Poltak Pandjaitan is a researcher at the Chair of Computer Aided Architectural Design (Prof. Ludger Hovestadt) at the ETH ITA Zurich. His research project addresses the question of how to implement and translate spatial concepts in crystal topologies and to link architecture with the abstract idea of mediating and joining of spatialities. Based on interdisciplinary explorations of crystal structures and their specific characteristics, spatial paradigms are examined and implemented in the algebraic framework of crystals.
Since the nature of crystals, and in particular quasicrystals, are difficult to describe by the accumulation of polyhedra, the algebraization of these processes is an essential step in decoupling the crystal space from any solid geometry. This makes it possible for crystals of different natures to communicate with each other. However, this abstract form of expression has no explicit body and must first be transformed into a mediative form (Gestalt). The information to derive a form is in the elements themselves, and it mainly depends on the articulation to render specific properties.
The crystal space provides the setup for the architectonic articulations. Articulated thoughts and concepts epitomize different stages for elements of spatialities to join concepts of space with the notion of topological crystals. It opens up a space of mediation and discourse. Only by setting distinct elements absolutely can communication emerge between them. These mutual discussions are to be treated like crystallized sculptures. It is not just the form that gives the expression, but the process of crystallization and development within the structure that has a narrative potential.
Crystals are characteristic elements of space, and they constitute spatialities. It is the demystification of crystals as taxonomies of architectonics. The code of crystals is the articulation of space. It represents an idea or process as much as an actual building or design. It is the principle of the code that already represents a structure, which provides a stage for spatial ideas in order to facilitate new architectonic articulations.
The project is to provide an overview of how the topic of crystals can be embedded in architecture. The goal is not to resemble and mimic these emergent crystal arrangements. Neither it is intended to show how to translate such abstract ideas into geometry or to invent new shapes. However, through the purposive abstraction and translation of spatialities combined with the notion of crystals as an algebraic code like structure, it is possible to scrutinize the meaning of space.
www.crystalgebra.com is the platform to showcase the research related ideas and projects.
Poltak Pandjaitan finished his Ph.D. at the Chair of Computer Aided Architectural Design (Prof. Ludger Hovestadt) at the ETH ITA Zurich. His research project “architectonics of crystal space: mediating and joining of spatialities” addressed the question of how to implement and translate spatial concepts in crystal topologies. In 2016 he worked as a project architect for Christian Kerez, for the Incidental Space installation in the Swiss Pavilion at the 15th La Biennale di Architettura Venezia 2016. He worked as an architect at Gramazio Kohler Architects in 2014 and received the “TISCHE” scholarship from the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria for Arts and Culture in the same year. From 2012 to 2013 he worked as a project architect in Vienna. He studied Architecture at the University of Technology Vienna, where he graduated his Architectural Studies with honors with the diploma thesis “Das verborgene System” in 2011.