IMD _Institute of Media and Design

copyright _IMD

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN | Masterthesis | Moma Tower_ NYC

Towards Integrative Digital Design Strategies for Highrise Planning

In this experimental design class a major expansion in the form of a "Mixed-Use Towers" for the New York Museum of Modern Art had to be planned. The MOMA is one of the world's leading institutions for modern and contemporary art, and it is with its exposed location between 5th and 6th Avenue in the heart of the bustling metropolis. The concept of use of the new building, includes not only the expansion of the exhibition space but also the creation of apartments, offices and retail space. In the design course a particularly innovative novel high-rise type was developed, under the the utilization of a contemporary digital process chain that contained simulation and modeling.
The final design is characterized both by its appeal as representative of the MoMA as well as a new landmark for New York.

Backgrounds MoMA Tower:
In a vacant lot between the Financial Times Tower (54th and 6th Ave) and MoMA plan games for a new building to be for quite some time played by different interest groups. As one of the promising candidates for the award of a long time saw the Paris office of Jean Nouvel, with its wedge-shaped "Tower Verre" from. Due to the global financial crisis from 2008 and, in related collapse of the U.S. real estate industry it is owed, the project failed to materialize. As a further reason for the failure of the project resistors within New York's population is mentioned, these were mainly directed against the overall hight and shape of the building due to a resulting competition to the Midtown icons Chrysler Building and Empire State Building. It was recently announced, that the first completed in 2001, west of the MOMA adjacent American Folk Art Museum by Tod Wiliams and Billie Tsien, was aquriert by MoMA in 2011 and will be demolished in 2014. By demolishing the Folk Art Museum a direct connection to the existing MoMA building is now also available from the 54th street. Best chances for the realization of the new building has the New York office Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

New York:
In the years under Mayor Bloomberg New York has excelled as a catalyst for innovative and sustainable projects in the field of urban planning and building design in the United States. In urban planning the High Line Park and the decommissioning of Broadway to traffic between Times Square and Madison Square, and the comprehensive revitalization of the riparian zones along the West Side Highway particularly noteworthy. In the area of contemporary high-rise projects, it is mainly the Hearst Tower (Foster and Partners), due to its sophisticated green building concept (LEAD Platinum status) and the Standard Hotel (Polschek Partnership), which by its timeless elegance and its exposed position above the High Line set standards.

Cooperation ITE:
The design course was created as a cooperation project between IMD and ITE with the goal to acquire new set of skills in the interface area between architecture and structural engineering. The implementation of structural and finite element analysis (FEA) tools, with plug-ins such as KARAMBA in the already familiar software environment of Rhino 3D and Grasshopper now allow for the first time a validated review of structural solutions in the early stages of preliminary design. These digital simulation tools allow early accurate analysis and evaluation of internal and external factors influencing the design process and can now be considered and seamlessly integrated at an early stage in the design process. Both structural and sustainability factors are now available within the Rhino design environment and can be incorporated as a design driver directly in the planning and thus act as a constant source of information within the various design stages. Besides the already mentioned advantages in relation to the design process, this novel fully integrated software solutions enable a more efficient and informed communication between the architect and the engineer.

Technological Input:
The technological focus of the course was on the application of contemporary digital simulation and modeling tools that should be used in the early phases to inform the design process. Therefore, a primary objective of the course was set on the acquisition of extensive knowledge in the field of contemporary digital technologies such as CAAD (Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, and Plug'ins). These digital tools were integrated as an integral part of the design process, and thus promote the communication and exchange with the specialist engineers involved in the project from the ITE.

Cooperation project with: Prof. Dr. Harald Kloft Institute for Structural Design

KARAMBA Workshop with: Clemens Preisinger KARAMBA

Directed by: Prof. Matthias Karch with Daniel Büning