Building timber gridshells with air: Numerical simulations and technique challenges

Liuti, Alessandro, D’Amico, Bernardino & Pugnale, Alberto

July 2016 | Conference Paper

Construction has always been a fascinating and challenging aspect of timber gridshells. So far, only three techniques have successfully been used for the erection of such structures: the so-called ‘lift-up’, ‘push-up’ and ‘ease-down’ (Quinn et al. 2015). Inflatable Membrane Technology is here proposed as a new solution and is tested...


Parametrico (Parametric)

Pugnale, Alberto

January 2016 | Chapter

In book: La bellezza per il rospo (Beauty according to the toad) (pp.221-222), Publisher: CLEAN Edizioni, Editors: Roberta Amirante, Carmine Piscopo, Paola Scala. Born in the world of mathematics to define all those “equations that express a set of quantities as explicit functions of a number of independent variables, known...


Erection of post-formed gridshells by means of inflatable membrane technology

Liuti, Alessandro & Pugnale, Alberto

December 2015 | Conference Paper

This paper describes a new erection technique for post-formed timber gridshells which takes advantage of inflatable membrane technology. Consolidated construction techniques for timber gridshells are based either on “pull-up” / “push-up” (i.e. Mannheim Multihalle) or “ease-down” behavior (i.e. Downland Open Air Museum). However, these techniques show shortcomings already at small...


Dante Bini’s “New Architectural Formulae”: Construction, Collapse and Demolition of Binishells in Australia 1974-2015

Pugnale, Alberto & Bologna, Alberto

July 2015 | Conference Paper

The Italian architect Dante Bini began his studies on shell structures during the 1960s. He developed and refined a form-finding and construction technique to erect a finished large-span reinforced concrete (RC) shell structure through the use of an inflatable membrane. This system was patented in 1964 under the name ‘Binishell’...


Timber gridshells: Numerical simulation, design and construction of a full scale structure

D’Amico, Bernardino, Kermani, Abdy, Zhang, Hexin, Pugnale, Alberto & Colabella, Sofia

June 2015 | Article

Timber gridshell structures, such as the Multihalle for the federal garden festival in Mannheim or the Downland Museum, have been the result of a creative–generative process that indissolubly ‘welded’ the structural contribution to that of form exploration. The challenging design and construction issues have been typically addressed and resolved in...


Computational Morphogenesis applied to the Church of Longuelo: Reflections upon a possible parametric interpretation of the original design concepts

Liuti, Alessandro & Pugnale, Alberto

December 2014 | Conference Paper

Before the introduction of NURBS-based CAD software and optimisation, the design of form-resistant structures was based on the use of either experimental tools (physical form-finding) or analytical surfaces, and architects were challenged in the articulation of spaces from the intrinsic characteristics/rules of structural forms. An outstanding example of this kind...


(Digital) Form-finding

Pugnale, Alberto

September 2014 | Chapter

In book: "AAD Algorithms-Aided Design. Parametric strategies using grasshopper", (pp.352-359). Publisher: Le Penseur. Editor: Arturo Tedeschi. In architecture and structural engineering, ‘form-finding’ identifies the process of designing optimal structural shapes by using experimental tools and strategies, i.e. physical models, to simulate a specific mechanical behaviour. The reverse hanging method is...


Three-Dimensionality in Reciprocal Structures: Concepts and Generative Rules

Parigi, Dario & Pugnale, Alberto

April 2014 | Article

Reciprocal systems based on superimposition joints, i.e. where un-notched bars sits on the top or in the bottom of each other, could be regarded as being intrinsically three-dimensional because of their natural out-of plane development. This paper presents seven of these three-dimensional configurations, conceived and built by the students of...