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Oyster-Point barnacles

Steel urban fixtures using computational and parametric design.

San Francisco - USA

Project partners:

Architect: James Corner Field Operations
Client: Jensen Corp
Structural Engineer: Craft engineering
Contractor: AIP partners
Location: San Fransisco, USA


AIP recently started production on 3 barnacle shaped benches as part of the Oyster point development in San Francisco, USA. The barnacles are designed & engineered to shelter visitors from wind. The design was developed & engineered by using parametric tools. The barnacles house curved pre-cast concrete benches. Delivery of these barnacles is expected in 2024. The Oyster Point Barnacles are a set of three urban fixtures designed for the Kilroy Oyster Point development in San Francisco.

Urban fixtures play a critical role in creating inviting and functional outdoor spaces. Customization and handling complexity are common challenges faced by designers when creating urban fixtures. Traditional fixtures can be bulky, difficult to customize, and may not provide the optimal form and function for the space. To address these challenges, we developed a fixture made of slats using computational design tools and parametric design techniques. Our design approach allowed for customization and optimized the fixture's form and function, resulting in a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing structure.

Following our quest to ease the gap between design and fabrication, design to fabrication scripts were developed. Smoothly generating fabrication files, our scripts are made taking into account the manufacturing limitations and industry standards. Doing so, we could accurately cut each angle variation on the slats with a plasma cutter and reduce the labor intense retouching tasks.

One of the key benefits of using computational and parametric design tools is the ability to create and manage complex geometries with ease. With these tools, we were able to optimize the design of the urban fixture, reducing material waste and ensuring the slats' optimal arrangement for maximum assemble quality.

If you are interested in our design or would like to learn more about how we can help with your next project, please don't hesitate to contact us.

About computational design

Using computational design tools and parametric design techniques allowed us to be highly reactive to the architectural intent while remaining conscious of the manufacturing limitations. The parametric design approach we used allowed for easy customization of the design, meaning that we could quickly modify the fixture's form and function to meet specific requirements. At the same time, we were able to maintain a high level of manufacturing precision, thanks to the plasma cutters we used to fabricate the fixture. This balance between design flexibility and manufacturing precision enabled us to deliver a highly tailored solution that meets a high-quality end product.

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