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Spider Behaviour - Part 3 - Enclosure

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

/ The final part of Spider Behaviour centers on the development of lightweight architectural enclosure and the systematic design procedure use in three depicted locations. All of which yield different results.

The architecture uses a similar principle in which spiders use to construct their environment with silk webbing through observing their behavioral reactions.

Spiders are arachnids, they are predators that often ventured inside shrubbery, bushes, plants, flowers, cornered or cluttered spaces. Since they are generally unobtrusive and blend into their surroundings, these are attractive places for them to shelter, hunt, and stay cover.

All spiders produce silks, and a single spider produces many different types of silk for different ecological uses. Some use to make cocoons for their eggs, for nest lining, nest construction, guide lines, drop lines, and anchor lines for travel and protection. They also build sticky webs for catching prey.

Infographic illustrating the process of orb web construction

Spiral orb webs are the most common type of spider web. The building of it is an engineering feat, it begins when the spider floats a line on the wind to another surface from node to node. The spider secures the thread and then drops another thread from the center, making a Y shape. The rest of the scaffolding follows with many auxiliary spirals of nonsticky silk then followed by final spirals of sticky capture silk. /

Trees shrouded in ghostly cocoons line the edges of a submerged farm field, where massive floods drove millions of spiders into the trees to spin their webs.

/ The architectural enclosure is inspired by the structural composition of the Elytra filament pavilion, which was developed by a team from the University of Stuttgart. It comprised of unique hexagonal components that had been robotically fabricated from a combination of transparent glass fiber and black carbon fiber.

Elytra Filament Pavilion

Each piece of the structure, which was supported by funnel-shaped legs, was formed by a single length of resin-coated fiber and weighs just 45 kilograms.

Weaving module analysis

Material sturdiness

Back to our site, the lightweight architecture will be constructed on the face. In other words, the 1000 times enlarged version of the three dissected regions.

/ The landscape of the Eye, Nose, and Ear are populated with vertical hair structures, which have been interpreted as clusters of tall trees with their height ranging from 16 to 80 meters. This expansion is based on the initial length and displacement of existing hairs.

The shortest eyelash is 1.6 millimeters in length which is interpreted into a 16 meters tall tree.

The longest sideburns is 8 millimeters in length which is interpreted into an 80 meters tall tree.

And by using the normalize rule of "width to height" relation, the resulting dimension of the trees on the site can be determined by the graph below.

/ The project also looks into ways to build on and off of living nature. To not only implement architecture into the site but to enhance value of the ecosystem. One technique that is used to expand the boundary of the buildable area is known as grafting. It is a horticultural technique whereby tissues of plants are joined to continue their growth together.

The upper part is called the scion while the lower part is called the rootstock.

Arborsculpture is the art and technique of growing and shaping the trunks of trees while they grow. By grafting, bending, and pruning the trees are grown into shapes either ornamental or useful.

/ In this circumstance, the technique helps increasing tree height and buildable space by adding branches that spread out. These nodes are used as a component for architecture to latch, pull, and construct on.

The number of splits where each tree can branch out depends on the initial width (diameter) of the trunk. Every time a new branch is grafted, its diameter will be halved of the prior with the lower limit of 10 centimeters in diameter.

A 16 meters tall tree that has 32 centimeters trunk diameter can branch out once.

(32 - 16)

On the other hand, an 80 meters tall tree that has 160 centimeters trunk diameter can branch out up to four times.

(160 - 80 - 40 - 20 - 10)

/ The top view animation below illustrates the steps and composition of floor webbing. Each triangular formation consists of anchor string, pulling on the joint connected to the grafted branches with sub-string; frame and orb fiber weave use to support stability and for walking.

/ The side views below illustrate the connectivity between nodes. The red lines represent the grafted trees, while the white lines represent the tension strings.

Tree branches and more often roots of the same species will sometimes naturally graft; this is called inosculation. The bark of the tree may be stripped away when the roots make physical contact with each other, exposing the vascular cambium and allowing the roots to graft together.

A group of trees can share water and mineral nutrients via root grafts, which may be advantageous to weaker trees, and may also form a larger root mass as an adaptation to promote fire resistance and regeneration.

Additionally, grafting may protect the group from wind damages as a result of the increased mechanical stability provided by grafting. /

Site 1

Design procedures implement on Site 1; Eye region.

Besides the horizontal floor webbing, the architectural enclosure also composes of vertical barrier webbing called the "Suntrap".

The example unit demonstrates the parametric design system, where its weave shifting intensity is determined by the amount of collected sunlight radiation exposure on each respective panels.

The Suntraps behave like vertical barricades. Not only do they protect inhabitants from heat and external threats but also act as trellis for guiding and supporting climbing plants such as ivy, helping trap even more sunlight radiation and allowing them to photosynthesis at higher efficiency.

A vine may use rock exposures, other plants, or other supports for growth rather than investing energy in a lot of supportive tissue, enabling the plant to reach sunlight with a minimum investment of energy. This growth form may also enable plants to colonize large areas of architecture quickly, even without climbing high. /

Floor plans of Site 1; Eye region.

The overall plan drawing of Site 1; Eye region.

Isometric drawing of Site 1; Eye region.

Section drawing of Site 1; Eye region.

The architecture is unobtrusive by blending in with the environment. The structure builds upon nature. It lifts itself and doesn't touch the ground. Consequently, this has allowed the space to secure its inhabitants from land predators as well as natural flooding.

/ The example cuts out a unit of the tree to reveal the external structure, fabrication parts, and details of architectural fusion.

Wood - Wood joint

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The wood - wood joints help stabilize and fasten the tree at expansion points while the round bars act as skeletons to help protect and support the internal tissue as well as relieve the load.

Tree - String joint

Exploded portion shows the relationship between the construction and environment.

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Exploded assembly displays structural joints variation.

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Vertical circulation units can be arrayed on top of one another and used as access points between levels.

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/ The parametric design system has been implemented on all three sites: Eye, Nose, and Ear, but each with corresponding results that best fit their environmental constraints.

Site 2

Design procedures implement on Site 2; Nose & Mouth region.

Floor plans of Site 2; Nose & Mouth region.

The overall plan drawing of Site 2; Nose & Mouth region.

Isometric drawing of Site 2; Nose & Mouth region.

Section drawing of Site 2; Nose & Mouth region.

The Nose & Mouth region has a wide range of extreme landscapes. The slopes gradually change from top to bottom with patches of trees situated in between each of the hill intervals. The soil in the lower region contains an unusual slippery and muddy condition. Strung across it are platforms that span from hill to hill to connect the architecture as one. /

Site 3

Design procedures implement on Site 3; Ear region.

Floor plans of Site 3; Ear region.

The overall plan drawing of Site 3; Ear region.

Isometric drawing of Site 3; Ear region.

Section drawing of Site 3; Ear region.

The last region behaves like a plateau or a plain. The landscape is very subtle and reveals no striking features besides the significant taller trees that grew in an adjacent direction. Consequently, the architecture recognizes the conditions and builds upon them, resulting in constructions that become one giant collective dwelling. /

Atmospheric perspective view of Site 2; Nose & Mouth region.

Physical model of Site 2; Nose & Mouth region.

The objective of Spider Behaviour has been achieved by fusing architecture into their mutual co-living environment. By studying and respecting the behaviour of natural execution and implement them into working. To challenge innovation in design and construction like augmenting the face, integrating computer-aided design technique, and using parametric design procedure in manufacturing production. All of which aim to push boundaries in solving design solutions in an aesthetic, conservative, and functional approach. Conclusively, to search for fresh, organic, and smart new design systems that push the milestone and mark a leap in Architecture today. /


Supervision by Patrick Donbeck

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