What is Micro/Macro scaling? An example is the Sydney Opera House by Sue Swain

How is the Sydney Opera House an example of this? Jorn Utson, the architect, based the design for the roof on the sections of an orange, curved pieces cut in a certain way, that were laid to overlap each other, thus forming the very complicated roof structure for this now world-famous icon of Australia.  So, from something that could be held in the palm of a hand, the building was constructed.  From Micro to Macro in scale.

s1
Model demonstrating the spherical derivation of the roof vaults, Oct 1961
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Final spherical scheme, 1962-63. Great circle rib profile in precast reinforced concrete

Another interesting sidelight of this structure is that until the advent of a 3-D computer graphics software package, called, ArchiCAD, no one had been able to “draw” this very complicated structure.  Then a PhD Architectural student, Philip Drew, finally committed this building to paper, using this program.  The photos have been taken from the book Sydney Opera House, by Phillips Drew, and published by Phaidon.

System drawing for stepped cylindrical surfaces in the acoustical reflectors of the Minor Hall

 

Plaster model of the Minor Hall showing half auditorium shell radial segments with concave profile
Plaster model of the Minor Hall showing half auditorium shell radial segments with concave profile
Drawing of the Side Elevation of the Sydney Opera House
Drawing of the Side Elevation of the Sydney Opera House

When you are thinking about what felt can do, it’s a limitless, 3-dimensional art form, with unlimited possibilities to form any shape imaginable. Look at the scale of something that can be held in the palm of your hand, and imagine it large enough to be used by thousands of people, with the same shape and a change in the scale of the object.

Susan Swain, Architect and Wearable Art Felter