The focus of this studio led project was to design a ceiling system within a new Jury Space in the Architecture Building for the University of Houston. The studio I was a part of developed a Ceiling Cloud that clips on to a modified suspended ceiling grid using lightweight folded aluminum panels that are designed to incrementally change dimension and drape into the space below. Constraints and variables within the parametric models allowed for the optimization and extraction of 150 unique panels that are also perforated with their own individual pattern. The variations in the folded surface disburse and dissipate sound through refraction and absorption created by the corrugation in the panels and their perforation. The holes are also calibrated as a gradient to allow more light to penetrate in the center of the space away from the walls which will be lit with exhibition wall armature lighting.
Recently the project won 1st place on the FAB Research Cluster at the Architectural Association in London 2009 AA|FAB Awards for this project.
The list of people involved are: Scott Marble, visiting critic (Marble Fairbanks/Columbia GSAPP); Andrew Vrana and Joe Meppelink, adjunct professors (University of Houston College of Architecture/METALAB); Rajaa Issa, paneling tools and grasshopper parametric software support (McNeel & Associates); and Ambox Limited (CNC laser cutting). Studio students were Eric Arnold (lighting and acoustics); Hugo Palma (modularity), Preetal Shah (patterning); Jonathan Aljets (display systems); Fabian Vargas (fabrication); and Alan Nguyen (parametric design). The digital fabrication seminar consisted of Marco Teran, Travis McCarra, Jenny Macedo, Lara Hamilton, Agustin Prebisch and Alex Smith.