Wood, Metal, and Concrete Fabrication
In collaboration with Chloe Zhang, Joey Xu, & Rose Wang

1: “A Stair for Cats”

Compliant with ADA regulations, the design proposes a continuous registration of “one” angled bar that folds in many directions to create the stair’s haindrail and stringer while providing transparent and open spaces for the cat to navigate and explore. Wooden treads are implemented to provide traction for the cat and a lowered cost of materials.

2: “Modular Tower” 

The design utilizes 1 x 2 dimensional lumber with minimal members in an effort to push the material to its furthest extent. The hierarchy of triangular forms establishes a formal language and stability for the tower’s vertical members. Subsequently the cantilever follows that language. The larger triangular members are joined together with a traditional lap joint, while the smaller triangular members and the legs are mitered together. Particular attention was paid to the grain direction of each member and allowing a consistent pattern to emerge once assembled. The individual modules maintain their own elegance, however once assembled the tower begins to “twist,” imbuing a sense of movement into the material while balancing its moment force.

3: “Hyperbolic Parabloid”

Fundamentally, this design does not aim to produce an autonomous object that can stand on its own with a specific, sited program. Instead, we view the project as an investigation of limits and limitations between form, materiality, and the emergence of architectural modes of production that reduce tolerance through a heightened control. Situating the project within the contemporary architectural relevance around the relationship between digital technologies and materiality, namely Michael Meredith’s “After After Geometry” and Greg Lynn’s “Greg Lynn FORM,” we are interested in how various software have mobilized the practice of architecture, allowing the discipline to complicate the binary between materiality and formlessness. Operating within this framework, each aspect of the project, from the concrete mixture to the formwork, is curated with immense detail such that the tolerance of the material and of the modes of production are pushed to their furthest extent.

The design itself begins with a conventional rectilinear parameter of 18” by 18” by 1”. Slight warping is introduced to the edges to distort the perspective of the rectilinear form, creating a hyperbolic parabloid condition across the surfaces. The result is an abstraction between the orthagonal and the curvilinear, creating a subtly unfamiliar registration for the viewer.

The formwork is created from assembled pine lumber that is then carved using computer numeric control (CNC) machinery to further push the tolerance of the design. A 16 gauge welded wire is placed evenly between the upper and lower formwork for reinforcement. Once the formwork is assembled together it acts as a membrane for the concrete to pour vertically.



“A Stair for Cats”

“Modular Tower”

“Concrete Hyperbolic Parabaloid”

© Yohana Ansari-Thomas