With the advent of machine automation and industrial efficiency, facade design lost its artistic, hand-crafted touch. In an effort to reintroduce a sense of artistry to facade design, EDG devised a way to bring discovery and iteration to the built environment. Armed with software expertise, EDG developed the Synthesis program – striking an innovative balance between man and machine.
This computer-aided design software presents users—architects, their clients, or both—with a catalogue of shapes to serve as a launching pad. As style, color, density, pattern, and even window placement are selected, the user can see, in real time, near-limitless variations of the initial design. With the digital pull of an on-screen slide, all the elements of the building animate, allowing the user to find the perfect confluence of factors for the final design.
Parametric design optimizes the design, allowing window locations to be developed in synchronous coordination with the panel design and interiors. As the system learns from governing rule sets with inputs ranging from building codes and occupancy, location and orientation, along with dozens of other parameters – automation will increasingly perform the onerous tasks of the process, resulting in a streamlined methodology, with more consistent output.
Inevitably, the resulting freedom holds the potential to unleash creativity in a way that hasn’t been possible yet in our lifetimes. With the combination of 3D printing and concrete casting (Modern Ornamental), custom designs can be printed onsite, if desired, and on demand, which will revolutionize industry approach to facades.
Inspired by optimized trusses originating from structural engineering research, the EDG team explored methods to produce highly unique, load-efficient facades in high-rise towers. By fusing architectural design with structural engineering principles, EDG developed a new approach to creating aesthetically-dynamic façades.
Algorithmic modeling references patterns found in nature – evoking cellular leaf, webbing, and coral motifs. The resulting truss designs are simultaneously geometric and organic, structured yet unrepetitive. And importantly, the concepts are deeply appealing to the biophilic predisposition of humans.
These facades usher in a new era of exterior building design that challenges uniformity. The Optimized Truss tower propels the discipline of architecture forward, towards customized mass production that engages state-of-art design technologies and building manufacturing techniques.
In the age of autonomous cars and algorithmic transportation, cities transform from gridlocked streets into a lush paradise. The Loop NYC city ushers in an era of dedicated thoroughfares for self-driving vehicles – “micro-highway loops” repurposed from major streets. With newfound pedestrian space, inhabitants & tourists alike enjoy 24 new miles of walkable area.
With streets re-purposed for the pedestrian, Loop NYC will introduce over 200 acres of parks. In this newfound abundance of interstitial territory, these inner-city peninsulas will allow individuals and communities to connect in novel ways. Loop NYC presents a vision of a city that strengthens communities and forges new relationships between them.
Loop NYC is a new framework for civic interaction, cultural enrichment, environmental resiliency, and equitable economic growth – fueled by the advent of autonomous vehicles.
When EDG learned that the deteriorating 574 Fifth Avenue faced demolition, the team was inspired to preserve the intricate 1940’s ornamentation. While typical processes to restore historic facades are expensive and time-consuming – and therefore usually not feasible - EDG sought modern, highly effective techniques to keep NYC treasures like 574 Fifth Avenue around.
EDG experimented with additive manufacturing methods to apply 3D printing to real-world applications. The team tested out different design technologies, printers, mold thicknesses, and materials. After several iterations, the team discovered an optimal formula and process. The team proto-typed and diagrammed the full assembly, using 3D printed plastic forms inlaid with laser cut wire mesh and stirrups to reinforce the cast.
Using 3D printing for façade and ornamentation molds, EDG not only pioneered a process for modern façade experimentation and ornamentation but also a way to extend the life of existing architectural gems. By producing digital archives of façade elements and using easily-accessible, affordable printing materials, the replacement of parts can happen on-site and with a dramatically shortened lead time. Breaking apart from standard pre-cast forms, this new technique allows designers and property owners to celebrate the details of historic buildings for generations to come. The design also allows for the addition of additional stories behind the original façade, expanding space vertically and maximizing real estate value.
The Generator is an urban waterfront tower development, rising out of the ground where a former power plant stood for three-quarters of a century. Nestled amongst a cluster of industrial buildings, the tower aims to create a unique office building that meets – and greatly exceeds – 21st-century energy goals.
EDG focused on careful analysis, location, and efficient design that leverages solar, wind, and hydrological energy sources. The elevated promontory the building sits on acts as an elevated parkland which anticipates water surges and mitigates wave action, allowing for hydrological filtration and phytoremediation. The team lifted the building body and office program 210 ft. above ground in anticipation for rising sea levels and to reveal the giant helical wind turbine. The sophisticated double skin is designed for modulated fresh air, with perimeter ERVs that manage intake and exhaust air much like gills. Interior spaces are heated and cooled via a radiant in-floor and ceiling hydronic system, using energy captured by the geothermal field in the park below. Further cooling is regulated by a deep-water cooling system drawn up into the tower’s heat exchangers.
The Generator, with its multitude of sustainable energy strategies, is beyond net zero. The dynamic tower capitalizes on natural, renewable elements of air, sun, and water from all around. It maximizes views of Manhattan and Brooklyn while referencing its surrounds in its own design. Intentionally playing upon the neighboring bridges, the Generator harks upon its past while looking optimistically towards the future.
The Bowstring tower is a building design feat of material innovation and cross-disciplinary prowess. Inspired by the tensile strength found in bridge suspension cables used in structural engineering, the EDG team sought a new way to capitalize on their strength.
Applying structural engineering techniques, the tower introduces tension cords into high-rise vertical construction. Cables on all four vertices connect the topmost and bottommost concrete corners of the building.
By exploring new methods of designing and constructing large towers, EDG’s team extracted more space efficiency by maximizing floor areas, introducing a new design aesthetic, and innovating at the intersections of engineering and architecture. The proposed mixed-use residential, office, and commercial program stands as an icon in the skyline and a herald for architectural invention.