Backyard sheds come in many versions, from the humble upside-down boat shed, to the converted 'granny shed' out back. New York City-based CDR Studio Architects went high-tech, using parametric design principles and computer-aided fabrication techniques to create a one-of-a-kind shed whose structure is inspired by the wings of a dragonfly.
Intended as an "inhabitable threshold" between the deck and garden, it's perfect for activities like yoga, outdoor sleeping and dining. Built in a garden behind a four-storey house in Hoboken, New Jersey, the Dragonfly Pavilion (in an amusing play on words, "pavilion" is apparently the Latin word for "butterfly") also hints at the similarities in the "not merely ornamental, but highly efficient" wing structures of both dragonflies and butterflies. The shed is protected by insect screens on the sides, and a patterned, laminated-tempered glass canopy that lets light in, but filters it a touch, creating an underwater-like atmosphere.
The design team explains that like the wings of these beautiful insects, the structural expression of struts has its own rationale:
The skeletal structure of the Pavilion is a gradient of complex geometric shapes. The entirety of the Pavilion is an assembly of irregular cells shaped by local stresses, constructed of sustainably harvested and FSC-certified Sapele mahogany and stitched into a vertical recycled aluminum vertical armature.These cells are more than just aesthetically appealing; their shape and size respond directly to the forces acting on it.
The creative design and construction process relied heavily on tools for computer-aided design and digital fabrication. An algorithm was used to generate the shifted geometric patterns of the structure, which also streamlined the back-and-forth design process when incorporating changes from client, designer and fabricator. The designers say:
This flexibility returns the possibilities of fortuitous dialogue not usually available on projects. The process was open yet saved time as well as prevented field errors. Once the manufacturing model was pre-fabricated, it was assembled in a warehouse, taken apart, and then reassembled on-site. The entire installation process took less than one week.
Sometimes, a shed is just a shed. But this project shows that the process of building a shed can be done differently, using new design frameworks and the latest tools, so that time and materials can be saved from unnecessary waste to create an impressive result -- even if it's 'just' a shed. More over at CDR Studio Architects.