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Carbon Tower (2001)

Carbon Tower (2001)

Part of

People

  • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)
  • Testa & Weiser (architectural firm)
  • Peter Testa (architect)
  • Devyn Weiser (architect)
  • Ian Ferguson (collaborator)
  • Hans Michael Foldeak (collaborator)
  • Simon Greenwold (software developer)
  • Arup Group Ltd. (consulting engineering firm)
  • Markus Shulte (structural engineer)
  • Mahadev Raman (mechanical engineer)
  • 3D Systems (model maker)

Title

Carbon Tower (2001)

Dates of creation

2002-2014

Level of archival description

Project

Extent and Medium

  • 9,908 digital files (156 GB)
  • 56 drawings
  • 2 models

Scope and Content

This project file documents an unbuilt design by Testa & Weiser for Carbon Tower (2001), a forty-storey building made almost entirely of carbon fibre. The project was developed in parallel with scripting software designed while Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser co-directed the Emergent Design Group at MIT.

"The tower consists of an interdependent set of parts: floor plates hang from a diagrid structure of bundled fibres reinforced by two double-helix covered ramps, which are run in and out of the structure and are themselves made of strands woven at a finer scale. A thin composite skin—glass would be too heavy—wraps the tower’s parts together. A collaboration with Arup in 2002 allowed Testa & Weiser to simplify the scheme even further, by moving all core elements, from elevators to structural supports, to the tower’s perimeter. To take full advantage of the flexibility and energy efficiency of composite materials, Testa & Weiser also imagined that the carbon fibre structures would be formed on site through a process called pultrusion."[1]

The file contains a large number of digital files documenting the conceptual and design development of the project; consultation with Arup Consulting Engineers, New York; research on composite materials; fabrication of 3D printed physical models by 3D Systems and Windform; and exhibition of the project at several museums and galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York. Also contained in the file are 56 paper drawings (including some sketches done on top of printed computer-aided designs) and two 3D printed physical models produced by 3D Systems.

Sources:

[1] Canadian Centre for Architecture. Archaeology of the Digital 12: Testa & Weiser, Carbon Tower, ed. Greg Lynn (2015), ISBN 978-1-927071-25-0.

Reference Number

AP174.S1.2001.D1

General note

  • For annotated source code of Weaver and Maya files resulting from early attempts to use Weaver to design a tower, see Series 2: Weaver software.

Inventory

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  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.001
    • Title: Emergent Design Group consultation with Arup Consulting Engineers, New York
    • Dates of creation: 2002
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains minutes of meetings between the Emergent Design Group and the engineering firm Arup NY held in July 2002 on the Carbon Tower, as well as related 3D CAD structure diagrams, sketches and CAD drawings related to climate control, and some reference material on composite materials. Original directory name: "_ref_ARUP". Most common file formats: AutoCAD Drawing, Microsoft Word Document, 3D Studio, DS_store file (MAC), Tagged Image File Format

    Quantity / Object type:

    29 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 27 digital files (39 MB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.002
    • Title: Composite materials research
    • Dates of creation: 2002-2007
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains lists, presentations, and articles on various composite materials considered for use with the Carbon Tower. Original directory name: "_ref_MATERIALS". Most common file formats: Microsoft Word Document, Acrobat PDF 1.2 - Portable Document Format, Acrobat PDF 1.3 - Portable Document Format, JPEG File Interchange Format, Acrobat PDF 1.6 - Portable Document Format

    Quantity / Object type:

    23 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 22 digital files (6 MB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.003
    • Title: Extreme Textiles exhibit press
    • Dates of creation: 2004-2007
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains press reviews and pictures documenting Carbon Tower's inclusion in the Extreme Textiles exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (New York, 2005) in the form of captured HTML pages and associated folders containing media and code. Original directory name: "_ref_PRESS". Most common file formats: Graphics Interchange Format, JavaScript file, JPEG File Interchange Format, Cascading Style Sheet, Hypertext Markup Language

    Quantity / Object type:

    357 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 352 digital files (8 MB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.004
    • Title: Rhinoceros and Illustrator design files
    • Dates of creation: 2008-2014
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains plan and section studies, ramp studies, and final plans and sections, in Rhinoceros and Illustrator formats, as well as the 3D Rhinoceros file from which the plans and sections were derived. Also includes a PDF containing elevations and plans in vector form. Original directory name: "2D RHINO MAKE2D ILLUSTRATOR". Most common file formats: 3DM, Acrobat PDF 1.5 - Portable Document Format, JPEG File Interchange Format, DS_store file (MAC), Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES)

    Quantity / Object type:

    610 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 605 digital files (24 GB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.005
    • Title: Three-dimensional Rhinoceros, Maya, and CATIA design files
    • Dates of creation: 2002-2013
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains 3D computer-aided design files central to the development process of Carbon Tower. The bulk of the design files are in Rhinoceros and are arranged in folders by year. Also includes some Maya renders as well as design and image files resulting from early attempts to model the Carbon Tower in CATIA. Original directory name: "3D CATIA MAYA RHINO". Most common file formats: 3DM, Plain Text File, Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES), Maya Binary File Format, DS_store file (MAC)

    Quantity / Object type:

    423 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 423 digital files (25 GB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.006
    • Title: Working files and correspondence relating to 3D printed models
    • Dates of creation: 2004-2006
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains STL and Rhinoceros files used to create the 3D printed models of Carbon Tower printed by 3D Systems, as well as related correspondence, information, model assembly guides, and agreements with vendors. Also included are photographs of a carbon fiber 3D printed model printed by Windform in Italy and STL files used in the production of the Windform model. Original directory name: "3D PRINTS". Most common file formats: STL (Standard Tessellation Language) Binary, 3DM, DS_store file (MAC), AutoCAD Drawing, JPEG File Interchange Format

    Quantity / Object type:

    284 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 270 digital files (9 GB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.007
    • Title: Presentation animation and related working files
    • Dates of creation: 2013-2014
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains a higher resolution 2014 version of an animation originally created in 2005 to introduce the Carbon Tower project, as well as the various files used to create the animation. Original directory name: "ANIMATIONS". Most common file formats: Tagged Image File Format, Portable Network Graphics, Unidentified, DS_store file (MAC), Maya Binary File Format

    Quantity / Object type:

    3102 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 3102 digital files (6 GB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.008
    • Title: Final renderings and drawings in InDesign
    • Dates of creation: 2014
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains PDFs containing presentation materials and final drawings from 2014 as well as the corresponding InDesign working folders containing media such as images and fonts. Original directory name: "INDESIGN WITH LINKS (DRAWINGS, RENDERS, PHOTOS)". Most common file formats: Acrobat PDF 1.5 - Portable Document Format, Tagged Image File Format, Adobe InDesign Document, DS_store file (MAC), Plain Text File

    Quantity / Object type:

    114 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 110 digital files (3 GB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
    See more Close
    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.009
    • Title: Photographs of 3D Systems models and exhibits
    • Dates of creation: 2002-2014
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains photographs of an early Carbon Tower study model, 2002; the Extreme Textiles exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, 2005; the 1:125 scale 3D Systems model on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2006-2007; and the 1:50 and 1:125 scale 3D Systems Carbon Tower models, 2013-2014. Original directory name: "MODEL PHOTOS". Most common file formats: Exchangeable Image File Format (Compressed), Canon RAW, DS_store file (MAC), Tagged Image File Format, Adobe Photoshop

    Quantity / Object type:

    4025 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 4010 digital files (59 GB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
    See more Close
    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.010
    • Title: Rhinoceros and Maya renderings
    • Dates of creation: 2002-2013
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains selected final renders, 2002 and 2013; a set of renders created in Rhinoceros, 2003; and a set of higher resolution renders created in Maya in 2013 from the original digital model produced between 2002 and 2005. Original directory name: "RENDERS". Most common file formats: Tagged Image File Format, Portable Network Graphics, Unidentified, Adobe Photoshop, DS_store file (MAC)

    Quantity / Object type:

    986 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 986 digital files (31 GB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.011
    • Title: Carbon Tower project and credit text
    • Dates of creation: 2014
    • Form: born digital
    • Catalogued items within this file 0

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Original file name: "_credits&text_CARBON_TOWER.docx". File format: Microsoft Word for Windows

    Quantity / Object type:

    1 digital file(s)

    Extent and Medium:

    • 1 digital file (137 KB)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
    See more Close
    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.012
    • Title: Early sketches on back of Ruby's Diner placemats
    • Dates of creation: 2002
    • Form: drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 2

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains sketches by Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, in ink on paper.

    Quantity / Object type:

    2 drawing(s)

    Stage and Purpose:

    • conceptual drawing

    Dimensions:

    sheets: 24.8 × 34.3 cm (9 3/4 × 13 1/2 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Objects that have been catalogued:

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.013
    • Title: Top and bottom studies
    • Dates of creation: ca. 2001-2004
    • Form: drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 16

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains sketches by Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, in ink and colored pencil on paper. Several sheets have drawings on both sides.

    Quantity / Object type:

    16 drawing(s)

    Stage and Purpose:

    • conceptual drawing

    Dimensions:

    sheets (smallest): 21.6 × 27.9 cm (8 1/2 × 11 in.) sheets (largest): 27.9 × 43.2 cm (11 × 17 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Objects that have been catalogued:

  • Actions:
    See more Close
    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.014
    • Title: Top and bottom studies
    • Dates of creation: ca. 2001-2004
    • Form: drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 7

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains sketches by Peter Testa, in ink on paper. One sheet has drawings on both sides.

    Quantity / Object type:

    7 drawing(s)

    Stage and Purpose:

    • conceptual drawing

    Dimensions:

    sheets: 21.6 × 27.9 cm (8 1/2 × 11 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Objects that have been catalogued:

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.015
    • Title: Ramp studies
    • Dates of creation: ca. 2001-2004
    • Form: drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 5

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains ramp studies, including ink and pencil sketches by Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser (some over printed computer-aided design outlines) as well as unannotated printed computer-aided designs. Several sheets have drawings on both sides.

    Quantity / Object type:

    5 drawing(s)

    Stage and Purpose:

    • conceptual drawing

    Dimensions:

    sheets: 21.6 × 27.9 cm (8 1/2 × 11 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Objects that have been catalogued:

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.016
    • Title: Structure to floor detail studies
    • Dates of creation: ca. 2001-2004
    • Form: drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 2

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains sketches by Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, in ink and pencil on paper. One sheet has drawings on both sides.

    Quantity / Object type:

    2 drawing(s)

    Stage and Purpose:

    • conceptual drawing

    Dimensions:

    sheets: 21.6 × 27.9 cm (8 1/2 × 11 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Objects that have been catalogued:

  • Actions:
    See more Close
    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.017
    • Title: Air Fruit studies
    • Dates of creation: ca. 2001-2004
    • Form: drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 7

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains ink and pencil sketches by Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, including some over printed computer-aided design outlines. Several sheets have drawings on both sides.

    Quantity / Object type:

    7 drawing(s)

    Stage and Purpose:

    • conceptual drawing

    Dimensions:

    sheets: 21.6 × 27.9 cm (8 1/2 × 11 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Objects that have been catalogued:

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.018
    • Title: Mixed studies
    • Dates of creation: circa 2001-2004
    • Form: drawings
    • Catalogued items within this file 17

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)

    Description:

    Contains sketches by Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, in ink and colored pencil on tracing paper.

    Quantity / Object type:

    17 drawing(s)

    Stage and Purpose:

    • conceptual drawing

    Dimensions:

    sheets (smallest): 31.8 × 46 cm (12 1/2 × 18 1/8 in.) sheets (largest): 43.8 × 66 cm (17 1/4 × 26 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Objects that have been catalogued:

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.019
    • Title: Carbon Tower overall model
    • Dates of creation: 2005
    • Form: models

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)
    • 3D Systems (model maker)
    • Testa & Weiser (architectural firm)

    Description:

    3D printed 1:125 scale metric model produced by 3D Systems in Valencia, California using selective laser sintering (SLS) and stereolithography (SLA). The model is in several pieces. Assembly instructions can be found in the "EXTREME TEXTILES ASSEMBLY GUIDES" folder contained within group AP174.S1.2001.D1.006 ("Working files and correspondence related to 3D printed models").

    Quantity / Object type:

    1 model(s)

    Technique and media:

    Duraform pa, resin, syntactic foam

    Dimensions:

    model (approx.): 121,92 × 34,29 × 34,29 cm (48 × 13 1/2 × 13 1/2 in.) base: 5,08 × 61,28 × 61,28 cm (2 × 24 1/8 × 24 1/8 in.)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

    Copyright:

    Model © Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

  • Actions:
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    • Reference Number: AP174.S1.2001.D1.020
    • Title: Carbon Tower section model
    • Dates of creation: 2005
    • Form: models

    People:

    • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)
    • 3D Systems (model maker)
    • Testa & Weiser (architectural firm)

    Description:

    3D printed 1:50 scale metric model produced by 3D Systems in Valencia, California using selecting laser sintering (SLS). The model is in several pieces. Assembly instructions can be found in the "EXTREME TEXTILES ASSEMBLY GUIDES" folder contained within group AP174.S1.2001.D1.006 ("Working files and correspondence related to 3D printed models").

    Quantity / Object type:

    1 model(s)

    Technique and media:

    Duraform gf, syntactic foam

    Dimensions:

    model (incluant la base): 20 3/8 × 24 × 24 in. (51,75 × 60,96 × 60,96 cm)

    Credit line:

    Testa & Weiser project records
    Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
    Don de Peter Testa et Devyn Weiser/
    Gift of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser

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