URBAN CANOPY
SOMAs Mixed Media Library & Open-Air Reading Space
University of California, Berkeley | Professor Renee Chow | Fall 2017

Urban Canopy is animated by the SoMa District’s pedestrian activity and water patterns. Previously a wetland before its infill in the mid-1800s, the site is vulnerable to San Franscisco’s sewer system overflows; bioretention is incorporated to manage stormwater.  Formally, the expressive roof of Urban Canopy controls water flow, folds upward at structural connections, permits city peek-out points, and provides diffuse light through its translucent materiality, ideal for reading. Public use continues underground to connect people to the historic layering of SoMa. 

Additionally, the rigid 25’ division of SOMA is integrated in the library’s design through the layout of primary spaces. A gradient of enclosure systems blurs this division and adapts to San Francisco’s seasons.  Water activates the project; rain can drum on the project roof, cascade over the screening system, flow down the green belt along Fifth St and downhill to Mission Creek.

URBAN CANOPY
SOMAs Mixed Media Library & Open-Air Reading Space
University of California, Berkeley | Professor Renee Chow | Fall 2017

Urban Canopy is animated by the SoMa District’s pedestrian activity and water patterns. Previously a wetland before its infill in the mid-1800s, the site is vulnerable to San Franscisco’s sewer system overflows; bioretention is incorporated to manage stormwater.  Formally, the expressive roof of Urban Canopy controls water flow, folds upward at structural connections, permits city peek-out points, and provides diffuse light through its translucent materiality, ideal for reading. Public use continues underground to connect people to the historic layering of SoMa. 

Additionally, the rigid 25’ division of SOMA is integrated in the library’s design through the layout of primary spaces. A gradient of enclosure systems blurs this division and adapts to San Francisco’s seasons.  Water activates the project; rain can drum on the project roof, cascade over the screening system, flow down the green belt along Fifth St and downhill to Mission Creek.

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SANTA FE
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SANTA FE
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ARK
Laka Reacts 2020 Winner of the Year
Independent Competition | Fall 2019
Team Members: Matt Turlock, Safia Dziri, assistance of Emiel Cockx

Can a bridge breath with the water it spans? Ark proposes a reactive architecture that preserves urban fabrics at risk of flooding while energizing existing spaces. The concept is simple. Create a bridge that expands public space during low water levels through gravity and folds closed under high tide water pressure, preserving passages of movement.

A protoype of Ark is sited in Hamburg, Germany, a former industrial port city that remembers the fatal damage of the 1962 North Sea Floods. The Ark in Hamburg directly connects the waterfront Elbphilharmonie by Herzog de Mueron with the developing mixed-use HafenCity project along the Elbe river, as these areas were formerly isolated by a large shipping port. The Elbe is tidally active and prone to flooding, with a differential in water height of up to 9 m from low tide to the 100-year flood condition.

Site Plan

The bending of the bridge is a promising ground for formal design. The central axis plunges towards the water while the edges rise towards the sky, mimicking gentle waves. Variations in profile enable access to the water for ferries and families at low tide, and as the waters rise, the bridge folds over the walkway in a protective embrace. Bending occurs primarily around the central axis, and as the bridge constricts, it becomes a sinuous curve in plan. Below, the bridge is loaded and structurally analyzed to form find and determine member forces (blue = tension, red = compression). 

Complex behavior is enabled by an assembly of flexible parts and unique expansion details, raising construction to an art form. The primary ribs consist of kerfed laminated beams sandwiching a carbon fiber plate. The combination provides flexibility, rigidity, and the ability to lock extreme shapes as wood kerfs fully close. A tensile membrane is sealed to the carbon fiber plate edge, providing the necessary waterproofing. Wood steps at variable rotations are introduced on sliding dowels between ribs, offering seating and a variegated façade system.

Material and Structural Details

Bridge Elevation

Team Contributions:  

Matt Turlock design, rendering, structural analysis and diagramming, animation

Safia Dziri- design, diagramming

Megan Stenftenagel - design, rendering, site analysis and plan

Emiel Cockx - design input

 

JULY 2020