The aim of this project was to explore the architectural possibilities of using membranes and bending active elements to create lightweight structures. Throughout our investigation, we tried to understand different approaches and tools to analyze and simulate the behavior of these kinds of hybrid structures.
“these type of structures take advantage of the elasticity of certain material to respond to the external forces acting on it.” Julian Lienhardt
Our architectural intention was to create a temporary exhibition place for architecture students which provides a gathering and concentration point for pedestrians.
To understand the behavior and complexities of this material system, physical models were built before any computational simulation. Forms generated from combinations of different anchoring techniques between the membrane and bending active element or ground guided the rationalization and refinement process of initial sketch.
The computational simulation was done in two steps:
This two-phase process came from the problem of membranes’ huge deformation while we were trying to estimate the rod (bending active element) shape. To overcome this situation we made an iterative form-finding solution which consisted of (#1)contracting membrane to bend the main column and using bending element shape to (#2)generate the next iteration membrane initial shape.
The output of the previous step was later used as the boundaries of in-between membranes in a Sofistik simulation to precisely generate the membrane’s geometry.