Situ Fabrication provided a range of services from preliminary design consulting to fabrication and construction administration for the lobby of One Jackson Square. The 11-story residential building designed by KPF architects consists of a series of undulating bands of glass stacked one upon the other. At street level the flowing geometry continues into the interior forming a 220’ long doubly curved bamboo wall.
The transition between exterior and interior is defined by perforations in the wall that gradually decrease in number as one moves closer to the entry doors. Inside, the fluid geometry defines a cavernous passageway that ripples outward in areas to form shelves and benches. The bamboo wall is made of 64 unique panels that are 13’ tall and vary in width, each separated by a 1/4” polished aluminum reveal. Each panel consists of 180 layers of bamboo plywood contours that are CNC milled and then laminated. Certain panels are then re-milled using a 3-axis CNC router to achieve a continuous 3-dimensional surface. Finished panels weigh between 300-500 lbs each and are supported on steel posts at each vertical seam. Situ Fabrication began working with KPF in early 2007 doing material studies and mockups to develop a suitable fabrication strategy. Initial studies examined the effects of stacking wood in different ways using a variety of wood species as well as other materials. These studies informed the development of the geometry, defining its parameters and leading to the introduction of double curvature. A number of mockups were produced to test specific production processes as well as clarify details such as the curved reveals. Once an appropriate system was designed, Situ Fabrication proceeded with the production phase. Incorporated into the wall are a number of elements, such as the entry and vestibule doors, service doors, elevators, and a curved glass partition. Coordinating with these and other trades such as HVAC and plumbing, while maintaining continuity in the geometry, required a high degree of precision. An additional challenge was the fact that production was to begin long before many details had been finalized. To accommodate this information gap, a digital production workflow was developed that connected each step in the creation of fabrication data back to the original 3D surface geometry. This allowed for changes in certain parameters such as local curvature, panelization, connection details, and reveal conditions to be propagated down through the entire production chain. Fabrication data such as 2D cutsheets, 3D solid models, and CNC machine code could all be quickly updated by editing a single parametric model. The fast-track nature of the project required considerable coordination and organization in order to ensure project delivery on schedule. The transportation and installation sequence was especially critical as it overlapped with the production phase. As part of its construction administration services, Situ Fabrication was engaged in daily on-site installation supervision while at the same time making adjustments to the parametric model to finalize panel details in other areas of the lobby. Installation was completed in four weeks with no delays or major complications.