Swansea Palace Theatre – Introduction to ‘Siteless’.

Our task for the ‘Siteless’ element to the project brief was to find shapes in the everyday world and turn them into abstract ‘siteless’ forms. I started looking at derelict buildings for inspiration. I discovered Swansea’s Palace Theatre and was immediately drawn to its odd shape. It looks more like the space was built before the construction of the building itself.

To take this form into Rhino to 3D CAD a model, I went to Google Maps and selected the birds eye view option. This was beneficial as I could now break down the forms and start sketching in Rhino with polylines.


Using polylines in Rhino, I created a joined outline before I extruded the surface and closed panar holes. However, after getting an initial ‘blueprint’ sketch in Rhino, I soon started to realise that shape wasn’t accurate on Google Maps. It was more like a right angled triangle with a curved point. There was also a small corner missing from the first floor due to a balcony.

Once this was realised and I spent more time looking at it in Google Maps, I went back to Rhino and again worked with polylines to sketch out another shape that better matched that description.

To achieve the curved point, I inserted control points to the polyline and stretched them. Even though the curved point wasn’t kept as shown above, it was still a good practise to learn how to manipulate geometric shapes and add in more lines/curves.

Going back to finding shapes within everyday world, I started deciphering which parts of the architectural structure would be geometric shapes. This made the construction of my CAD model easier, as I started breaking down each layer into a shape.

The front part of Swansea Palace Theatre is now a cylinder and the body of the building is two right hand triangles. For the construction on top of the roof, I used one long rectangle.

This was interesting to model in CAD, because I liked the idea of having one print that isn’t fused and one that is. This references my work in ‘Cited’ as I have been working with geometric puzzles and thought it would be a really engaging process to have a model that can be put together by the public.

I have booked slots to use 3D printers both tomorrow and Friday to be able to print out my outcomes. I’m excited about this because it is a good test run both for refreshing my skills in CAD and for testing out the ‘puzzle’ theory to this siteless object.



Author: lawrenceaaronmaker

Studying a BA Hons in Artist, Designer; Maker at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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