ITECH MSc. 2015 – Yassmin Al-Khasawneh

Growing Crytalline Structures
Ephermal Salt Formations in the Southern Evaporation Ponds of the Dead Sea
Yassmin Al-Khasawneh

Inst. for Computational Design (Prof. Menges)
Inst. of Building Structures & Structural Design (Prof. Knippers)

Thesis Advisors: Axel Körner, Karola Dierichs

Thesis Supervisor: Prof. Achim Menges
Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr.-Eng. Jan Knippers

The project aims to investigate the natural phenomena of salt crystallization in their capacity as material computation for architectural structures. The research is focused on further studying the natural setting of the Dead Sea/Jordan in order to understand the geomorphology of the salt lake and the resulting crystalline structures. The hypotheses is to be validated on site in the mentioned environment as well as to be developed in the lab.

The key factor to the material investigation is the ability to reconstruct the natural space of the crystalline by means of structures that use the natural logic of the existing geology for creation and regeneration, plus instrumenting the climatic factors that are relative to the site in order to generate the micro environment. Engaging a wide reach robotic input as a tool would facilitate a larger control scope either in the lab or on site. The geomorphology of the salt crystal growth are ever changing offering a chance of monitoring through time lapse photography and 3D scanning techniques.

The dynamic morphology of the crystallization process help at times construct the system or deconstruct it as the crystals in reference to age and condensation are considered transient. It’s important to note through the research how the time factor is responsible for enhancing the natural qualities of the process.