Modular Micro Climates

Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Diagrams, 3D computer modeling, Physical 1:1 Model, 3D Printing, Structural calculations, Renderings, Sketches
Project Timeline:  
4 Months [Abroad]
Barcelona is currently faced with excessive pollution and noise levels. The city has come up with a new mobility plan to reduce traffic by 21% freeing up nearly 60% of streets currently used by cars to turn them into "citizen spaces". The plan is based around the idea of superilles (superblocks) - mini neighborhoods around which traffic will flow and in which spaces will be repurposed. Unfortunately these spaces seem to become deserted streets with no public interaction. Our design aims to create destinations that cultivates public interaction.
Team Size:  
3 Students
Design Concept 
The design theme was a botanical modular sculpture. Which will reduce hard spaces, which will in return reduce concentrated CO2 emissions. The design will create more shade, efficient plant production and transpiration evaporative cooling.
The results of our research we can hope that every city can combat the Urban heat Island Effect. We will specifically be impacting Barcelona by changing the opinion and culture around the Superblock and giving the community the tools to combat urban heat island negative effects.
Research / Schematic Design
We hypothesized ways to create a cooling effects on these hot heat islands caused by so much pavement. We began to research and design ways these "Plant Pods" could hold all the components needed to grow and yet be modular in nature. 
Final Capsule Design
The final design has 5 identical sides which are able to modularly interact with other capsules. Giving the user the ability to create endless botanical sculptures. The shape also relates to the components that allow the plant to prosper.
Fitting Everything In
We had to precisely plan out how all the working components would fit within the complex system of the modular capsules.
Creating the 1:1 Scale Module:  
We created a singular 1:1 scale module by vacuum forming a piece of a acrylic onto a mold. The steps are shown in the diagram below. First, the piece of acrylic is attached to a wood frame, placed into the over until it becomes a more fluid texture. The acrylic is then placed on a CNC mold of a singular side of the module. The vacuum form shapes the piece of acrylic onto the mold and the remaining pieces are laser cut off. We then assembled all 6 sides to create a single module which included water plumbing and a live plant. 
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