Current communication is transmitted by data, enabled by codes, which are oscillating between man and machines, sensors, etc. For communication of this data, antennas are needed, which affect the urban context. Therefor a new antenna has to symbolize the new “smart” age of communication we life in. In addition, architectural form and its relationship to nature, environment and society has rich antecedents to the human body.
The idea for a state of the art antenna is to blur the image of a human body with technology. The outcome is an antenna, which can be seen as an extension of the human body, a symbol seen by the inhabitants of Salerno, who are using this Sculpture for communication – this creates a feedback loop of the urban communication system, virtual and physical. The organic design language bound up with a logical symmetry will act as beacon for Salerno, a unique town with an ancestral history of distinction, culture and intelligence.
For maximum strength and stability the construction method is based on the idea of a Tripod (tripods are related to triangles which will support the overall stiffness of the shape). This basic structure is improved through a rigging “Takelage” system, commonly used in the ship industry since hundred of years. Through blurring these two systems, it is possible to create an elegant design, which appears from distance nearly impossible, because the cables of the rigging system tend to disappear visually. Basically this means, that the antenna appears slim and elegant, if seen from the city or harbour.
The antenna will be finally designed and engineered by common computer aided manufacturing methods, which enables an organic design language without much more costs. The symmetry within the design underlines this strategy. The thickness of the material will change through the whole system, calculated by software to adapt the stiffness to site + location and natural forces like wind – “SMART Engineering”. The towers will be prefabricated and mounted on site on concrete foundation, which will support the idea of natural material on site. Today’s pursuit to build lightweight for economic, material engineering and environmental reasons is the logical response to today’s changing society where flexibility is the prime survival quality.
The main material used for the antenna is mixture of concrete, glass fibre reinforced plastics and a membrane. The main structure of the tripod is constructed through the use of concrete, supported by a rigging system (“Takelage”) out of steel wires. The cage for the technical support systems of the antenna is realized through the use of glass fibre reinforced plastics. The Skin of this cage is a membrane equipped with LED’s. This will hide visually the technical needs of an antenna, minimize the magnetic field and let data pass through. The LED’s will underline the elegant design at night or can be used as an abstract media façade to transmit visually information.