image by grimshaw architects
image by grimshaw architects

Star Mountain Plaza | Grimshaw Architects | Pacific Asia Developments | 2015

Star Mountain Plaza was a project that was being head up by Grimshaw’s Melbourne office. Here’s a brief description per Architect of Record – Ignite Architects: “This truly unique concept delivers 21st century buildings while incorporating design elements that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea. These elements include the traditional ‘long-house’ form of the convention centre, and the pattern of the screens on the tower façades, which will be designed in collaboration with a local artist.

Star Mountain Plaza will play host to the 2018 APEC summit which will see 21 nations converge in Port Moresby giving Papa New Guinea the opportunity to showcase its ability to support the international world of business. It will become the Centre of commerce in Papua New Guinea.”

My role on this project was more of a consultant, and my sole focus was on the Convention Center and its “long-house” roof form. I was asked by our designers to advise them on best design practices to be employed in order to allow them to quickly iterate on roof form using design software like Rhino and Grasshopper, while at the same time creating a dynamic pipeline into Revit for documentation. In response to this inquiry I have created multiple possible solutions for the team using plug-ins like Lyrebird or my own Mantis Shrimp and Dynamo. The main issue as always was accurate translation of somewhat complex roof form from NURBS based Rhino environment to line and arc based Revit.

It was later brought to my attention that the main laminated timber structure members were being analyzed by our structural consultants in Robot Structures software and they inquired about possibility of converting our initially generated as Generic Model, Adaptive Components structural members into full fledged Structural Framing elements. This lead me to developing a custom Revit API workflow that would generate Structural Framing in Revit from NURBS Curves in Grasshopper. Using Mantis Shrimp plug-in for Dynamo I was able to establish a quick and direct pipeline from Grasshopper into Revit. This level of flexibility allowed our designers to iterate quickly on multiple design options while also being able to update documentation drawings in parallel for coordination with consultants.

This work was part of my presentation at Revit Technology Conference North America 2015. RTC Writeup.