Polycube Urbanism
PennDesign, Fall 2009

Polycube Urbanism proposes a new method of architectural design. While the title carries with it implications of large-scale urban structures, the process is scaleless and can lend itself just as well to buildings as small as the single-family home. In this project, an aggregation of polycube components are then eroded from within through a process of self-similar subdivision.

It suggests that by determining unit type(s), their spatial relationships, an overall number of units, and a desired density, one can ‘grow’ a building. Public space, circulation and structure are then ‘eroded’ from that form. However, buildings do not erode and they certainly do not grow in the typical sense of the word. These terms are simply metaphors for both the determination of overall form and the demarcation of public and private space within that form.




Initial aggregation  

Circulation paths  

Resulting subdivision  

Final composite