Modeling a Double Decker Airliner. Pt. 1

Why not model a Double Decker airliner in your free time? Southern Air Double Decker_Victor Hugo Azevedo

Why not model a Double Decker airliner in your free time? Southern Air Double Decker_Victor Hugo Azevedo

Dear friends and family; One of the great passions of my life, apart from architecture, is aviation. One is not totally separated from the other. Airplanes, like buildings are a product of design and they are after all built. But not only gravity is a constraint for aircraft design; factors as pressurization; aerodynamics; and the ability to fly play a way larger role in the design of an airplane than it does when you’re designing a house for your mother.

I am nothing more than an enthusiast nonetheless; but that does not make my admiration and curiosity for these flying marvels be any smaller. I believe airplanes have exquisite sectional and spacial qualities; which are all derived by the enormous constraints that exist in order to make them fly and transport people and goods.

Among my favorites there is the Airbus A380; the European Double Decker airliner; currently the biggest one in operation. As a pass time I decided to model an A380-like aircraft on Rhino and actually render all the sectional qualities that I am so fascinated about.

This is part one of a series of articles in which I share the results of  the process of modeling such an aircraft in Rhino 5.


The following images show some cutaway views of the aircraft and the relationship between its different levels. Yes; I have modeled the seats as well.

Cross Section of Double Decker Airliner. - Victor Hugo Azevedo

Cross Section of Double Decker Airliner. – Victor Hugo Azevedo

Cutaway of Double Decker Airliner. -Victor Hugo Azevedo

Cutaway of Double Decker Airliner. -Victor Hugo Azevedo

Exceptionally this model was not based on any official drawing from any aircraft manufacturer. This was some kind of  a ‘free hand’ exercise; everything was eyeballed and drawn from memory.

A380-esque airliner in a Classic Southern Air Livery_ Victor Hugo Azevedo

A380-esque airliner in a Classic Southern Air Livery_ Victor Hugo Azevedo

This is still a work in progress project and I will be back with some more updates and images whenever I have the time.


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Victor Hugo de Souza Azevedo I Final Review I Otopeni Terminal 2


Bucharest Terminal 2 by Victor Hugo de Souza Azevedo

Bucharest Terminal 2 by Victor Hugo de Souza Azevedo

Bucharest Terminal 2 by Victor Hugo de Souza Azevedo

Bucharest Terminal 2 by Victor Hugo de Souza Azevedo

Night View of Bucharest Terminal 2 by Victor Hugo de Souza Azevedo

Night View of Bucharest Terminal 2 by Victor Hugo de Souza Azevedo

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Final Systematic Thoughts: The Shell, The Machine and the Cell.

Dear friends and family;

The Shell, The Machine and The Cell

I would like to tell everyone a story. To be sincere, I will retell a story. The story of how buildings were, are, and should be understood and designed by human  beings. I will divide this short story into three parts: The case of the shell, the machine and the cell. These three parts are not necessarily organized synchronically, but in here I will put them in a imaginary timeline.

 The Shell – The idea of the shell is related to the primordial purpose of buildings, which is to create shelters protected from the outside elements. Once upon a time, architecture was born as a shell. It was just an instinctive thing that our humanoid predecessors had; they had to protect themselves from the elements of nature, predators et cetera. They started to inhabit the famous caves and became known as cavemen.

That was the sole function of the shelter: protection. Unfortunately even today some professionals still think we should inhabit spaces where the its only function is to isolate yourself from the elements.

The Machine Some time later some smart people started to realize that that time has passed and that buildings are not only enclosures. The mythological French-swiss architect Le Corbusier stated that a house should be a machine for living. What he means is rather clear; the building function should be enhanced by the building form.

The world famous Villa Savoye

The problem with that?  In my opinion, Corbusier’s point was novel and avant garde for his time but now it is more than clear that  his view and intentions were incomplete and somewhat going in the wrong direction.What most of what his buildings are doing is simply fighting the external elements. But only fight nature is the solution in this day and age? My answer is no. Buildings should instead take advantage of the external elements and use them for their benefit.

 The Cell In elementary school science class, I would be always impressed by the diagrams of human cells and all the mechanisms that were present in them; how permeable they were and how effiecient all the organelles worked to maintain a healthy system. In brief, cells are not  isolated entities; they are completely connected to the larger human body system and they all work together to keep a human healthy.

I believe that buildings should act like cells. They should adapt to the various types of weather conditions and respond to them in a health way. Architecture is a recent, constructed layer on our planet. It is a system in itself, and it act in conjunction to the multiple other systems of our planet. The architecture realm should not only not harm the pre-existent natural systems on Earth but also be one of them,; being able to contribute to the good functioning of this little blue sphere we inhabit.

Airbol-Interfacephyta Multicapacitacea

During my trip to Los Angeles I was fortunate enought to buy

The iterative process of the interface tree

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Diagram of the various systems affected by the tree


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The tree in the Colombian city of Medellin.

Stack effect and a strange nostalgia.



Welness Center - Downtown Charlottesville

Dear friends and family;

This week I am experiencing, again, the phenomenon of « charrette ». This is a mystical time in a life of an architecture student, and I’m also afraid the this might be constant in a professional architect career. This year’s charrette and the system’s class made me feel really nostalgic recently.  I have been thinking about my first real charrette, exactly a year ago, during my second year at this university.


Tower of Air and Chapel of Light

Dear friends and family;

This is our last assignment; the fifth one of this semester.

I am going to talk about my little baby; my studio project this semester. I don’t think I mentioned it before here-not completely at least, since I talked about its chapel some weeks ago. In any case, my studio project is a trappist monastery in the city of New York, next to the recently built Highline park in the Meatpacking district.

Let’s talk about specifics. My building is consisted basically into two parts. A vertical residential tower supposed to house the monks and a weird organically shaped chapel. They are the embodiment of two main themes in my project: the rational and the sacred, respectively. As follows:

The residential tower

And attached to this tower I have the chapel component – a particularly problematic part of my project:

First iteration of the Chapel

I decided to divide this assignment into 2 parts. The first one I will talk about the design strategies behind the tower and in the second part I’ll talk in depth about the chapel and all the problems involving its design.


The idea of this tower is basically a really light and permeable structure that allows air to filter through it easily, facilitating therefore natural ventilation during the hot months of summer.

Conceptual Sketch of the tower's section

My analysis starts with a close look into the New York weather. Similarly as I did for assignment 4, I started by downloading the climate information for Manhattan, (an EPW format file from the Energy System website) and bringing that information into the EcoTect weather tool.

An important lesson I learned is that it is impossible to start designing a building without taking the weather into consideration. These analysis through ecotect became a crucial and unavoidable step in my design process.

First of all, I interpreted the psychrometry of the site. I focused mainly in 2 specific parts of the year: The Summer and winter. In New York these two seasons are so drastically different that I had to come up with 2 different design strategies for this building: one for the cold months of winter and another for the summer. This is what the psychromtric chart told me:

Summer Psychrometric Chart

During the summer months, even though the confort zone (in blue) pretty much matches the actual climate conditions, I wanted to push comfort even further by means of natural ventilation (in red).

Winter Psychrometric chart

It turns out that winter was a way more problematic season. As it can be noticed in the image above, the actual climate conditions (in green) is far far away from the comfort zone (in blue). And, according to the software, the most successful « passive design » strategy that could be used to warm the building up is passive solar heating (in red).

What I want to get at is that in tempered climates like the one in Manhattan, there is no single design strategy; we must take into consideration the multiple temperature variations throughout the year and design a building that responds to that variation. This was especially challenging  for me, a student that comes from the Brazilian Amazon, a place where the climate is always hot and humid and there are no significant temperature variations during the course of a year.

Unlike last assignment, during this one I had more time to explore the Ecotect weather tool and I discovered a bunch of interesting things.  The other information that this software gives us is wind and solar position. Wind and Sun are crucial aspects for the functioning of the systems I developed in my building, so I took my time and analysed where is the wind coming from in the summer time and the also the path of the sun in the winter time:

Wind in summer time

The chart above tells me that the wind is mostly coming from the South; and it’s important to consider that the Manhattan Grid is tilted; it is not perfectly aligned with the cardinal points. Because of that, the southern wind will be able to filter through the tower more or less directly.

Sun Path on the site

The sun chart basically tells me the relationship between the position of the sun and the site of my building. I’ll take advantage of the southern surface, the one the is mos exposed to the sun.


For the summer my main idea was cross ventilation. Looking at the section below ( 1/8″ scale) one can see how it works.

Tower Section

The tower consists of 3 open lobbies, each of them are open to the elements.


for the winter strategy I wanted to create a large scale stack effect mechanism, similar to the GSW tower berlin. A metal surface wall would be placed on the southern face of the tower, so it would heat up the air in that zone and consequently suck the air from the rooms creating a ventilation system. This system also increases the solar gain in the building since it s being warmed up.

GSW building section

Below is a section I hand drafted through a part of my tower (1/4″ scale) showing the air flow through it’s spaces. It’s important to notice that there is a thickness in the floor slabs, and they are also hollow. This is because I wanted the air to also pass through the floor slabs, warming it up during the winter and cooling it down during the summer. The void in the floor slabs is also the duct from where the air  would be sucked in the stack effect process.

Section Perspective by Victor Hugo Azevedo

Section Through the tower

In this tower I also wanted to avoid the creation of thermal bridges, so notice that in that all windows are made of double panel glass.


This is a long story. You can read more about it in my last post, just follow this link:

Light studies by Victor Hugo Azevedo

Chapel Iterations

Section through Chapel

A City of Angels and Chaos

Dear friends and family,

Today I want to talk a little bit about cities and the systems that shape them.

This thanksgiving recess I went to the West Coast of the United States for the first time. I spent three days with a good friend who just graduated from UVA that lives in the City of Angels. I admit that I am definitely an East Coast person; I’ve been living in that part of the States for a while and I visited most of its major cities. From Richmond (VA) to New York, the cities in the East Coast are more or less shaped the same way. If I had more time I would talk more about their similarities; but what I want to get at is that while visiting any Eastern city, I would find more or less what I expect before getting to them.

A city of Angels, Chaos and Extreme Segregation.

Parking lot next to Santa Monica Beach.

I have traveled a lot in my life and I generally don’t be really surprised by the places I go. But Los Angeles was an exceptions to this rule. I took an urban planning class at the A-school and I have heard a lot of bad things about the City of Angels. I wanted to check it by myself and see what it looks like. I was expecting a city that looked like Miami, very plain, flat and hot, but Los Angeles in more than that. It’s a paradoxical city; from above it looks monstrous and never ending; organized in endless orthogonal mega-blocks. But interestingly enough the city is made mostly of one-story buildings, so in a way its seems to me that it is unnecessarily too sprawled, as if everyone needed an excuse to use the automobile even for small errands.

The automobile industry is the key ingredient for today’s article. I know that there is a deeper underlying issue about cars in society -especially in this Nation- but for now I am going to blame it for the way Los Angeles looks like.  My friend took me to place on the top of a hill called Grifith Observatory, and from there we had a panoramic view of the city:

View from the Grifith Observatory.