Swan River MuseumThe Island Community Centre responds to the Swan River as if it were a living organism, emphasising the need for a symbiotic co-existence between the urban environment and the river ecosystem. The growth patterns of algae and seaweed have been chosen as the conceptual framework of the design development process. Although algae could be seen to have negative effects on the Swan River Ecosystem when in large concentrations, in a healthy river system algae plays a vital role in the life of the river. More importantly, algae and seaweed have a number of properties that can be applied to structural and formal generation. Algae can also literally be integrated into the building framework as a generator of ethanol and biofuel to aid in reducing the building's energy consumption.
In order to generate a functional building based on the growth of algae cells, a number of different scripts needed to be used to conceptualise various parts of the design. The propagation of the building cells is determined through a Voronoi mapping of the masterplan using an array of point data taken from the urban model. This 2D map was used to determine the footprint of the island. The island footprint was then put through the three di dimensional Voronoi script to generate a number of permutations of cells that are then chiseled away to reveal a final building form. The cellular division of the facade volumes was determined using a script designed to map algae growth patterns in two dimensions. This program was also used to determine the arrangement of panels and the placement of glazing on the surface.