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Break Water Team 2

Breakwaters are structures constructed along coastlines to slow down erosion and protect an anchorage from the effects of both harsh weather and longshore drift. Made up of three-dimensional units that must be able to stack up on top of each other in order to cover an angular surface, a breakwater must also be just as articulated so that it can intercept and break up waves. By exploring three-dimensional stacking and tiling, this assignment requires that each team creates one unique design for a breakwater unit.
  • Program

    Bachelor in Design
  • Author (Students)

    Federica Caso

    Mae White

    Myriam Barba

    Yasmina Taher

  • Subject

    Design Studio I

Inspiration and Mood Board

Our design process started by researching everything possible about breakwaters around the world, including the different types and materials in use as well as the relationship between location and functionality. The research resulted in a series of concepts, which we have portrayed in a mood board. In our design, we wanted to convey elegance, movement, balance, and a fusion between the natural and artificial worlds. Our main sources of inspiration were coral reefs and all architectural structures that somehow interact with the ocean.
Inspiration Break Water

Mood Board Brak Water



The most challenging part during the design process was making a functional object with three axes that remained interesting. After exploring several options and ideas, we ended up with a cylindrical form, on which we started to add convex and concave elements with the purpose of making it capable for stacking. After establishing a potential design, we modeled our project on 3D softwares and tested out different versions of the breakwater using 3D printers.


In our final design, we maintained the concept of the balance between the natural and artificial worlds, since it essentially is a man-made concrete structure set up in the ocean. We portrayed this by having interchanging faces and curves that combined a perfect circle with an internal hexagon that would allow water to flow in and out of the breakwater.

Wavebreaker Design

Wavebreakers Stacked


Lastly, we had to cast, with 4 different concrete pieces, a final design. The project taught us many lessons: from how to work in three dimensions to how to apply visual language that is coherent with an object, as well as how to bring the design to life through casting. It also showed us how to be disciplined and organized, since we had to plan in advance the casting process as each piece took at least two days to be completed.