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Where Rwandan soil rises to meet the sky, divine light bridges the gap between heaven and earth and all come together as one. 

The chapel of the Crossing marks the meeting of God and mortal. Tutsi and Hutu; local and travel; all gathering together to celebrate the glory of the divine. 

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Santa Monica Shell


University of Queensland


Complete - Conceptual


Los Angeles, USA

Santa Monica Shell depicts the first of a series of coastal clean-up-oriented sustainability hubs to line the Los Angeles County coastline. Adopting the premise of active sustainability practice the hub encourages locals and tourists alike to take part in an autonomous recycling process: taking plastic straight from the beach, sorting and cleaning hard plastics, and converting these into 3D printed goods. Every square meter of the hub serves educational and/or social purpose: the access ramps leading to the elevated flexible social and workshop spaces are lined with sustainability exhibits that inform visitors of the importance of ocean preservation, as well as depicting the hub’s own recycling process and how one can get involved. The shell’s form responds directly to site-specific views to Santa Monica pier, the sea, and malibu are optimised. An evolutionary simulation seeks out the most efficient form with maximised solar radiation and external curvature over a set footprint.


The shell itself is formed of the developed GridShell system: a biomimicry cellular system derived from natural patterns of differential growth and the structural principals of seashells. The systems adopts the simple yet inherently efficient method of dividing the shell into grid of triangles – the triangle shape being key, ensuring that all cells will derive from a flat base plane, ensuring FDM 3D printability. Whilst from outward appearance the system conforms to a manmade grid, the cells grow inwards: veiling structural lines in a shroud of sun-illuminated biophilic growth. Embracing nature’s ability to actively respond to climatic conditions the depth of the growth in initially determined by the amount of solar radiation at given points on the surface. Where radiation is highest the growth is deeper, allowing optimum coverage of each cell’s surface segment. Privacy and view attractors are then applied to open the shell to three key views out and ensure privacy from the carpark and into the central core. Finally, the structural capacity of the cells is strengthened along the foundation base.


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