Initially helping the architects in
saving time with their drawings, computer software has evolved to the point of
Parametric modeling which allows the designer to work with certain features of
a building without having to re-calculate all the other features that are
affected by the changes they make. This makes them extremely powerful design
tools. Now we can make the most complex of the design forms in which all the
logistical calculations like loads on building, effect of solar radiation, cost
estimations and factors of error can be calculated pre-construction. An example
of this is The Gherkin Tower in London since its design was guided mainly by
parametric modelling. What makes it different from its type of sky-scrapers are
3 factors: it’s round and not square, the thin top end turns into a bulge in
the middle while coming down, and the basis of it is spiral design. All these
could easily be taken as purely aesthetic features, yet they all cater to
specific constraints.

A key issue with Gherkin’s sized
buildings is that whirlwinds are created at their base by the air currents that
swing around, making their surrounding area an uncomfortable place to be. To
address this problem, the design firm SMG advised the architects to use
computer models which, based on the mathematics of turbulence, simulate a
building’s aerodynamic properties. The model showed that a cylindrical shape
responds better to air currents than a square one and reduces whirlwinds. The
fact that the tower bulges out in the middle, reaching its maximal diameter at
the 16th floor, also helps to minimize winds at its slimmer base.

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As humans are bounded by an unwritten
code that modifies itself circumstantially from time to time in order so they are
able to survive and inhabit as a society, buildings today are doing the same.
If we look at the older structures around us we can see that they are designed
and created around certain threads of natural and materialistic forces
governing that area. Buildings are carved out of the locally available material
and are shaped and designed to be climate responsive to that area. These
buildings worked brilliantly in the past as they do today. But in the past,
after a certain point there was little room for innovation because we were
limited by our time and technology but that is not the case today. What we need
to understand is that in this age of globalization we are in a point of history
where evolution is picking up speed and revolutionary discoveries are made
every month or week or day.

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