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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Aortic Arc in California by Visible Research Office designed using Generative Components and Rhino

July 22nd, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Visible Research Office

A new canopy for a student lounge at the California College of the Arts (CCA) hangs within a double-height space and functions as a light scope, spatial definer, and viewing portal. The minimum surface structure is made up of 546 unique HDPE panels linked to one another by over 4000 pop-rivets.

Lounge Area

  • Architect: Visible Research Office
  • Name of Project: Aortic Arc
  • Location: California, USA
  • Software used: The panelized system was developed using the software program Generative Components and a customized Rhino script that turned raw data into a drawing file to drive a CNC milling machine that generated all the parts.

The name of the piece comes from its resemblance in form to a portion of the human heart and the fact that it leaps over an existing structural beam. The surface is suspended from three upper stainless steel rings (two circular, one elliptical) which are held and hold each other in tension. A singular large parabolic ring functions as a ‘hoop skirt’ below.

View from Above

The combined technical and artistic challenge posed by the project is unique and did not allow for conventional approach. Collaborating closely with the designers, the engineers employed non linear analysis tools and parametric BIM technology  to model and predict the final minimal energy form of the piece which, structurally, behaves as a hybrid between a cable-net and membrane structure. As an additional benefit these tools and methodologies provided accurate coordination with constrained existing conditions.

View into Canopy

A panelized system was developed using Generative Components and a customized Rhino script that took the raw data and turned it into a drawing file to drive a CNC milling machine that generated all the parts. HDPE plastic, the same material used to make milk jugs, was selected for the panels due to its low cost, resistance to solar degradation, recyclability, low embodied energy, and high tensile capability.


View of Light Scope

View Portal

View Portal from Below

Component Stress Analysis

Fabrication Sequence

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Categories: Educational Center, Generative Components, Rhino

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