Description of the research
Along the years, we explored different solutions for the covering of elastic gridshells. The first prototypes and significant constructions from the Navier laboratory were covered with stretched membranes. Tensile structures are subject to tight tolerances, and it was crucial to be able to predict the deformed geometry of gridshells. For that reason, an innovative form-finding algorithm taking into account eccentricities of grids was developed in Douthe’s PhD thesis and (Douthe 2007, 2010). The precision of the form-finding allowed to predict with enough reliability the geometry supporting the membrane, and thus to do the cutting-pattern before installation of the gridshell.
Elastic gridshells covered by planar panels
The covering of complex shapes with planar panels or developable strips is an active topic of research. We propose an innovative shape-generation method that draws automatically elastic gridshells covered with planar quadrilaterals that still can be fitted onto a Tchebychev net (Douthe 2016). The method, called isoradial meshes, offers new perspective for the construction of roofs or facades with elastic gridshells. New opportunities for hybrid structural systems arise from this finding, as bracing with rigid plates can now be envisioned thanks to isoradial meshes.