Each tower begins as a mass made of three skins layered on top of each other and each skin has a different form of articulation (clean, corrupted, and paneled). Working without an envelope also allows for a new coherency between architectural elements to be explored. Columns can be inflated or de-laminated into volumes seamlessly resulting in a new type of relationship between inside and outside. Central cores can be carved away or bulged out in order create spatial conditions that further integrate the more standard from of design (such as a core) with more unique conditions without having to create separation between the two.
Christoph Korner outlines the major themes of Graft’s practice, stressing being prepared to recognize inspirations, and to take advantage of serendipitous encounters. Lars Krückeberg surveys Graft’s work, moving from small to large projects, including exhibits, retail, a dental clinic in Berlin, a zero-energy house for Kuala Lumpur, apartments, cultural facilities, hotels, a green mixed-use development in Dubai, and projects in China for eco-tourism and skiing. Krückeberg also surveys some of Graft’s activities outside of architecture, including furniture design, the Make It Right project in New Orleans, a therapeutic intensive care room, and Solar Kiosk sustainable recharging stations in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Wolf Prix begins by speaking of Raimund Abraham as a friend and founding father for a generation of Viennese architectural rebels. He identifies in Viennese architecture from the Baroque to now a concern with spatial sequences. He surveys many works by Abraham from the 1950s and 1960s, relating them to his own work, and work by Hans Hollein, Walter Pichler, and Günther Domenig. Prix discusses the importance of drawing in his own work, and in the work of Abraham. He concludes by discussing recent projects, including the Dalian International Conference Center (2012); the Open Parliament of Albania project (designed 2011); the House of Music II, Aalborg, Denmark (2014); a small church in Hainburg, Austria (2011); and the European Central Bank, Frankfurt (2014).
The next step was to begin carving into the packed geometry as a way to create interior space that can be occupied. There are five chunks that are oriented onto the site. Each chunk has its insides ripped out so that floor plates may be placed inside. Secondary and tertiary geometry is created to mitigate between and provide structure for the chunks which appear to float in the space. There are two moments of occupation within the space. The first is inside a carved chunk, where most of the program resides. The second is outside of the chunks but still inside the spcae, which is primarily used for circulation along with other, smaller portions of program. This separation allows the inhabitant to both experience the chunks as a space but still be able to view them as things within a space.
Painting: The project revolves around the idea of using the Chiaroscuro effect as a way to create and manipulate three-dimensional space within a two dimensional drawing or image. This is done by using conventional drawing techniques, such as hatching, in new ways to represent shade and shadow. The layering of these hatching techniques may either enhance shadow, produce fake shadow (where shade is literally painted on) or flatten areas of the image in order to produce moments of ambiguity within each drawing.
Projection: Projection in orthographic view is one of the techniques used to created the imagery. The projection of shade and shadow onto 3 Dimensional objects like a sphere or square give new insight to how we understand depth within a 2 Dimensional image. Animated projection was also used by projecting animated shadow movements onto a sectional relief model to produce and object whose depth is continuously changing and being altered.
Geometry: The geometry was created on an outside first, inside second process. The outside geometry is meant to be a convex, multi-sided object that has been smoothed to remove any hard edges, much like a weathered rock. This produces a sort of Michael Meyers (Halloween mask) type effect. A single hard edge and sculpted cut out of the object gives it a point to be oriented against. Instances of shadow were then interpreted and painted on the outside to produce levels of ambiguity within the object, moments where you are unsure if geometry extends into darkness or brightness or if it stops short. The inside of the object is separated from the outside, rather than just an offset, these squares intersected by spheres allow us to understand the difference between a hard edge and a soft “edge” and how the projection of imagery can enhance or fake those moments.
Hatching: Hatching was the primary technique used to interpret shade and shadow and is what helps tie the entire project together by giving a single direction to the hatching that is continuous throughout the project. Different densities of hatch help darken, lighten, flatten, or add contrast to each image and the single type of hatch in the same direction do not over clutter the composition. Diagonal structured components were used to enforce the direction of the imagery.
The project is meant to explore new ways of understanding how designers create and read projects through orthographic images and the projection of imagery onto 3 dimensional objects. This project is about the drawing and how it can translate into other mediums.
Here, the final geometries are finished, as the entire volume of program has been packed with different layers of surfaces and volumes that sit inside and bridge between one another. It is a jungle-like effect, where upon first glance, the composition appears messy and uncontrolled, yet when one pays close enough attention to the detail, there is a high level of organization found within the layering, folding, and overlapping of geometry. Self intersection is non-existent.