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Octopus
(Study Model for QMA Underbelly)
Queens, New York 2003

Materials: 1/32” PETG plastic, 1/8” chromed steel, anodized aluminum tube, aluminum rod, steel rod
Techniques: Vaccuum-forming (tiles), water-jet cutting (steel grid), manual bending (pins and cable net)
Dimensions: 16”wide x 84”high x 12”long

Working in tandem with Arup Los Angeles to develop a viable suspended roofscape, we produced a detailed model that came to be known as the Octopus for the sucker-like pores on its underbelly. The relatively smooth surface developed during the competition is created using finite element analysis to determine its complex structural condition. This information allows us to divide the surface into tiles of varying depths, each of which holds a structural pin of precise and differing length. Strung together at their outer end with a steel cable net in tension and at their inner ends with a steel grid in compression, the assembly forms a taut sandwich closely approximating the real structural forces flowing through the roof.