Ralf Bliem (website), Konrad Zellner
TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) Faculty For Architecture Theory
Faculty: Kristina Schinegger (website), Stefan Rutzinger (website), Christoph Müller (website)
Millepora stands for a self organizing and self assembling tower concept. The tower unit by itself is based on data- and information-collection all around the site area and furthermore all around the chosen city. Starting point is a seed at a determined spot. Different phases of growing and spreading go along with each other.
After the initial seeding process, main-drones start to create a very first horizontal supply network for all following iterations. The main-drones slide on a magnetic rail like a vertical cargo system. This large scale supply network serves with the main-drones as a continuous vendor for the outer shell substance delivery – and the continuous outer shell expansion. The outer shell expansion starts when a decent level of inner-support-network spreading is reached. The main-drones provide a steady grow of the outer shell.
During this ongoing process the unit keeps collecting data from all around. With this dataset the tower unit gets information about how to spread and where to add new branches. Furthermore the tower tries to react and interact with its ‘host’.
After a few iterations of vertical growing, spreading and generating space, the unit tries to collect more data from the near surroundings to start a horizontal spreading in decent directions. At the base of the new collected data, the tower connects with its very near infrastructure to defer a symbiosis with it. At a balanced stage of horizontal and vertical spreading the main drones begin to extend their supporting network both, horizontally and vertically to keep the steady growing shell alive. When the interlocking and connecting with the near surroundings is finished, the tower unit keeps collecting and informing about ‘its’ city. The need of more habitat gets recognized and the unit is able to react with expanding the tower at decent positions.
Furthermore the information layer on the very outside of the tower unit keeps spreading through the city. This fibrous network is printed by printing-drones on the outer shell of millepora and on existing infrastructure of the host. The information layer collects all the data which is needed for the growing calculation. The network invades even into buildings, checks their supply system and calculates if a extension is needed.
This extension grows as a pocket in the inside of the tower unit parallel to the outside growing, spreading and encrusting process. A encrusted spine is generated by the main-drones as a guidance for multi axis roboarms. The roboarms create the pockets around them. The size of these pockets is limited by the range of the roboarms – this limitation forms the grotto like inside sculptures with a very high amount of connectivity. The porosity of the tower inside allows a multi way inside concept.
A multi-layer unit is generated through self information and a ongoing growing process provides sustainability in a fast changing environment.