Mobility Museum

Rotterdam Mobility Museum is a linear structure occupying abandoned tracks next to the railroad station in Rotterdam. The facade is designed parametrically to respond to the surroundings. Its design resembles an illusive creature with metallic scales reflecting the surroundings. Its body is changing in width along a main linear direction of the tracks.

Meant to be read en passant, from a moving train or in rushing to the station, the surface mediates between opacity and translucency, thickness and flatness, materiality and immateriality.Conceptually, the project explores the space immediately adjacent to the human body, the few inches of space between skin and clothes. We carefully register this space every day, thereby constructing our individual identity. 

This space is of architectural interest insofar as it stands in between the body, traditionally seen as private, and the space in which the body exists, necessarily other, thereby public. As a third category of spaces neither private nor public, the in-between extends the body into the public realm, creating a membrane of permeable space. The originating diagram describes a series of double-eight curves, serving as regulating sections. A second logic of scales is applied to the project, giving Rotterdam Transportation Museum both structural rigidity and revealing its inherent aesthetic logic. The scale folding angle and the scale height correspond to the distance from the central spine. As the membrane inflates, the scales rotate vertical and overlap. As the membrane flattens, the scales relax, allowing light to pass through. 

To test the geometric qualities the original algorithm was programmed in Autocad Lisp in 2002. The model was laser cut in stainless steel at the physics department of material sciences at ETH Zurich. The assemblage of the model relies on purely mechanical connections: Sections and floor-plates slide into each other, lateral scales fold up along dashed cut lines, creating a gentle pressure fit connection.



Authors: Aurel von Richthofen with Sander Troost 

Place: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Year: 2002–2003
Size: –
Type: Self Initiated
Client: –

axonometric of the sectional development
double curved surfaces produce skin space or "Haut-Raum"
Change in opacities in facade
early parametric model programmed in AutoCad Lisp
Laser-cut stainless steel (2002!)
Laser-cut stainless steel assembled

Nouvelle Comédie

Nouvelle Comédie is a compe­tition design for a new classic and contemporary theater and opera house in Geneva, Switzerland. Nouvelle Comédie is a hybrid. For the sake of programmatic flexibility all main spaces are organized on one horizontal plane. Acoustic requirements on stage and seating given, constrained by the site, the resulting form is a simple massing diagram. Thus the section resembles Antoine de St. Exuperie’s hat-turned-elephant-eating-snake drawing from the Little Prince. The architectural exploration is bound to the thin layer of the facade. The skin necessarily becomes the mediating surface of this project.

Splügen Rest Stop

Splügen is a landscape project located in the Upper Rhine Valley in Switzerland using parametrically designed “fins” to engage the river and manipulate the fluvial landscape. The Upper Rhine Valley is characterized by its pristine alpine ecology, yet, contrasted with a mayor highway connecting Germany and Italy running through it.

Maribor Bridge

Maribor Bridge is a design for new footway and bicycle bridge Lent–Taborsko nabrežje. The proposed bridge is a light-weight construction combining air beams and tension cables in a new structural concept called “Tensairity”.

Sucre Glace

Sucre-glace is an compact ice-rink and sports stadium in the Swiss village of St.Cergues, located in the Jura mountains close to Geneva. The envelope is a consists of an inflated membrane and wooden space-frame.

Warsaw Rotunda

Warsaw Rotunda is a renovation and a tactical urban space project at once. The design takes an existing building, strips its facade and turns its inner space into an observation platform. The reversal of a closed hermetic space into an open public lantern reclaims a central place in Warsaw for the public.

Portfolio 2009-2013

This portfolio collects three lines of investigation explored simultaneously and mutually re-enforcing the work produced by aurelVR during 2009-2013: Research, Teaching and Practice. Research on urbanization in Oman and the Gulf marks a new field of investigation of design processes and spatial organization beyond form. Teaching expands in the same direction using digital tools to support design and research. The design part, finally, collects various projects done with aurelVR in Berlin and Oman.