Canton Tower: Protection & Structure

One of the primary reasons I am looking at lattice structures is two fold:

A conversation with Adrian Robinson, our structural engineer tutor, advised me that this would provide horizontal and vertical stability to extend the tower vertically in the form of a super-structure. My concern is that while this gives the project a structural element of believeablity, it takes away from the fractured elements of my previous images.

Another reason is developing my idea to use the structure of the tower as a Radar/Information absorbing device that assimilates information through radar absorbing materials as well as creating a Faraday Cage type structure that can protect the data core of the building against digital threats.


Canton Tower: Structure

The structure consist of a open lattice-structure that is twisted over it′s axis, therefore creating a tightening waist halfway up the building, something which I am lookijng to achieve with the BT tower to maintain its elegance

Columns rings and diagonals form together a web that varies over the section of the tower. The columns are all perfectly straight although the lean over to one direction, giving the tower a dynamic twist. They taper from bottom to top, so to further amplify the perspective view up along the tower. The diagonals are more or less everywhere the same at 800mm. they consist of straight tubes that run between columns fixing the web of nodes into a stiff web. The rings are placed on the inside and their diameter is fixed at 800mm, they are truly round, following the curvature of the facade that runs along the inside.

At the bottom of the tower the columns are 2m in diameter, constructed of 50mm thick plated steel 


Gormley constantly experiments with new formulas, breaking the body down into pixels or seeking to overcome the barrier of the skin itself. This has resulted in works like Feeling Material XXXIX, where steel spirals whirl out from a void, body-shaped nucleus, producing an energy field where the unbroken line creates a dance between the inner and outer space

Adrian also pointed me in the direction of Anthony Gormleys sculptures which were reminiscent of some of my previous sketches. What I find interesting about his sculptures is the dynamic fluidity in his representation of space between the void and man body or ‘nucleus’ of the scultprure, as he calls it, ‘an Energy Field’

-> Cross Tutorial update: Something which was said to my during the tutorial was my focus on the Fractured Elements of the BT tower, my parasitic/symbiotic additions to the tower and ultimately the ‘space between’ the workspace and skin/facade of the building could become an interesting area to look at in terms of the invisible connections and electro magnetic field.

sketch 1

Methods of Detection: Electro Active Polymers

Each has a size of 1 cm by 1 cm, and it can rise up by 3 mm when 3 Volts are supplied. The movement of these sheets is controlled by a processor that is connected with the iPhone through the phone’s connector. These EAP sheets only take a minimal amount of energy from the extra battery.

Essentially a visual and movement based alert system which could be adapted to detect invasive signals and let the user know when they are being monitored. This is a similar line of detection to the Electromagentic Field detector I created last year. My task now, is how do I scale this up into the ‘resistance’ archtiecture?

Faceted panel facade used to respond and react to invasive signals

Faceted panel facade used to respond and react to invasive signals

See RFID and Electrmagneticfield reader here:

RFID reader

The NSA and Quantum Technology

Quantum computers currently under development could be used to break encryption codes designed to secure protect global medical, banking, business and government records stored online, The machines would be capable of performing several calculations at once, rather than in a single stream.

US spy agency the NSA is working on building a quantum computer it hopes will be able to crack through almost all types of encryption, according to the latest documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The report is based on the documents supplied to the paper by former NSA contractor Snowden, who currently has temporary asylum in Russia. They suggest that the agency carries out research in Faraday cages “to keep delicate quantum computing experiments running” by preventing electromagnetic energy entering or leaving the labs.

If the NSA managed to develop such a machine the agency would be able to break high-bit encryption codes such as the RSA public-key cryptosystem, which is widely used and based on the practical difficulty of factoring the product of two prime numbers. NSA working on building an encryption-busting quantum computer (Wired UK).


The D-Wave quantum computer processor is 3,600 times faster than classical computers at some tasks.


Quantum Storage

In terms of Quantum Storage and Atomic Scale Memory, currently it takes 1million atoms to store a single bit of data. With Quantum storage, it would only take 8 atoms to store a single bit of data the size of an electron only decipherable by a quantum computer…. to my understanding anyway.



Speculation on the future of the BT Tower

BT Tower



Royal College of Art graduate Chang-Yeob Lee has developed a concept to transform the BT Tower in London into a pollution-harvesting high rise tower. The project predicts the eventual redundancy of the 189-metre tower – currently used for telecommunications – and suggests repurposing it as an eco-skyscraper that collects airborne dirt particles and helps to reduce the level of respiratory illness in London

While his project is focused on  a new infrastructure gathering resources from pollutants in the city atmosphere, the valuable commodity in my vision of the future city is the harvesting and analysis of data essentially re-imagining the now redundant telecommunications tower as a harvesting device. More details and ideas on this to follow!