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Aero Hive Sustainable Office Tower by Suraksha Acharya

Home > Winners > Design #66901 >Interview
Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Suraksha Acharya (SA) for A' Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Suraksha Acharya by clicking here. Access more information about the award winning design Aero Hive here.



Interview with Suraksha Acharya at Monday 23rd of April 2018

FS: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
SA: Aero Hive is a breathing entity. The breath of this building transpires through vertical diaphragms in the form of green sky atriums that behave as lungs, performing the intake of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide. The wind flow to the indoor spaces is carried using wind-scooping and the ‘venturi’ effect through the traversing green diaphragms that are oriented facing prevailing winds. Aero Hive uses scooping for air intake with the help of hexagonal arms that function as wing walls and allows air to exit through operable windows or adjacent atria. During the day, south easterly cool sea-breezes provide relief and in the evening cool northerly winds come down the forested slope and wash across the building.

FS: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
SA: Aero Hive aims to challenge the common belief that contemporary tall buildings cannot be ventilated naturally due to their height and offers pause from the typical hermetically sealed glass-boxes, serving as a model of sustainability. Key to these forms of adaptation is the relationship of the building to their environment and the contextual forces that shape the form development and environmental behavior.

FS: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
SA: It took us 3-4 months to come up with the design and detailing of Aero Hive project.

FS: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
SA: The Aero Hive Office tower was developed as a part of Skyhive Skyscraper Challenge that examines the relationship between the skyscraper and the natural world, the skyscraper and the community, and the skyscraper and the city.

FS: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
SA: Aerodynamic architectural design is realized by taking into consideration building orientation, position, form, and plan variations. An algorithmic process of designing has been followed by creating a differentiated array of a hexagonal floor plates that variably changes scale based on environmental criteria, functional aspects, structural logics and aesthetic parameters. Computational modeling and environmental testing, namely, solar insolation and CFD analysis were carried out to verify the climatic effects of twisting geometries.

FS: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
SA: Aero Hive aims to challenge the common belief that contemporary tall buildings cannot be ventilated naturally due to their ultra-heights and offers pause from typical hermetically sealed glass-boxes, serving as a model of sustainability. Aero Hive is a breathing entity. ‘Aero’ by definition is an organic and porous structure that allows air to move indoors through natural ventilation strategy using Sky atria. ‘Hive’ refers to a creating a habitat.

FS: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
SA: Environmental factors and structural concepts shape the form and skin of this tower. For optimum environmental operating efficiency, the building form should be accordingly shaped, maximizing sun control for different solar angles and insolation intensities. A series of shading & insolation (Wh) studies conducted showed that twisting the tapered hexagonal form 90 degrees clockwise (north west quadrant) and anticlockwise (south east quadrant) yielded self-shading benefits. Aerodynamic architectural design is realized by taking into consideration building orientation, position, form, and plan variations. Having a spectrum of different shapes in mind, this analysis examined the potential of a hexagonal shape. It came to be known that an efficiency of 90% can be achieved with hexagonal packing. Using Simulation CFD, the optimized towers were modelled as a block, and the boundary conditions were set up to emulate the chosen site for 500m radius of urban fabric. Simulations were run based on Hong Kong’s weather data for prevailing directions East(4.1m/s) and South East(2.5m/s) respectively for 500 iterations.

FS: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
SA: In terms of collaborations for this project, the architectural visualization was done by Vizis, Architectural Enhancer, Chennai and the Parametric modelling was done in collaboration with Rat[LAB] research in architecture & technology, New Delhi.

FS: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
SA: We used computational design that follows a mathematical approach to generate geometries & objects in architecture which were useful in developing the form of the tower best for solar shading. Also, we employed parameters & conditions to iterate the design process and are linked to structural and environmental concepts. An algorithmic process of design has been followed by creating a differentiated array of a hexagonal floor plates that variably changes scale based on environmental criteria, functional aspects, structural logics and aesthetic parameters. Parametric modeling and computational simulations, namely, solar insolation and CFD analysis were carried out to verify the climatic effects of twisting geometries.

FS: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
SA: In wind climates like Hong Kong with very directional extreme winds, building shapes that are directionally sensitive are more effective than traditionally shaped buildings. Developments in structural systems of high-strength materials with increased height to weight ratio but reduced stiffness have become greatly affected by wind. Major structural and aerodynamic modification in the design development includes tapering, sculptured building shape, openings and twisting of building. In addition, along with advances in visco-elastic materials like tuned mass dampers as well as structural systems like trussed tubes, the shape of the towers become distinctly modified by the micro-ecology. To drive the natural currents to enhance air volume exchange, pressure differentials between windward (up-wind) and leeward (down-wind) faces of a building were analyzed using CFD for thorough ventilation and surface wind flow acceleration.

FS: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
SA: Developing a brief for a competition is a complex task and the overall process can be very demanding both financially and creatively.

FS: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
SA: The beauty of design competitions is the leveling of the playing field between big companies, small design firms, and students alike. Competitions help spur our creativity and encourage lateral thinking. This is our third international vision competition that we have participated in and find that they give us a unique opportunity to be creative and free with our vision. Also we find ideas valuable in the sense that it help us as a community discuss and debate over various issues.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A' Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.

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