DEFINING KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING THE DESIGN
The new terminal of the Penang International airport opens new dimensions of design through an organic touch to the architectural elements. The repetitive modules of columns which are the dominating feature of this design which is designed parametrically to achieve efficiency in material detailing.
The wide-span prefabricated modular roof of is inspired by contextual patterns and textures. The design is climate responsive, with tree pillars and roof openings that filter natural light and manage rainfall.
Keys to design
MATH : The column and roof structure is attempted to follow a certain modularity in design to allow for future expansion defining a grid system of planning. This particularly leads to achieving forms that are orthogonal.
The proportion of the column to roof span defines a comfortable scale to host double height spaces comfortably with respect to the human scale.
SHAPE : The organic component of the design is the continuous structural member, the column. Two simple geometric elements that are easily identifiable are the circle, which extruded identifies the pillar, and the square which instead acts as a covering element. The two geometries convey together with the extremity of the pillars giving rise to a modern version of the capital.
WIREFRAME : The continuous flowy roofing element is defined by two materials in the roofing, one is the structural member which is laying the patterned shadows, the second the translucent layer that allows the patterns to pass through in the form of skylights. The pattern is complex with diagonals passing through the grids defining the wireframe for the design.
Analyzing the pattern of design and construction defines governing rules to design such a complex structure through parametric design. The Penang International Airport holds a good example for the keys defined in the blog.