Ralf Bliem (website)
TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) Faculty For Architecture Theory
Master’s Thesis / Studio Manfred Berthold
Faculty: Manfred Berthold (website), Cuno Brullmann (website), Dörte Kuhlmann


Nucleus; romantic scientific novel about architecture in a dystopian urban future.

The intention of this architectural work was to react on climatic changes and, along with this, environmental changes on our planet.

The scenario is set in an dystopian future where resources getting short and cities begin to decay. The “Nucleus Project” should be seen as a new starting point to vanquish climatic and resource crisis. The aim is to create architecture that is able to develop itself in various surroundings with varying environmental influences.

To obtain this Nucleus adheres close to nature, its base code is leant on a chemical reaction which is transformed into digital, driven by parameters of the „host environment“. The fractal appearance tries to simulate the natural behavior of cells, membranes and their growing properties.

The architectural process itself starts with gathering information about the site. Since Nucleus could be placed everywhere on this planet, grabbing information is vital. With this information about specific parameters of the site [e.g. density, headroom, pollution, still existing infrastructure] Nucleus is able to develop itself in decent directions. This development process is leant on state of the art mechanical and biomechanical apparatuses which are specificly designed for this intend.

Nucleus literally acts as a single „cell“ which could be placed in e.g. a decaying building. From the time of the placement the building [and site] acts as a host for the growing Nucleus. A multi-axis drone inside Nucleus is liable for the [bio]me- chanical development process via printing units. Feeding this system is inalienable, so the Nucleus nutrition system gathers nourishment from its surroundings. It is connected to its site by a vein like pipe system, driven by mechanical cutterheads. This ducted system feeds Nucleus by chemically dissolving construction material and moving it towards the cell.

To react at a fast changing environment this architectural sequence is able to change its appearance during a lifetime cycle. By the provided information of its surrounding, Nucleus is able to react similar to a Taxis in nature.

E.g. if the lighting situation is changing radical during the development process the growing Nucleus is able to change its faces, openings in the faces and alignment of the extrusion to the light source. This is provided by steady lightning analysis during the recursive growing process.

The created architectural environment is stable in all conceivable surreal, hostile, contaminated, earthquake prone or desert alike peripheries. Its created space gives human kind host and shelter. The fractal design of the outside reflects to the inside of the object and offers a vast amount of layouts for all different needs of human residence. Because of the ongoing development and growing process human needs could be easily implemented into the architectural program of a object.

Architecture designed around life.

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