Development of computational design methods and processes

“Light Houses: On the Nordic Commond Ground” was an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pritzker laureate, Sverre Fhen’s Nordic Pavilion in the Venice Biennale Giardini. 32 architects from Finland, Norway and Sweden were invited to present a conceptual “house” reflecting their personal philosophy of architecture. The Nordic Pavilion included works from the region’s young and rising professionals whose birth years fall after 1962, the year in which the pavilion was designed. The exhibition works were commissioned specifically for the Venice Architecture Biennale and displayed on pedestals designed by Juhani Pallasmaa.

Location: Venice, Italy

Program: Light House -Sculpture

Status: Commission 2012

Client: The Finnish Museum of Architecture

Team: Eero Lundén, Toni Österlund, Markus Wikar

“Nilas” is a sculpture designed for the exhibition “Light Houses: On the Nordic Common Ground” by Eero Lundén, Markus Wikar and Toni Österlund. It represents an approach to building systems where skin, structure and technical appliances are all integrated into one responsive building fabric.

The aim of the project was to research and develop computational design methods and processes. The design sought inspiration from different organic forms, natural systems and fractal patterns found in our natural environment. The idea was to design a fluent, yet complex, three-dimensional sculpture based on the theme of “light houses”. The design process aimed for the creation of a physical object and to find the delicate balance between organic complexity and artistic representation. The selected design system was developed to transform simple geometric solids into complex geometric objects.

The final form of the sculpture gradually emerged through long tests and re-iterations, as the same design process can produce infinite amount of variations. The final sculpture has a smooth and less detailed surface compared to some of the design explorations done during the process.

In the end, the final design was formed also through the chosen fabrication method of laser cutting 2mm acrylic sheets and the material properties of the clear acrylic. The smooth and clear physical object reflects and refracts light in a similar way as melting ice, creating playful patterns on surfaces.

The Nilas Lighthouse sculpture represent architectural vision and creative digital sculpturing, combined with the possibilities of computational design and manufacturing methods.

Nilas directly references the themes of the exhibition: Nordic & Light.