Design, fabrication and assembly of a geodesic gridshell in a student workshop
Other conference contribution, 2018

This paper describes the design, fabrication and assembly of an 11x11 m gridshell built of plywood laths during a two and a half day workshop in a new undergraduate course about parametric design and digital fabrication. The question was how to use full-scale prototyping to summarize and integrate the learning outcomes in this course. A challenge was how to execute all production during two consecutive days utilizing all 35 students. Exploiting a geodesic grid design, that is curves whose curvature vector is parallel with the surface normal, the gridshell was made of straight predrilled laths that were bent and locked into shape using a sequential erection method. The design was incorporated in a full parametric model including automated design checks and the generation of all necessary production drawings.The workshop and the preparatory work described in this paper was a collaboration between Chalmers, BIG Engineering, Buro Happold and Thornton Tomasetti's CORE studio.

parametric design

architecture and engineering

education and architecture


digital fabrication

Timber gridshell

differential geometry


Emil Adiels

Research - Architectural Theory and Method

Nicolo Bencini

BuroHappold Engineering

Cecilie Brandt-Olsen

BIG Engineering

Al Fisher

BuroHappold Engineering

Isak Näslund

BuroHappold Engineering

Robert Otani

Thornton Tomasetti

Emil Poulsen

Thornton Tomasetti

Puria Safari

BuroHappold Engineering

Christopher John Kenneth Williams

Research - Architectural Theory and Method

IASS 2018 - Creativity in Structural Design
Boston, USA,

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering




Building Technologies

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

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