Poramic Tectonics: Biorecptive Ceramic Facade

BPro RC7 2018/19
Students: Qi Cheng, Dian Liu, Yixin Liu
Tutors: Richard Beckett & Javier Ruizz
Project Support: Marcos Cruz, Ruby Law, Nina Jotanovic, Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa, BMade 

“Poramic Tectonics” focuses on the creation of bioreceptive porous ceramic (poramic) tiles optimised to promote moss colonisation on its surface. It explores a variety of porous properties in multiple scales, ranging from micro- (porosity), to medium- (texture) to larger-scale (tectonic) geometry as a way to control the absorption and retention of water.

To achieve the desired porosity, biological scaffolds such as sea sponges were introduced in the material mix and later removed during the firing process. This left a distinct morphological imprint on each individual tile-component. The resulting building components were developed to be applied on a competition proposal for a new Guggenheim Museum in New York City.’

The project utilised slip casting of lightweight porous ceramic components along with lost sponge casting to create bioreceptive microclimate zones for moss growth directly on teh building facade. Growth testing of moss directly on the poramic components under a range of environmental conditions allowed for the designation of growth enhancing (porous) and growth inhibiting (no porous/glazed) areas defined computationally and fabricated through application of lost sponge casting or glazed areas respectively.

The final building was developed as a competition proposal for a new Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The bioreceptive ceramic facade acts as a “catcher” of the various airbourne seeds and spores blown towards the city from central park. Once grown, the building itself then acts as a seed for further growth proliferation in to the urban grid, providing a source of suitably adapted photosynthtic organims for the future biorecptive city.

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