Contemporary Architecture

Elhorst | Zenderen – OOSTERHUIS.NL

Kas Oosterhuis:

  • Born in 1951,he studied architecture at the Delft University of technology.
  • Afterwards, he taught as unit master at the AA in London. From there, he worked and lived one year in the former studio of Doesburg in Paris, together with visual artist Ilona Lénárd

Llona Lenard

  • Born 1948 in Hungary, became an independent visual artist
  • In 1989, both founded KasOosterhuisArchitekten in Holland (renamed into ONL [Oosterhuis_Lénárd] in 2004)


  • Visual artists, web designers and programmers work together and join forces
  • Practice of the fusion of art, architecture and technique on a digital platform
  • The portfolio of ONL exists of a variety of projects in divergent fields of experience
  • Housing projects, exhibition spaces corporate business buildings, city planning tools, online experiences, interactive installations.
  • With the help of new programming techniques ONL controls the complex geometry and the engineering of double-curved surfaces and the supportive construction.

CAAD Architects:

  • Frank. O. Gehry
  • Kas Oosterhuis
  • Peter Eisenman
  • Greg Lynn


Oosterhuis says ‘The most important feature for architecture is that in its history is no longer fixed and static. Due to its programmability of both form and information content the construct becomes a lean and flexible vehicle for a variety of usage’

 A computer development history:

  • 1950‘s – the introduction of the computer to mainstream scientific research.
  • 1960‘s – the introduction of graphics and visual representation by computer.
  • 1970‘s – The large industrial acceptance of CAD in the design process.
  • 1972- The first demonstration of 3d-CAM fabrication from a punchcard machine
  • 1978   – Dassault Ind. develops CATIA (Computer-Aided 3-Dimensional Interactive Application)
  • 1980‘s – Development of the home PC, and software packages.
  • 1985   – Alias releases ALIAS1 animation & SFX software
  • 1988- SurfCAM 1.0 is released to the fabrication industry
  • 1990‘s – Finally an acceptance of CAD in the architectural community
  • 1997    – FOG Guggenheim Bilbao
  • 1998- AliasWavfront releases MAYA
  • 2000‘s – First mainstream project from architects employing the full potential of CAM.


  • CAD and CAM were developed by large-scale industry for their own use.
  • CAD was not accepted for use in Architecture industry until 30 years after its inception.
  • Cutting edge architects are using digital design and fabrication technology in developing their projects. The combination of these technologies returns the architect to the role as both builder and as a part of the fabrication/construction team  the master builder

 The Design and Production cycle:

As a designer you are given a problem:

  • You analyse the requirements & limitations
  • Formulate a design strategy
  • Begin to design based on all known parameters from your analysis

– Modeling and SCRIPT development.
– Pattern, ornament, or form GENERATION.
– REFINEMENT for manufacturing.
– CAM INTERPRETATION for the machine(s)
– G-Code OUTPUT.

  • This output iks very useful for overall evaluation of the appropriateness of the design response.
  • The output may be a PROTOTYPE which can be evaluated and used to refine the generation of the design.

Modern technology usages in architecture:  

  • Virtual Reality
  • Interfaces
  • Simulations
  • Sketch Recognition
  • Generative Design
  • NOX: Interactive Architecture: Representations of diagrams, not representation of types.

Why use CAM in Architecture:


  • Automation, and commercial / cost advantages.
  • Repetition and time savings.
  • Rapid prototyping.


  • Able to quickly manufacture very complex forms.
  • Ability to manufacture single forms that traditionally would have been made in pieces.
  • Ability to scale items precisely, and use scale testing.


  • Able to use parametric design to create large runs of different pieces
  • Automating both the generative process and the manufacturing
  • Able to produce ‚distinct‘ modular components.

Elhorst | Zenderen:

  • Date: 1995
  • Site: Zenderen
  • Project architect: Prof ir Kas Oosterhuis
  • Design team: Kas Oosterhuis, Ilona Lénárd, Leo Donkersloot, Niek van Vliet,
  • Client: Regio Twente

-Sculpture building with head, trunk and tail.
-After 15 years, converted to its new function as sports centre.

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