Funicular Structure

Historically, particularly hanging models and graphic statics have been used to design vaulted structures. In the beginning of the 20th century, Antoni Gaudí used hanging models in the design process of the Crypt of Colònia Güell; Frei Otto and his team used hanging models to find form for the Mannheim gridshell; and Heinz Isler designed his concrete shells based on hanging cloth models. Such form-finding techniques, both physical and graphical, allow the exploration of three-dimensional systems, but the design process is time-consuming and tedious, particularly due to a lack of global control—each local change affects the overall geometry. In the last 15 years, a few three-dimensional computational methods have been developed for the equilibrium design of vaults.

Source: Funicular Shell Design Exploration | Matthias Rippmann, Philippe Block

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