natural lighting studies were carried out. They consider the physical reflection properties of the material as well as the local atmospheric properties (such as the planet albedo, ozone contents and aerosol properties) (see Fig. 4).

Image 4: Physical simulation of the natural lighting effects of the facade (several instants in time from dusk till dawn for July 1, geographical position and atmospheric conditions for Jeddah city).
Considerable 3D free form detailing went into the geometrical construction of various other parts of the project, most notably the fences surrounding the landscape. Their inclination follows the shape of the landscape tangentially. The lamellae of the fence are oriented towards the local center of curvature of the railing (see Fig. 5).
Image 5: Geometrical construction of the fences.



Project in cooperation with Thomas Pucher GmbH, Graz.
Sample Applications

3D Geometry

Physical Simulations


Space Sociology

Free Project Assessment

A Free Project Assessment from Ninsight

Here's your opportunity to find out if Ninsight can help you to solve your architectural problems.
If you have an architectural problem and want a quality solution complete our online information form. We will forward this request the most appropriate engineer who will contact you to discuss your problem directly.

Home | Biomechanics | Engineering | Architecture | Seminars | Contact
This site is protected by copyright and trademark laws under International law. All rights reserved.