OPPORTUNISTIC GEOMETRIES | Berlin | Unit 21 | 2012

Awarded Distinction in Design


The project tests whether bespoke digital methods can be used in a political and provocative way. It questions levels of chance and control within a design project and uses methods that embrace indeterminate outcomes. A new Federal Constitutional Court of Germany is proposed in Berlin on a site formerly occupied by the Berlin Wall. A single module of the Berlin Wall was modelled and scanned using a homemade 3d scanner. The homemade scanner contained nuances and inaccuracies, producing areas of slippage in the resulting 3d mesh. These areas of slippage, or ‘opportunistic geometries’ were used to design the key spaces of the new Court. The challenge of the project lay in combining these opportunistic geometries with the functional requirements of the Court.


The home-made scanner


Allowing for chance in materiality

The geometry used to inform all of the spaces of the court and the landscape are from the home-made scanning technique which introduces slippage and distortions to the scanned objects. Using a single, modelled segment of the Berlin Wall, enough geometry is produced in the slippage to design the entire scheme without the need for repetition. Various resolutions can be produced by scaling the one scan rather than using several different scale models.