February 11, 2010

Re-Modeling the Nakagin Capsule Tower using Rhino Grasshopper, Sketchup7 and ArchiCAD, Sun Ke


    NAKAGIN capsule building, located in SHIMBASHI, TOKYO, JAPAN, it is designed by KISHO KUROKAWA and completed in 1972 as an example, and also an experiment, of Japanese METABOLISM. It is the first built capsule tower for actual use.
    The building composed by two concrete towers which are 11 and 13 floors and totally hold 140modules. Every module is a self-contained units in a size 2.3*3.8*2.1. Capsules is removable and can also be connected together for larger space use. But ironically, no units have been replaced since its construction.

    GRASSHOPPER is a graphical algorithm editor which are highly intergrated with RHINO 3-D modeling tools. GRASSHOPPER is different from RHINOSCRIPT that it requires no knowledge of programming or scripting, it provides users many pre-written tools to let them generate designing freely and visually.

    SKETCHUP7 was developed by startup cpmpany and first released in 2000. It was released with featuring ease-of-use improvement and integration of SketchUp’s Commponent Browser with Goole 3D Warehouse.

    ARCHICAD is an architectural BIM software, developed by HUGARIAN COMPANY GRAPHISOFT. Archicad allows users to work with data-enhanced parametric objects and this make Archicad different from other CAD software, and also, it provide variety of pre-designed and customizable objects for users to draw walls, slabs, roofs, doors, window and furniture easily. ArchiCAD also has program GEOMETRIC DESCRIPTION LANGUAGE (GDL) used to create new components.

    The capsule tower, which designed by metabolism architects, is composed by three main parts: 1. the annex architecture as bottom, 2. two red cores with pared top, 3. capsule units.
    From the whole semester learning in CAD-LOGIC course, i figured out that Grasshopper, Sketchup7 and ArchiCAD are relative proper for generating (or half generating) this architecture, because of:
    1. Same as many other known architecture, CAPSULE TOWER is designed under a very pure guideline. Its bottom part is totally fulfill the block where it located in. So in the bottom it is following the shape of the block (plot). But on the top, within the sky, two powerful tower and capsules clusters are totally formed by several same scale. Grasshopper is easy for generating architecture by pure guideline (or to say, principle) and diverse change. Also ArchiCAD’s object tool and GDL tool is good for architects to save similar units as changeable units.
    2. All units can the shape of the plot may change in different design, but the capsule tower may not change - or to say, it only change its bottom and the capsules hanged on. Because Grasshopper’s tool provide parametric dialogue window, we can change the architecture without draw or change anything in the modeling window - we change the parametric. In the same way we can change the number of the row of units, or change the size of units - we change it, all units’ certain sizes change. Or we may change the coordinate of the endpoints of plot to let the bottom building fit the context of the city or street.
    3. In ArchiCAD, users could save units as object, and use its parametric tool to edit the object within script. And also, as the whole ArchiCAD system is based on parametric data discription tool, when people draw, people are also generate, these two ways are highly interacted. Because of capsule tower are composed mostly by enormous units, i make 6 object file. Then the next steps is just put them in the place them should be. This may spend time to locate, but the advantage is, when in the future users want to add more detail within the capsules (like interior decoration or furniture) users just need to edit the object file by GDL language or by common architectural tools. By generating an ArchiCAD model, users can provide a future possibility of easily change and edit on each units.
    4. The important advantage with Grasshopper Rhino and Sketchup7 is that those softwares can interact with each other by their common file format, 3ds or else. If we want to add a Sketchup Model for Google Model, Sketchup7 is a nice way to get model generated by Grasshopper Rhino.

    ARCHICAD- http://designinterfaces.blogspot.com/2009/11/virtual-building-archcicad-by-sun-ke.html
    SKETCHUP- http://designinterfaces.blogspot.com/2009/11/sketchup-7.html

  3. this is amazing, can i have the grasshopper script for more study???

  4. To Sun Ke,

    1. That book is impressive.

    2. I would like to invite you to the GH <-- ArchiCAD Group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1163005103764028/permalink/1658976367500230/

    Best regards,
    Nader Belal