New possibilities offered by recent modelling software allow the design of organic shapes that are appealing to architects and engineers but may encompass serious issues such as an overconsumption of materials. In this context, there is a renewed interest in systems allowing the materialization of curved surfaces such as timber gridshells, which can be defined as shells with their structures concentrated in strips. However, gridshell design becomes highly challenging if complex grid configurations and new material possibilities are combinedly explored with form generations. These upheavals highlight the need for a classification system to seize the potential and the limitations of timber gridshells to address complex geometries. The classification of 60 timber gridshells enables a critical examination in the course of the ceaseless quest for complexity in architecture by evaluating current building possibilities and predict future building opportunities in terms of form, structure, and materiality.
This research is about the design process, development and fabrication of a free-form structure in crosslaminated timber (CLT) panels. Since sustainability, ecology and structural design are now relevant in any building project, the purpose of this research is to demonstrate that CLT panels can be used as an ecoresponsive strategy based on a building form. This paper presents the use of a tessellation construction system for designing and producing a freeform surface in CLT for a specific regional and industrial context. The research/creation process and the retroactive simulation generated by the parametric modelling software enabled the development of a singular architectural project where the structural aspect and the manufacturing are the inherent part of the integrated design process. Finally, the cutting files can be generated automatically for an easy transfer to CNC machine tools.
This research project presents both innovative multi-scalar modelling methods and production processes aimed at facilitating the design and fabrication of free-form glue-laminated timber structures. The paper reports on a research effort that aims to elucidate and formalize the connection between material performance, multi-scalar modelling (Weinan 2011), and early-stage architectural design, in the context of free-form glue-laminated timber structures. This paper will examine how the concept of multi-scalar modelling as found in other disciplines can also be used to embed low-level material performance of glue-laminated timber into early-stage architectural design processes, thus creating opportunities for feedback across the design chain and an increased flexibility in effecting changes. The research uses physical prototypes as a means to explore and evaluate the methods presented.