The architectural brick, made of sand, clay and lime, holds an iconic image in our minds as the building block of walls and structures.
However, while we may think they know exactly what a brick is supposed to look like, there is still so much room to explore. There is an endless potential for this one single piece in the kit of parts that form architecture as a creative field. We think of brick as solid, but what if it filtered light? We think brick needs mortar, but what if it worked like Legos and attached to itself independently? We think we know what brick was always meant to be, but what if we didn't? The Branching Truss System will attempt fulfill these aspirations through the exploration and real-life to-scale building of a new type of brick that begins to put our preconceptions to the test and, hopefully, brings up even more questions than the ones we started with.
The form of this new building block was inspired by children's jacks play pieces. Arrayed symmetrical limbs were mirrored to build pairs and trios that can latch together for structurally sound connections. The limbs were hollowed out to allow for strategically placed plantings and different configurations were determined to allow for different degrees of light to pass through based on structural configuration layout and planting location.
Once the concept was determined, the process of investigation went from identifying issues in the design, to solving them in a computational model, to printing the 3D model, to testing the iterations at a smaller thumb-sized scale. To begin, The virtues of the site were analytically identified and procedurally overlaid on top of each other. These layers were then used to create a series of metrics to guide the design. Every alternative for the metrics was pursued until an ideal was identified. The goal for the site became to create a more public, open and peaceful environment; a necessary haven from a city with unending density and overwhelming history.
Pour plaster block
Leave to dry
3D mill negative shape
Leave to dry
Plug holes at bottom
Fasten molds together tightly
Pour clay into mold
Wrap and leave to dry
Pour out extra clay
Pull out and clean edges
© 2019 Jeisson Apolo, All Rights Reserved. My work and images may not be printed, re-distributed or modified without permission. Work may not be posted elswewhere without proper credit and captioning.