D. E. Shaw Research, New York

D. E. Shaw Research, New York, Manhattan, Interior, Design, Architecture, Project

D. E. Shaw Research New York : Building

Manhattan supercomputer lobby building – design by Steven Holl Architects, USA

Jun 6, 2008

D. E. Shaw Research Lobby

Newly redesigned floor for D. E. Shaw Research. The 3,000 square foot, 32nd floor space features a porous staircase and glass enclosure through which visitors can view a supercomputer designed to run high-speed molecular simulations. Patterns laser-cut into the staircase were inspired by the mathematics and geometries used in the supercomputer.

Steven Holl Architects realizes 32nd floor supercomputer lobby in Manhattan.

Steven Holl Architects has completed a new floor for D. E. Shaw Research. The 3000 square feet redesign for the 32nd floor includes a porous staircase and a glass enclosure which will accommodate a supercomputer designed to execute high-speed simulations of proteins and other biological macromolecules.

As a concept for this project Steven Holl Architects studied soap bubbles and the way they mysteriously nest in clusters that always take the same angle of hexagonal geometry at 120 degrees. These hexagon patterns allow for the most effective connection of bubbles while minimizing the coverage area of the bubble cluster.

The 32nd floor lobby-space joins two floors adjacent to the elevators and will give a glimpse of the supercomputer through faceted glass enclosure around it. The two sides of the faceted glass enclosure neutralize orientation and create a dynamic plane between the inside of the supercomputer space and the representational area surrounding it. Incorporated within this glass enclosure are monitors that will allow visitors to observe the motion of simulated proteins, drugs, and other molecules in real time.

A staircase in the center of the space is shaped as a warped hexagon in plan. Utilizing digitally coordinated fabrication techniques, the folded and perforated planes of steel of the staircase are laser cut directly from the architect’s drawings, exploring limits of fine grain porosity.

The patterns of the staircase are inspired by the geometries and mathematics used by the supercomputer to tackle large-scale computational problems. An aggregate of oblong slots that occasionally overlap and connect to form “L”-shapes show how shapes can intertwine to form new patterns of legible compositions.

D. E. Shaw Research

D. E. Shaw Research (“DESRES”) is an independent research laboratory that conducts basic scientific research in the field of computational biochemistry under the direct scientific leadership of Dr. David Shaw. DESRES is currently focusing primarily on molecular simulations involving proteins and other biological macromolecules of potential interest from both a scientific and a pharmaceutical perspective. The group includes computational chemists and biologists, computer scientists and applied mathematicians, and computer architects and engineers, all working collaboratively within a tightly coupled interdisciplinary research environment. Current activities range from the design of specialized, massively parallel supercomputers and numerical algorithms for ultra-high-speed molecular dynamics simulations to the use of such simulations to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of cancer and other diseases.

D. E. Shaw Research New York Interior : info from Blue Medium 6 Jun 2008

D. E. Shaw Research design : Steven Holl

Photographs © Andy Ryan posted online originally

Location: New York City, USA

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