Wednesday, March 20, 2013


So what is the lasting significance of the Glass Pavilion? Or even what is the significance of any architectural endeavor after it is complete? Or is the process developed to get to an end what is really important? In the case of more permanent structures, they may be valued for their programmatic versatility. Others like the Parthenon, though it may currently have little programmatic use, is still valued for its beauty. Many wonder at its superior construction. How could such a structure have been built without the aid of computer aids? So maybe the process is what’s most important. People look to the Parthenon to discover what techniques were used to achieve the beautiful marble end.  So when we look at the Glass Pavilion, at first we may see only an ephemeral object designed and built by fourteen architect students. It may possess a degree of beauty, but what will it do to fight world hunger? Can it house the homeless? Probably not, but the invisible structure that holds the pavilion together the processes that we learned were necessary for constructing a full-scale structure that is what is lasting. And maybe someday we will use the ideas gained from the Glass Pavilion to build something lasting a new sort of Crystal Palace maybe even one that will help house the homeless.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

After Effects

We may have finished constructing our glass pavilion, but the stories it is creating are not finished being written. We have thus far been featured in superarchitects, uscedu, USC architecture’s home page, and the Architect’s Newspaper. It has been quite exciting to see our project grow from a folded piece of paper to an article in a newspaper.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Night Life

To explore the different experiential qualities created by our glass pavilion, we visited it at night experimenting with the placement and brightness provided by different light fixtures.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chevron Connections

Another installation which accompanied the Glass Pavillion was the Chevron Connections installation. Under the direction of Aaron Neubert Corey Norris, Nicolette Landucci, Graham Benjamin, Janice Chen, Daniel Valentin, Kif Mogorosi, Ewan Feng, Rachal Bass, Stephanie Truong, Keith Melcore, Iliana Lopez, and Athur Amirkagan composed an installation composed of aggregated units. Two parallelograms are joined together to form a module. This module is then combined with other like modules to create a series of strips that form the installation. Each module is unique. The fold between the parallelograms varies as well as the transparency and color. The modules are transparent in predetermined areas, and because of the varying angles of the fold, they can be completely transparent or opaque, depending on the viewpoint. The nature of the units allows the module to fold in or lay flat, thus allowing the play of densities to further distort the idea of transparency. The gradient of color highlights the more dense areas in the installation. These chevron shapes serve to connect the ground plane to the sky framing a ring of blue.

Levitating Cubes

Under the direction of Eric Nulman, Michelle East, Caroline Kim, Devina Parbhoo, Vicente Shum, David Takahashi, Jake Cavallo, Reni Somoye, Cindy Jin, Leo Chuang, Avram Winston, Andrew Herrera, Daqian Cao, Jihyun Choi, and Wing Wong created an installation composed of a series of cubes varying in scale and materiality. As you approach the short side of the installation, the planes parallel to you appear to float because all the planes facing you are transparent. However when you approach the long side of the installation, you see the opaque sides of the cubes and the varying materiality of each cube is revealed. Although the installation appears to be a simple group of scaled cubes, these cubes actually generate complex reflections due to the reflectivity of the materials used. Sometimes the reflections are reflected so that an object and its reflection can be seen at the same time. Photo credit second photo: Vicente Shum

Pitch Figures

Below is a look into the installations that accompanied the Glass Pavilion. Under the direction of Geoffrey Van Oeyen Annie Mak, Chris Andriassian, Chris Penfold, Christie Wang, Cicely Sugito, Denise Acosta, Johhny La, Jonathan Lee, Nelson Chen, Nicolas Oueijan, Noreen Wu, Sujean Park, and Yii Sha created a completely different environment named Pitch Figures. A play on the seaweed-like structural "tubes" in Toyo Ito's Sendai Mediatheque, "Pitch Figures" leverages the motion, verticality, and sound achieved by a field of suspended conduit pipes arranged in spatial figures that vary in plan and elevation. Grouped in ring formations, individual pipe lengths calibrate specific pitches. Pipes are dampened and codified with color paper bands. One's perception of touch, depth, and movement are engaged in this forest of sounds. Photo credit bottom two images Sujean Park

The Final Ties- Final Pieces

We had the wonderful experience of exhibiting our work to everyone who wandered into the School of Architecture. Our installation was surrounded by the benches and three other installations designed by our fellow second years creating a space filled with many individually designed environments. Our Glass Pavilion will continue to be exhibited at the University of Southern California until Friday. With our pavilion complete, we are waiting to see how it will respond to its changing environment. How will the viewer’s experience of glass change as the amount of sunlight or the amount of surrounding people or the surrounding sources of light change? We are exploring the life of our Glass Pavilion.

The Final Ties- The Support

We began by holding the ends in the form they were supposed to take. We then supported these ends using 8’ wooden members. While someone made a trip to home depot to get metal rods to replace the wooden members, the rest of us further corrected the shape of our structure by connecting our structure to the surround buildings with long sections of string. Once the metal rods arrived, we flattened one end, drilled a hole in it, and angled it. We then drilled into the base of our structure to secure the rods. These rods were then zip tied to the polycarbonate. After the final ties were complete, we cut the string and waited in suspense for our structure to fall, but it did not! 

The Final Ties- Peeling

While this was happening some of us removed the plastic film covering each of the triangles. However, removing the plastic from the corners of the triangles proved challenging as some of the joints between the triangles were slightly overlapping and held onto the film. The zip ties served to further retain the pieces of plastic, but after using an olfa and a ladder to reach the elevated ends, all the plastic bits were removed from our structure. After securing the bottom of the polycarbonate using the metal footings and increasing the transparency of the project by removing the film, we still had to figure out how to support the cantilevered ends of our structure without nearby walls. 

The Final Ties- The Move

Many members of our studio arrived early this morning to put the finishing touches on our installation, but little did we know that we had greater challenges waiting for us than removing plastic film from our structure. The School of Architecture once again insisted that we move our installation but only after we had mostly assembled our project. We had to detach the polycarbonate surface from our base not only because of its weight but because none of the exits from the courtyard were wide enough to accommodate our entire structure. We unbolted our structure, and many of us including our studio professor, Roland Wahlroos-Ritter, lifted the surface both from the inside and outside. We were able to more it through two doorways and around a corner. Next we moved our base angling it so that we could maneuver it around its surroundings. However, despite the madness of changing our site the day our project was due, our newest site was by far the best because it allowed our project to have the greatest amount of exposure as it was now oriented on the main axis of the School of Architecture. Additionally the widest end of the installation opened onto the main circulation axis of the School so that the structure beckoned for passer-byers to enter it. After figuring out the orientation of our Glass Pavilion in its new location, we realized it was necessary to secure the surface with additional footings. We drilled holes to attach each of the metal connections to the polycarbonate and the wooden base. Following is footage of our studio moving the Glass Pavilion. Music Credit- The Piano Guys Begin Again

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Sight of Glass

With Exhibition Day looming, it was time to put the finishing touches on our model. We began by zip tying each of the long stands to each other. After all of the pieces were joined into three large sections, we tightened all of the zip ties and cut the extra length from each of them. This will ensure that there are not long white strips interrupting the transparency of each of our pieces, a quality essential to many of our main design objectives. Next we drilled holes in the edge pieces of each strand so that we could attach them to the base. Many of us supported the first section as a screw was inserted through the hole in the polycarbonate and the metal connections. We put washers on either side of the plastic and finished the connection with a nut. After each of the three sections were connected in this manner, we zipped them together and began removing the plastic covering from the inside of each of the pieces. We left the outside plastic for tomorrow to ensure the transparency of the material would not be ruined by the nearby tree and its birds, but we have one final challenge left for tomorrow. The School of Architecture insisted that we move our site so the walls and joists which we were originally planning on using to support the cantilevering end of our structure will not exist anymore because our new site is the middle of a courtyard. We have to devise a system to secure these members without the assistance of our old site, a design twist right before deadline, but with a little more designing, we will be able to see our Glass Pavilion supporting itself by tomorrow morning. We can't wait to show off our pavilion to whoever comes to visit.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Plethora of Pieces

The overall structure of our building is beginning to take shape as we assemble all of our pieces. We finished cleaning all of our triangles and began zip tying long strands together making sure to follow the numbering system we had originally set up when we plotted each piece. However, in order to preserve the transparency of each of our pieces we decided to keep our structure inside until the final steps of the assembly process. This presented some challenges because there is a limited amount of studio space to assemble each of the strands which are not independently self-supporting. We solved this problem by hanging a portion of our structure from our studio’s ceiling using mason line and supporting it from underneath with a piece of wood. It still remains for us to put each of our pieces together in our site. But for now, we look forward to a successful Wednesday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Beginning of the End

Today we drill pressed the remaining triangles, cleaned out the openings with our olfas and tweezers, and vinyled each of the holes. After using compressed air to clean each of these pieces, they will be complete and ready for zip tying. We also worked on our wooden base staining it and drilling the plywood sheets to the 2x4s. After staining, we realized we should have more carefully considered which color stain to choose. Would the dark color stand out to much in comparison to our delicate polygal pieces, or would it provide a nice contrast? But with all of our pieces cut and drill pressed, we will soon be able to start installing our glass origami structure in its site.  We can’t wait to see our structure complete.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tasteful Design

The smell of bagels and coffee greeted us this morning as we entered studio. Our professor and his daughter came with a supply of moral support and food. After our studio breakfast, we journeyed to shop once again. We taped the last of the plotted patterns to the polycarbonate pieces aligning the long edge with the grain in the polycarbonate in order to give the most amount of structure to each triangle. Unusually, we are ahead of schedule finishing cutting all 800 pieces of polycarbonate today. There are even two extra sheets of polycarbonate. We also finished drill pressing the majority of these pieces. We have to finish cleaning up each of the openings created by the drill press with our olfas and tweezers and then clean each triangle with compressed air. This process ensures that at first our pavilion will seem almost invisible as the channels in the polycarbonate will be clean. Near the center of the structure when the joints are examined, only a vinyl cylinder and zip tie will be visible instead of the jagged edges and white particles created by the drill press. Many of the triangles we cut today have already been vinyled and are awaiting zip tying.  David and Jonathan worked on assembling and staining the wooden base of the model today while Vicky worked to create metal connectors. Our origami structure is beginning to come together. With a little luck, every piece will be in place for Monday when we hope to begin installing the surface in its site.