T5a Technology Report

From the initial outline concept of Crystals, further research in this area has led me to discover and learn more about the atomic structure of crystals in general. Crystals are composed of ‘perfect’ structures known as Lattices. Structural diagrams of the atoms could be likened to architectural structural diagrams.

Atomic diagram of Sodium Chloride. The crystal’s lattice is very structured and symmetrical.

What has been very eye-opening for me is what happens when the atoms do not appear in their ordered position; the structure of the crystal responds and defects/impurities become evident within the matter. Within the physical build-up of the matter there can be either missing or additional atoms; in each case the structure changes. The atoms have a ‘field of influence’ – and when a parameter changes, the matter responds accordingly.

My investigations have led to me to another area of architectural research that I am really excited to investigate further: Parametric Design.

T5a – Salt Building NYC inspired by Salt Crystal

As part of my early investigative work around the concept of crystals, I initially explored the notion of buildings being informed literally by crystals. One building I found was the NYC Salt Store in Manhattan, the form of which was derived from that of a salt crystal. My drawing of the building below:

SPRING STREET SALT SHED, MANHATTAN BY DATTNER ARCHITECTS

Although I appreciated the unique form of the building and its relationship to its function of storing salt, I felt the connection to my initial area of research was too literal and I decided not to focus on crystals informing the form/appearance of buildings and intend to develop my research in another area that would offer more of a challenge and open my research into another area of study.