The Hex_timber.Canopy is the continuation of a proposal for the rooftop of the IAAC main building at the Data Informed Structures seminar.

It is a parametric structure of timber beams in a hexagonal pattern covered by an elastic membrane with openings based on a solar analysis to allow good air flow while shading the sunniest areas.

The design incorporate a specific height catenary curve in the middle of the structure to give the minimum height and at the same  the doubly curved shape. 

Fig.1 Elevation showing how the pavilion is done with golden ratio heights

Fig.2 Animated GIF showing how the pavilion was designed.

ABSTRACT.back to basics

Based on hexagonal meshes research I implemented a script in grasshopper for Rhino3D to generate them from a rectangle and take any free form shape afterwards.

That is what I called further-on “Form Finding process” which allows the main geometry to change the shape based on a solar analysis and Karamaba3D analysis.

Fig.3 regular hexagonal grid with a sphere packing / Diagram by Uri Lewis


he Hex_timber.Canopy consists in 4 main elements.

  • Timber beams 
  • Nodes, each node has a connection sphere, tensors (steel cables), screws, nuts.  
  • Rings, to pull the membrane and attach it
  • Elastic Membrane

Fig.4 Hex_timber.Canopy Structure in an Exploded view


1. Locate the plot best position in the terrain.

The script evaluates each point of the terrain to test which location has better views and less interaction with the surrounding.

Fig.5 Searching for best location with a genetic solver, trying” X” amount of iterations

Fig.6 Best Location for this terrain and context



2. The form finding process define the shape of the pavilion based in a solar analysis, minimum height and a structural analysis.

The script evaluates X amount of possible solutions considering this 3 parameters till it gets an optimal solution.


Fig.7 Evaluating X amount of params to find a form related to perform better to sun and structural


CATALOGUE.Different Configurations

Zoom X5

Zoom X10


PSEUDO CODE.Genetic_Optimization

SCRIPT.Grasshopper Definition


A script was created to draw every single element from the mesh output from the Form Finding process….

It redraws everything, every single time, automatically.


RENDER.Photo-Realistic Image


Uri Lewis – MAA01 Student at IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) 2020-2021



Genetic Optimization // Hex_Timber.Canopy  is a project of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master in Advanced Architecture in 2020/2021 by:
Student: Uri Lewis Torres
Faculty: Rodrigo Aguirre | Faculty Assistant: Ashkan Foroughi