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La Biblioteca Omeostatico (THE HOMEOSTATIC LIBRARY)

Part 1 Project 2014
Tyler Aldridge
De Montfort University, UK
A new religious library is to be built in the shadow of the Cathedral in the historic town of Orvieto. Using modern 3d printing and scanning technology the library will be a base for creating physical and digital exact replicas of priceless books and artefacts to allow for a more intensive research process as well as providing worldwide accessibility.

Orvieto is said to be a freeze frame in time. The tuff stone plateau on which it is built gives the city a boundary against expansion. It would be difficult to build new without demolition, and the narrow roads with low hanging bridges make conventional construction methods difficult. Due to its isolation it has avoided the modern homogenisation of city life and architecture. The city reached maximum expansion in the 13th century and has since remained basically unchanged.

Using the lifestyle adaptations made by the inhabitants of Orvieto as precedent for the concept, and exploring parallels between biology and architectural technology the futuristic system proposes a small scale method for construction without design.

A successful design can work well with its surroundings, however, for the building to grow and adapt without initial intent, it is proposed that the construction method will use its own senses to create the optimum form, completely unique to its location and environment.

Construction is carried out by autonomous 3D printing drones that coordinate by using stigmergy in a similar way to termites and ants. Drones are able to print with microscopic accuracy using specialised material creating an independent, passively adapting unit of construction.

Tuff stone is widely available in Orvieto. However, tuff quarrying creates plumes of dust that pose a major environmental and public health risk. The System exploits debris resulting from common tuff cave operations, combining it with modern specialised polymers to create a smart material.

The smart envelope of the library is inspired by biological structures that use homeostatic mechanisms to regulate internal environments according to dynamic external conditions.

Tyler Aldridge


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