Digital fabrication technologies offer us today a range of new possibilites that were inconceivable approximately 30 years ago, when the computer was introduced introduced in architectural practice. From the extension of geometric possibilities to the exploration of new constructive solutions, digital technologies challenge the traditional processes that have been present in the construction area for several years. In this context, the growing interest in integrating digital design and manufacturing tools in architecture inspire us to study and further understand the relationship between traditional and digital processes.
The Serpentine Pavillion 2005, designed by Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura in collaboration with Cecil Balmond, from Arup, reflects the potential of a design process that combines two different approaches. The tradition approach, with great respect for the project context and that praises the freedom of freehand drawing; and the technological innovation approach, that seeks formal exploration and constructive efficiency. Being clear that this different approaches increased the gap between the design and construction phases, this dissertation investigates the design process of the Serpentine pavilion 2005, from its conception to construction, with a focus on the understanding of the architects’ role in a work where no technical/project drawings were produced. For this, and since it is a work with not much documentation, the author contacted Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura’s offices, in order to collect exclusive important information for the investigation.
In order to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of this matter, this dissertation presents a practical research, entirely related to the Serpentine pavilion 2005, aiming to analyze the possibility of a closer relationship between the architect and the materialization of the work. As a conclusion, this dissertation shows that, through the use of digital technologies, is possible to counteract the dispersed information assotiated to the traditional process in the architectural practice
Keywords: Contemporary Architecture; Digital Technologies; Design Processes; Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2005; Tradition; Innovation