Let’s change the building industry from within
The current traditional building industry is challenged by the emerging demand driven economy. Citizens, house owners, office staff rightfully demand customized solutions to set their individual and collective preferences in their urban environments, in their homes and in their working places. Connectivity instead of functional separation forms the clue to much needed flexible and scalable energy-efficient strategies.
The roadmap towards efficient solutions for such customized environments will be based on embedded ICT in all phases of the building chain, from iconic conceptual design via collaborative design and engineering working groups all the way through facility management systems. The design of local climatic experiences and the engineering of distributed climatic systems will be fully integrated in the data driven design process.
The traditional building industry urgently needs a fundamental change from within, its very building blocks will need to be rethought, redesigned and redeveloped. Actual available technologies, largely based on ICT techniques, are ready to be implemented in the design to production processes. ICT is a strong driver for change in the design process, exploiting the file to factory production process as to produce series of unique customised components.
There is an emerging market for applications to stimulate participatory design, and to facilitate participation by other experts like engineers, users, clients and managers. The architects will have to redefine their profession as to give shape to the next generation building, as to make them responsive to continuously changing external and internal circumstances. Ultimately next generation buildings are proactively proposing energy-efficient and experience-rich configurations to their users.
The urgency to change the building industry from within applies to both existing and new environments. The advantages of the ICT driven revolution in the building chain are manifold: dramatically increase of building performance, doubling of the value for money, open design processes, lean data exchange, marginalising failure costs, realising demand driven interactive environments, responsive and proactive with respect to the capricious weather and the dynamics of use.
During the last decades ONL has achieved an internationally acknowledged position as a leading expert on nonstandard and interactive architecture. Iconic projects like Waterpavilion, iWEB, NSA Muscle, Cockpit in Acoustic Barrier, Bálna and LIWA Tower are living proof of ONL’s innovative power.
The innovations involve changing the building industry from within by large scale application of uncompromised mass customisation techniques, exploiting CNC manufacturing methods to produce series of unique building components that are dry assembled to form the complex geometries.
As from the foundation of ONL in 1990 we had in mind to merge architecture with art and digital technologies. This initial fascination has never left the office and still is the main driving force for further innovations. The concept of Powerlines clearly stems directly from the merge with art on a digital platform.
Over time techniques have developed into the direction of full parametrization and open design applications with the aim to operate on level basis with other experts, whereas users and clients are considered experts in their own fields of experience, and therefore are considered to be co-designers. This applies to the iconic projects ONL has realised: the client-user always has been a major influencer on the shape and content of the projects.
That is why ONL’s projects look unique from project to project, and yet look so consistent in their design approach. Radical vision is combined with practical considerations. ONL listens carefully to what drives the client, and designs a solution space where both ONL and the client feel completely at ease, neither party has to compromise.
ONL now is focused on a radical rethinking of the building components buildings are made of. Redesigning building components from scratch, based on parametric design methods, open participatory design systems and on web based design applications, which allow the user-consumer to directly play with the shape and content of the project. While ONL sets strong iconic design rules, the client is the player to co-create unique configurations for the projects.
At ONL architects, visual artists, web designers and programmers work together and join forces, practicing the fusion of art, architecture and technique on a digital platform.
- Architectural Design
- Scripts and Procedures
- Collaborative Design and Engineering
File to Factory
ONL has developed a state-of-the-art design method called the File-to-Factory [F2F] process to be able to realize a true Design & Build development.
One building one detail
ONL's motto “Mies is too much” tells the whole story: while ONL admires the clarity and radicality of Mies van der Rohe, but finds out that Mies still needed many different details.
ONL makes use of fully parametric modeling programs and has developed a new approach to parametric architectural and constructive detailing. ONL basically develops one complex parametric detail for each new building.
Professor Kas Oosterhuis studied architecture at the Delft Technical University. In 1987-1988 he taught as Unit Master at the AA in London and worked / lived one year in the former studio of Theo van Doesburg in Paris together with visual artist Ilona Lénárd. Their design studio is in 2004 renamed into ONL [Oosterhuis_Lénárd]. As from 2007 Kas Oosterhuis is a registered architect in Hungary, executing as General Designer the CET project. From 2000 Oosterhuis is appointed professor digital design methods at the Delft Technical University and is currently leading a staff of 12 researchers at his Hyperbody group, the knowledge center for Nonstandard and Interactive Architecture at the TU Delft, while conducting a full master design studio program. Kas Oosterhuis is Director of the protoSPACE Laboratory.
In his most recent book “Towards a New Kind of Building, a Designers Guide to Nonstandard Architecture” [NAi Publishers 2011] Oosterhuis reveals the fundaments of his personal design universe, which embraces the paradigm shift from standard to nonstandard structures and from static to dynamic buildings as the initial condition. He has been the co-founder of the Attila Foundation, responsible for the groundbreaking Sculpture City event in 1994 and the ParaSite weblounge in 1996. He has lectured worldwide at numerous universities, academies and international conferences since 1990.
Kas Oosterhuis has initiated two GSM conferences at the TU in Delft on the subjects multiplayer game design, file to factory design and build methods and open source communication in the evolutionary development of the 3d reference model. In 2012 ONL received the Wood Innovation Award for their climbing Wall system. In 2008 the Autodesk BIM Experience Award for the CET Project in Budapest. Further award winning building designs include the Saltwater Pavilion at Neeltje Jans [Gold Award 1997 for innovative recreational projects, nomination Mies van der Rohe Award 1998], the Garbagetransferstation Elhorst/Vloedbelt in Zenderen [Business Week / Architectural Record Award 1998, OCE-BNA Award for Industrial Architecture 1996, Aluminium Design Award 1997] and the Hessing Cockpit in Acoustic Barrier in Utrecht [National Steel Award 2006, Glass Award 2006, Dutch Design Award for Public Space 2006, nomination Mies van der Rohe Award 2008, nomination Golden Pyramid 2006]. In 2013 Oostnerhuis was intiator and appointed as editor-in-chief of the new scientific journal Next Generation Building.