In this publication, Greg Lynn and Enric Ruiz-Geli discuss Villa Nurbs, a housing prototype located in Empuriabrava, Spain designed as a laboratory for merging computer-aided design with the construction processes. The villa’s name points to the development of the design through the manipulation of non-uniform rational basis spline (NURBS) curves and surfaces.

Enric Ruiz-Geli / Cloud 9 use the building process as an opportunity to place common materials such as ceramic, concrete, and plastic composites in unconventional configurations by casting them on digitally fabricated molds. At an urban scale, Villa Nurbs infiltrates its touristic context otherwise characterized by a standardized and homogeneous development model of housing along marinas. The architects used data simulation software to guarantee performance at a low cost while validating the structural, environmental and assembly requirements of complex digital manufacturing. The integration of separate elements, including a “Hello” sign made of translucent concrete, composite roof membranes, and audiovisual entertainment interfaces, into a coherent hybrid makes Villa Nurbs a pioneer in augmented architecture—a digital hut for the twenty-first century. Under construction since 2004, Villa Nurbs can be understood as a building in multiple acts. Taking pause between the different construction phases allows the project to adapt to changing technologies and ideas.

As part of the multi-year research, acquisition, and exhibition project Archaeology of the Digital, the CCA launched a digital publication series in 2014 consisting of small monographs of each of the twenty-five projects chosen by curator Greg Lynn for their contributions to the foundations of digital architecture. The ePubs are illustrated with photos, drawings, renderings, videos, PDFs, and interactive 3D models from the digital collection of the CCA.

Edited by Greg Lynn
Graphic design and development by Linked by Air

Digital publication
Available on iTunes

Published with the generous support of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

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