Fluid Knowledge

Brenton Rahn
Andres Villegas

ARCH 411 / Spring 2019

This proposal is for a new Center for Emerging Fabrication Technologies located within Lincoln, Nebraska’s Innovation Campus. The mission for this design proposal is to create a fluid atmosphere of creative collaboration between the various user groups which consist of researchers, students and the general public. Through a dynamic space-frame design created through parametric modeling, the building captures the attention of those around it through its graceful shape, partially concealing the tectonic language within. The building comes together physically using various robotic fabrication processes such as CNC robotic bending of the steel space frame as well as robotic welding of the members.

A grand entrance draws in curious onlookers to experience first-hand how these emerging design strategies are being developed. Open web steel joists are used to span the distances between the central oculi and the outer space frame. These spans reach upwards of 55 feet and allow for minimal structural intrusion to the labs and classrooms within. This gives users the ability to take full advantage of the space frame’s inherent flexibility by re-orienting the inner program to accommodate future building use. The facade was given just as much care as we utilized daylighting optimization to create openings maximize useful daylight. This helps create laboratories, classrooms, and offices filled with natural light. The layout of these spaces is intentionally separated. Users are encouraged to move throughout the building as they go from class to lounge or from research lab to office. Random interactions can occur between researchers and students, allowing for vital interdisciplinary knowledge to be shared.

Accolades: First Place: 2018-2019 AISC/ACSA Steel Design Student Competition