In the dichotomy of “field” and “figure”, the tower is the consummate “figure”, its autonomy is a product of its stature, its expressiveness is dependant on its singularity and its objectness. Yet it is still grounded to a field whose forces can be rejected or embraced. The tower, both due to its inherent figural qualities as well as the economic and political regimes that have historically served as its “patron”, tends to reject the field conditions of its locality, opposing or ignoring the generative opportunities locality offers.
  Our project backs up and takes a global run at the local, taking the worldwide “field” of climate, and setting parameters for introducing a figure -“the tower”- that responds to local conditions.     At this level of resolution an initial prototype for each condition can be proposed that will become more and more customized and singular with each new, added layer of information. Each level of resolution reveals latent forces, but the forces are universal, so each tower becomes localized but also remains connected to the field, genetically the same, but “nurtured” into an individual expression. Thus the forms that dominate the atlas, the multitude of primitives and their initial regime of shape changing, can be seen as pre-tower zygotes, expressing baseline conditions.
 We begin by defining the field from which the tower is derived. At this level of resolution we command a broad pixel of 3x3 degrees of latitude and longitude. Each pixel is defined by its position and the dominant biome within its scope.   This is registered using the Koppen climate classification system, which breaks down biomes into climate zones based on temperature, humidity, and seasonal dynamics, whether a winter is cold or rainy, whether a summer is wet or dry, or whether there are any seasonal variations at all.
 Our first order of investigation was to establish whether conventional assumptions concerning the thermal performance of surface area to volume ratios hold up to scrutiny. We ran simple extruded envelopes containing a given volume through environmental analysis software and concluded that, as might be expected, the circle with its low surface area to volume ratio out-performed other shapes in extreme climates. 
  The percentages in the graph above represent the amount of loss or gain through the envelope with all other factors (material, insulation, fenestration) zeroed out.  The ideal here is the closer to zero the less the transmittance, both losses and gains are represented. Thus, in milder climates the losses and gains due to shape have limited consequence, while in extreme climates shape impacts thermal performance.
  Our second evaluation expands on this by introducing corrugation to the primitives, transforming their shape along vectors that maintain their radiality and isomorphism. We reanalyzed the primitives with increasing degrees of corrugation and established a coefficient to drive a parametric model. This coefficient was derived from the proportion of thermal transmittance, losses and gains, attributable to envelope shape, after zeroing out all other factors.  Corrugation was then deployed by climate zone and latitude based on their performance trend.  The corrugation is expressed in both amplitude – the size of each individual corrugation- and frequency – the number of corrugations.
  Note that the triangle is driven only by amplitude with no increase in frequency. This is because the triangle and square become almost identical when they are doubly corrugated, and our interest in exploring the thermal dynamics of these shapes was better served by attenuating one or the other. So the condition of the triangle and square as developed are exchangeable, the square could become a cross with super-attenuated limbs, as the triangle becomes a tripod. Whether this transformation happens with amplitude or frequency or both, the surface to floor area ratios remain constant in each stage. Either condition sets up different dynamics regarding solar incidence and cross ventilation, both of which are apparent in our thermal analysis. This could imply a hybrid of large amplitude corrugation along with frequent smaller corrugations, a condition that is seen in residence towers in southern latitudes.
  So, looking at the examples above, the level of corrugation in a cold climate is minimized.  Moscow, for example, is represented by only one shape that deviates just a small bit from a conventional circle, whereas Hong Kong’s mild climate makes the performance factors of each shape negligible, so all three are represented there, with the corrugation derived for their climate. The final result from this stage was a distribution of shapes establishing a precondition for a prototypology for each climate zone.  
  Next we looked at the direct solar incidence on each zygote variation as a function of latitude. A shading coefficient is generated, represented on the atlas as a “shadow”, the length of the shadow indicating the coefficient. Closer analysis of representative zygotes is developed in the individual city “zoom ins”, as watt-hours of energy impacting each exposed surface. This layer of information can eventually generate future fenestration and shade strategies.
  The resulting proto-shapes generated by these steps serve as a basis for further localization as new information is loaded into the analysis and the form zeros in. We maintain the zygotic character of the tower at this point but offer a next level of resolution by introducing fenestration to the shape. This necessarily requires the assumption of a z dimension, absent until now, which we have put at four meters. Fenestration to facade ratios were tested from .2 to 1.
  Fenestration analysis was limited to specific cities representing each macroclimate zone: Moscow, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur, the polar climate zone was left out because there are no cities in polar zones.  The analysis was based on degree hours above or below an established comfort zone for each version of the zygote prescribed for each location. This analysis confirmed the robustness of our initial deployment but it also developed further implications for the shape of the tower, which only at this stage begins to express a post-zygotic form. Wrapping fenestration with a priority on the north and south sides of the shape and expanding in a gradation to the east and west, offers clues as to optimal orientation as well as the degree and direction of solar opacity vs. transparency. For example a protrusion or attenuation that expands to the south while shrinking to the north may boost performance in a tower at a high latitude, while an equatorial tower would be better served by bilateral symmetry with an emphasis on the north and south. 
  Further localization is developed in our final study of orientations based on, not just climate type and latitude, but on continental vs. coastal patterns. This study does not read on the larger atlas but offers a potential next step for further resolution beyond the 3x3 latitude and longitude pixel. At this next level the proposition would develop beyond the radial symmetry of these zygotes, and other forces, such as wind, view sheds, and footprint limitations would be introduced as x and y become attenuated and z begins to be specified. Each of these elements further hones the tower into a local expression of universal forces.       In developing this process certain assumptions and exclusions were necessary.  We eliminated orientation from the initial forms both to keep the zygotes as elemental as possible and thus symmetrical. Ideal orientation varies not just by latitude but by microclimate, these subtle changes have big impact on thermal performance, implications better off expressed as the tower is localized. We have started to assess the ways this might develop in our fenestration analysis.     We have also chosen to exclude any notion of program in setting up the problem, mainly because we wished to address the most elemental forces and thus the widest view. In the priorities of our approach, program is one of the most localized and so one of very last generative forces to be applied to the tower. This prioritization is fundamental to our approach in which we flip the typical generative order.     So in closing, our project is by no means proposing a world of towers that are simple extrusions of a catalog of shapes. Rather we are proposing a starting point that reverses the priorities of tower design. Rather than a display of capital, either as icon or efficiency, our tower takes the most fundamental and universal site conditions as the basis for design, as these site conditions zero in the tower becomes more unique even as its generative forces remain the same. The tower becomes a localized statement derived from a regime of natural forces instead of a regime of politics and economics.
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