A Brand World

05/ 2018    
Nowadays, the boundary between public and private spaces becomes blurry. For general gathering and socializing purposes, people are not restricted to visit a public park, instead, a mall or a Starbucks is considered by many as alternative destination. Traditional corporate spaces such as shops and headquarters are refurbished and reinvented in their spatial orders and aesthetics to appeal to users. However, in contrast to what it proposes, today’s ‘public’ space suggests a scarcity of freedom. There is an invisible hand dictating the styles and purposes of a space and leave the public unprecedented limitation of true engagement. The voices against corporate control become noticing on the digital forums. The new generation of digital society seeks to attain not only freedom of their personal realms, but also true responsibility over the development of corporatized ‘public’ spaces.

There is a necessity to integrating true public interface in the restrictive physical realm. This thesis aims to critique current corporate space; making one that channels publicness in the eye of corporate identity. One that can adapt and alter itself based on user interests, giving the public true responsibility over the evolution of the building. An architecture whose future is determined by the user, rather than by the corporation.

Scarcity of Freedom in 'Public' Space
This project began with the question: how have public services been integrated within corporate environments? Whether in a company’s headquarters or retail stores, there is typically an integrated space, used to allow public engagement with a corporation.

Nowadays, with better interior furnishing and open layout, ‘corporatized public space’ gradually replaces the role of traditional public space. However, due to its merchandising agenda, these spaces are highly manipulative. Corporations and designers dictates the styles and aesthetics of the space and only present to the public what they wish them to perceive about the brand. The ‘so called’ public component is actually limiting the choices of the public and provides them very little control of what happens within.

This thesis project starts with an analysis of successful contemporary corporate buildings across different industries. Through the investigation, a clear pattern of manipulation on public perception can be traced in building tectonics and innovative structures.

'Anchor Cloud' Iteration Matrix

The ‘Anchor Cloud’ provides a selection of different internal enclosures for the users to choose freely on the digital forum. Various volumes are developed to accommodate different activities.

User-oriented Building Transformation

This space will be achieved through a digital “cloud”, which bridges the digital and physical realm by harvesting and reacting to user preferences, and delivering processed information to the building management system, resulting in an architecture that is always updating its form in response to public needs.

Digital Atmosphere within the City

The anchor cloud reconfigures the city’s public networks and public nodes.
By establishing connection between the digital and the physical, the anchor cloud expanded the public realm by transforming the current ‘corporatized public space’ into an interactive, user-oriented environment.

Transformation of Urban Nodes

The influence of the ‘Anchor Cloud’ is reinforced by the adaptive building form and portable devices that are sent over to the further ends of the city. The signals from every corner of the city formulated a digital atmosphere.
Reconfigured City Atmosphere

Extendable Floor Slab System

This section focuses on technical possibilities to allow the building to adapt in two scales: a grand scale where entire building’s profile constantly updates; and an intimate scale, where the internal spaces adapts to suit individual requests.

The adaptive building form is supported by the extendable floor slab system. Utilizing an array of inset trusses, certain floor slabs can extend/contract up to 60ft. Each floor slab has embedded pulleys and flexible membrane sheets to allow for the creation of multiple cloud micro environments.


Cloudy Pulley System

Dodecahedral pulley array can be utilized to manipulate the cloud membranes to accommodate specific programs. Integrated lighting systems and interstitial air pumps additionally provide luminance and structural integrity.

The flexible membranes can be manipulated by pulleys to create a variety of shapes or aggregate together to form bigger spaces. These can then be filled with pop up furniture and furnishings to create a variety of different programs that can rapidly evolve.