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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.

Windswept in San Francisco, California by Charles Sowers Studios

March 16th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Charles Sowers Studios

Windswept consists of 612 freely rotating wind direction indicators mounted parallel to the wall creating an architectural scale instrument for observing the complex interaction between wind and the building. The wind arrows serve as discrete data points indicating the direction of local flow within the larger phenomenon. Wind gusts, rippling and swirling through the sculpture, visually reveal the complex and ever-changing ways the wind interacts with the building and the environment.

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

  • Architects: Charles Sowers Studios
  • Project: Windswept
  • Location: Randal Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco, CA
  • Size: 35’ length / 20’ height
  • Client: San Francisco Arts Commission/Randall Museum
  • Contractor: Rocket Science
  • Engineer: Hom-Pisano Engineers
  • Project Completion: 11/19/2010
  • Photography: Bruce Damonte
  • Architectural metal wall panels: Provided by QC Facades Rainscreen Solutions, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Software used: Autocad and Autodesk Inventor

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

Inspiration and Intent 

I’m generally interested in creating instrumentation that allows us insight into normally invisible or unnoticed phenomena. The Randall site, like many in San Francisco, is characterized, to a great extent, by its relationship to the wind. Climatically, off-shore winds bring warm weather from the central valley while on-shore wind brings us our famous San Francisco chilly weather.

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

Windswept seeks to transform a mundane and uninspired architectural façade (the blank wall of the theater) into a large scale aesthetic/scientific instrument to reveal information about the interaction between the site and the wind. Our ordinary experience of wind is as a solitary sample point of a very large invisible phenomenon. Windswept is a kind of large sensor array that samples the wind at its point of interaction with the Randall Museum building and reveals the complexity and structure of that interaction.

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

A year and a half was spent in designing and testing wind arrow designs. A 4′ x 4′ prototype panel fitted with 6 different arrow designs was mounted on-site for a year of testing. A few arrows were also mounted outside an apartment window at Baker Beach in San Francisco’s Presidio where they were subjected to a year of intense wind and salty air.

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

Technical details:

Windswept is 20′ high x 35′ long. It is installed on an 40’s era board-formed concrete building. The whole piece sits off the wall to allow an equal volume of air to enter a ventilation intake mounted in the middle of the existing wall.The wind arrows are made of brake-formed anodized aluminum. The arrow axles are mounted to a standard metal architectural panel wall system consisting of 25 panels. The panels had holes punched in a 12\” x 12\” grid pattern into which the installation contractor secured rivet nuts to accept the stainless steel axles. Once the panels were installed the arrow assemblies were threaded into the rivet nuts.

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte

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Categories: Autocad, Autodesk Inventor, Windmill

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