At the Department for Structural Design and Engineering (Prof. Christoph Gengnagel) of the Berlin University of the Arts, Gregory Quinn is researching and developing a novel method to realise elastic gridshells as part of his doctoral thesis. Experimental results of this work in the form of a 13m span prototypical pavilion can be explored for a duration of four weeks in an installation freely accessible at ANCB's garden in Berlin.
Elastic gridshells such as Frei Otto's Multihalle in Mannheim are highly efficient structures, able to cover large spans with very little material or embedded energy. The simplicity of these structures generates beautiful doubly-curved shell surfaces from slender and initially straight beams. While elastic gridshells are efficient in their built-state, the existing methods to erect them are usually associated with significant complexity, cost and time.
This method which makes use of pneumatic falsework (i.e air-filled cushions) has the potential to greatly increase the speed of construction for large-span shells (i.e. up to 100m in a matter of days), which would have groundbreaking implications on construction costs and efficiency with promising potential for application in rapidly deployable event covers and shelters.
The pavilion is accessible during the regular opening hours of the Aedes Architecture Forum and will be put to the test by various events taking place during the exhibition period.