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sS    Super Succah

PROJECT DATA
TYPE PUBLIC SPACE, PAVILION, DESIGN-BUILD
LOCATION BONDI, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
CLIENT SHALOM
DATE 2019
WITH RICHARD WHITFIELD ANDRE PEREIRA BENJAMIN COOP TTW ENGINEERS
DESIGN TEAM DAVE PIGRAM
IAIN MAXWELL
RAINY HUANG
FABRICATION TEAM DAVE PIGRAM
IAIN MAXWELL
RAINY HUANG
PAULA VIGENT
JEAN PAUL LE BON
NATHAN BRASIER
IVANA SEIZOVA
DANE VOORDERHAKE
GWYN JONES
TAN DANG
MARTIN TAYLOR
DAVID CHAIR
IMAGES HAMISH MCINTOCH
RICHARD GLOVER
PAULA VIGEANT
DAVE PIGRAM
DRAWINGS MARTIN WRZOS
SELECTED PRESS ABC NEWS
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
AWARDS AUSTRALIAN TIMBER DESIGN AWARDS 2020 [NATIONAL]
STANDALONE STRUCTURE MERIT AWARD [TOP 4]
SMALL BUDGET MERIT AWARD [TOP 3]

Super Succah

Marks Park, Bondi, Sydney, Au


sS



A ultra-lightweight minimal waste timber design-build weather-change amplifier for Sculptures by the Sea. 





Super Succah is a design-build pavilion commissioned by Shalom for the curated exhibition ‘Succah by the Sea’ as part of Bondi Sculptures by the Sea 2019.  The project interprets the Jewish tradition of building succah’s — a ritualised and codified temporary shelter — during the annual festival of Succot.

The project explores the definition o the architectural object as a differentiated field that constantly shifts its character depending on the relative motion of the inhabitant and the weather.  Rapid shifts in strip alignment ensure that at any time the observer will be presented with both extremely transparent (4mm on edge) and entirely opaque aspects.  The strong twisting of each element presents surfaces of all angles to register, reflect and redirect the sun, wind and rain such that small changes in the external environment trigger amplified effects in the micro-climate within.

The design comprises six prefabricated shells that harness mirror- and rotational-symmetry to resolve the complex overall geometric expression. The use of symmetry delivered significant benefits across multiple project demands spanning fabrication, transportation and structural analysis. Together, these ensured that the complex formal ambitions of the work could be balanced against the tight timeline and budget; need to establish a design-for-disassembly logic, and; the extremely demanding engineering requirements of such an unprecedented structure. The most notable being the very high wind-loads resulting from the exposed coastal site.

The project’s complex surfaces are constructed from a matrix of 4mm and 6.5mm twisted and bent plywood ribs. The orientation of the ribs is derived via computation of quasi-asymptotic lines found upon a quad-dominant isothermic minimal-surface (zero-gaussian-curvature). The description and application of asymptotic gridshells has been offered by Pottman, Schling and others. Like traditional gridshells, highly performative structural shapes that utilise very little material are possible. Unlike traditional gridshells however, asymptotic grids possess further geometric properties relevant to construction: Firstly, asymptotic lines give rise to normal constant strips that are entirely developable and therefore easily produced using standard sheet material and 3-axis CNC technologies; secondly, these strips unroll parallel offering part nesting efficiency; finally, the resulting lattice of strip elements all meet perpendicular to one another ensuring a friction-fit joint capable of serial assembly.

Succah by the Sea was curated by William Feuerman of Office Feuerman and included works by seven emerging sydney based architecture practices.
Extreme Curvature
The strong curvature of the bent and twisted plywood strips is what gives the succah its strength.

Aerial Views
The Succah by the Sea ‘village’ in the centre of Mark’s Park above the iconic Bondi to Tamarama sea cliffs and walk.
 

 
Plans
NTS

01
Roof Plan

02
Plan

03
Reflected Ceiling Plan


Formational Sequence
Axonometric

01
Low Res Mesh

02
High Res Mesh

03
Digital ‘Soap-Film’ Frame

04
Digital ‘Soap-Film’ Miniimal Surface

05
Principal Curvature Aligned Mesh

06
Asymptotic Curvature Mesh

07
‘Asymptotic’ Strips
Edges are parallel
Twist to align with mesh normals
Perpendicular Intersections

08
First set of strips

09
Second set of strips

10
Both sets of strips

11
Split into six symmetrical elements for prefabrication


Sampled Sky
Three  projecting occuli provide frame vignettes of the continually changing sky conditions.


  Shifting Transparency
The alignment of the thin timber strips that form the succah constantly shifts such that from every location you will see both opaque and transparent zones.   As well as revealing and obscuring different parts of the surroundings this variable transparency also admits or excludes the elements — sun, wind, rain — in varying mixtures. 
 
Bird
As the thin timber strips twist to follow the curves of the succah they reveal and amplify small changes in the environment: light, shadow, wind speed and direction, views near and far.