This project represents a small research experiment, focused on the use of Grasshopper as instrument for the development of a parametric and generative masterplan. The project takes place into the Lea (river) Valley, a wide area that separates the city of London from Stratford Upon Avon, a smaller city positioned at the East. The same area has been selected for the XXX Olympic Games 2012 and is going to be completely renovated very soon.

The definition of a new masterplan doesn’t keep into consideration this new development of the area and tries to give a solution for the requalification of an industrial area positioned exactly in between London and Stratford Upon Avon. The main concept is to create a complex organization of the urban asset, based on the Lea and the definition of a series of attractive poles, positioned into the Valley.

The Grasshopper definition is based on the acquisition of a simple quadrilateral surface as main input, completed by a series of points constituting the attractive poles, carefully organized into the area. Then the definition allows to extract a point grid from the surface, with different densities and quantity of points, which will be the base element for the construction of the buildings.

The point grid is then deformed accordingly to the attractor points, through a process which is closely derived by the studies on magnetic fields. The result of the deformation is a series of “isopotential” curves [streamlines], showing the influence of the attractors on the whole area. A new point grid is then extracted from the streamlines and used to develop a Voronoi pattern.

Some of the Voronoi faces are culled, in order to define the presence of water into the masterplan. This procedure allows continuity to the Lea river, which longitudinally crosses the area. Remaining surfaces are populated with two different components, aiming to generate high rise buildings (based on the attractors) and low rise buildings (characterized by internal courts).

At the end of the process all the geometries have been baked and refined in Rhino. It’s interesting to observe the potential of a generative and parametric approach applied to urban design, which needs of a very short series of operations (applied to a huge series of geometries) in order to realize a complex solution for urban planning, which can be also customize at the end of the whole process through the set of parameters.

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