Element Development

The computational development of a single element. This element will later become the column support for the final construction. Based on a surface determined by four control points. The existing curves between the control points will undergo a physical Kangeroo attraction based on the vectorial center, determined by the designated control points.

The generated tension between the four elements will create a glue-laminated column used to support the hyperbolic paraboloid structure.

Physical Test

Using small strips of would, a small prototype was made to study the lamella sizes and the available tension it creates. The first physical prototype represents a 2D element where all the control points are situated in the same planer surface.

The second prototype is made by moving two control points lateral above the adjacent two control points. this creates a bubble curved glue-laminated column/beam element.

Voronoi Experimentation

A structure application in a Voronoi composition was made to look at the possibilities these elements can make.

This results in a fabrication strategy that requires a custom fabrication for every single element present in the structure.


The diagram below shows the first composition strategy to generate the different elements based on a designated surface. Hereby is the grid development on top of the surface the designator for the placement of each support point. Next one of the control points is chosen to project as a structural support point between the surface and the ground floor.

The curves between the points are simulated in kangaroo physics and are used as guides for the glue-laminated elements.

Composition One

After the constructed columns, using the primary grid to simulate a secondary tension structure between the designated control points.

Composition Two

Final Composition Development

Final Design

Glulam Tension/Compression Connection is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in Advanced Architecture 2020/21 by students: Alexander Dommershausen, Matvei Genne, and Liang Mayuqi faculty: Tom Svilans & faculty assistant: Shyam Zonca.