The cross-crit was an opportunity to present our group site analysis and masterplan as well as our final folly designs.
The new folly design used the space of the ORNC to create a fractal jungle. The general feedback was that although it was a step forward from the last design, the folly could be centered around the columns more than the courtyard space, using the corners especially to create an interesting effect. It could also be more delicate, and more like ivy or vines interacting with the columns of the ORNC. There is also a question of how to represent this in a way that expresses the ideas more fluently.
In the second masterplanning workshop, as well as defining fun palace locations we decided locations of secondary interventions, to include visitor centres and kiosks, cafes, cable car stops, sports areas, playgrounds, and educational areas, eg. outdoor lecture spaces. We also discussed landscaping on the site, taking inspiration from the Olympic Park and Barrier Park. Changes in level, and the access between areas of a different level, will be a key feature of the overall masterplanning scheme.
The main feedback from the crit was that the folly design was not representing the initial drawings or the ideas about fractal forms. After reflecting on the feedback and the design development process it was clear that the main issue I was having in creating the final folly was the question of how the space would be contained, and what it would look like from the outside or from afar.
Another point of discussion in the crit was why the folly was sited in the park as opposed to another part of the site such as the Old Royal Naval College, in order to allow the folly to be visited in the evening after the park closes. Considering this in relation to the issue of interior/exterior led to a somewhat revelatory moment, as placing the folly in the smaller ORNC courtyard would actually allow me to retain the fractal forms of my component models as a kind of interior. The surrounding buildings provide a sense of enclosure for the folly, giving it the intentionality that I was trying to create and allowing the fractal components to be placed without seeming random or without purpose as they do on a larger site such as the park.
In the revised folly, the fractal forms will be placed within the smaller courtyard of the ORNC, creating almost a fractal ‘jungle’ that visitors can walk through. The components will be densely placed to create a strong atmosphere and experience.
The workflow for this project has thus far been quite interesting, with the concept images and animations from Mandelbulb being turned into slices, which can also be turned into animations. These slices were then processed into obj files, which were reduced to a more manageable size in Rhino and then input into Cinema 4D. As the final goal is an animation showing the folly, I expected the workflow would involve creating a 3D model and then animating this model. Instead I have created all my 3D model components from scenes from the first animation.
To create the final folly in the ORNC courtyard, the workflow involves using After Effects and Cinema 4D simultaneously. Shown above is an screen capture showing the setup, with Cinema 4D on the left screen and After Effects on the right. After creating a 2.5D context in After Effects using photographs, I linked the Cinema 4D files of the fractal components to the After Effects file using Cineware. This means that the model can be changed in Cinema 4D – upon saving, it immediately updates in AE to reflect the changes. This is extremely beneficial as it allows me to play around with position and scale in the final scene before deciding on lighting, also giving an idea of what the composition will look like without having to render any 3D objects.
Using projection mapping technology, animations similar to the following will be projected onto the interior of the folly, stretched 360° to surround the viewer. The animations show abstract fractal forms, taken from the 3D model from which the folly was derived. There is around an hour between dusk and the park closing time, which is when these would be most successful – the initial fractal model animation could be projected during the day. The effect of the projection at night could give a similar feel to a planetarium, instead with fractal forms.
Having split my fractal model into 3D components, I had been attempting to combine these to create a more tangible space. However, I was finding it difficult to retain the strong language of my previous images.
Ideas from the tutorial were that I should focus on one of these components and how it could be translated spatially. For the final folly I will be developing the spherical component further. The folly could be used to animate the history of the site as well as ideas about time. I will be taking inspiration from orrerys, perhaps creating moving panels – these could be solar powered.
The physical folly will also be connected to a virtual space (my infinite fractal model, from which the component forms were created), which could be projected within the inside of the folly space. This could also be powered by the energy generated by the folly.
Another interesting precedent, from Watchmen, was Dr Manhattan’s glass structure, which also refers clearly to the structure of clocks, tying in with the character’s backstory. The forms and movement of both this and machines such as astrolabes, orrerys and armillary spheres will inform the folly. The folly will sit on the Meridian line, further linking to the idea of time.
To gather inspiration for our masterplan, we visited the Thames Barrier Park in Silvertown, Newham and the Olympic Park in Stratford. The landscaping of the Thames Barrier Park was much more formal than the Olympic Park, which was of course designed to accommodate a much higher footfall.
There were a number of points of inspiration that we took from the two parks:
We liked the formal landscaping of the Barrier Park and want to create areas of this in our masterplan.
The sunken part of the Barrier Park was successful, as well as the walkways above it
We could invite artists to create installations for our site. Depending on the length of time our fun palaces remain on the site, new installations could be brought in on rotation as a feature (similar to the Turbine Hall at the Tate).
We liked the style of the cafes at both parks
The water feature at the Olympic Park encouraged the public to engage with it
The existing play area in Millwall Park should be improved
There should be seating areas placed strategically in the masterplan
A visitor centre would be a good addition to our site