In Lund in southern Sweden, Snøhetta has designed a functional landscape park to radiate from the synchrotron radiation laboratory MAX IV. The landscape functions to mitigate ground vibrations.
Testing revealed that traffic on the nearby highway caused ground vibrations that could influence the laboratory’s experiments. The flatter the landscape, the more vibrations reach the site. The more chaotic the landscape, the fewer vibrations reach the site.
The 3D modeling proved crucial. Snøhetta established the design layout by extracting the nature of vibrations into rational values inserted in Grasshopper. The mounds pitch and roll at a wavelength pattern that corresponds to the traffic vibration, while responding to the circular form of the synchrotron building.
Landscape Architecture Magazine looks at it this way:
Simply say the word “parametric” in a room of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planner, and you will be met with a lot of eye rolling. This is not unwarranted–what is essentially a form generating method with considerable aesthetic appeal has, for at least the past decade, often been treated as an end, and not a means. Rules are fed into the program, and three-dimensional forms result. The description of inputs is expectedly complex, but reflects actual conditions on site and produced outputs that have an actual, measurable impact. In the case of MAX IV, the wavelength of the traffic vibration, tangent lines extending from the 528-meter circle of the synchrotron, and a set of waves radiating out from it were plugged in to create an amplitude–resulting in a bumpy surface–to reduce the on-site vibration to as close to zero as possible. Jenny Osuldsen, a project architect with Snøhetta, said, “For once we can use parametric design in a real way.”