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authors Serrano, J.G., Coll, J., Melero, J.C. and Burry, Mark
year 1993
title The Need to Step Beyond Conventional Architectural Software
source [eCAADe Conference Proceedings] Eindhoven (The Netherlands) 11-13 November 1993
summary The Sagrada Familia Church has appointed two groups of consultants to assist the translation of Gaudi's 1:10 scaled models of the nave into coherent information from which to build. One team has been undertaking the static analysis of the nave roof vault structure and the other the study of the complexities of Gaudi's composition in order to provide full-scale production templates and models for the walls. Both teams had begun using the same basic CAD package and both have had to move onto high-end and very expensive solid-modelling software normally used by mechanical engineers and vehicle designers. Both groups are collaborating together with different accents despite an improbable geographical separation. The original problem, one of intersecting ruled-surfaces accurately to reflect the geometries of the surviving fragments of the original models, has led to surprising possibilities which were not anticipated at the outset. Currently the potential of parametric variation and associative geometries are being investigated as a mirror for some of the intuitive design process and finite element analysis is being considered as a means of interactively analysing the structural implications for each study. The software being used also has a powerful ray-tracing module; rather than being simply a tool to produce eye-catching 'realistic' renderings it has proved to be invaluable in allowing the computer user to understand the spatial complexities of the components being studied. This paper discusses the merits of an architecture so demanding (despite having been designed at the beginning of this century) that it requires the most costly equipment in today's market and it will consider the proposition that in ordinary circumstances, an architecture too complex to be described using basic CAD tools is an architecture beyond our reach. The interdisciplinary nature of the diverse and powerful modules within the software referred to will be used to contest this proposition using the presence of both teams in schools of architecture as evidence.
series eCAADe
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