Oasis: Gridshell Design is a shell to gridshell structural optimisation exploration of a funicular design developed in Oasis: Relieving Water-Led Erosion. We take you through the process of finding a sound and optimum structure suited for the proposal.Inspiration was taken from Lake Plato and Matys’ freeform shell pavilion in Confluence Park.
The benefit of a freeform geometry is the advantage it offers in optimizing its shape for structural performance with the use of evolutionary algorithms for a smooth transitioning and engineered end result (in this case, we toggle the ellipse radii) The key is in identifying acting forces and achieving force balance through geometric manipulation.

  • The global geometry performs better in terms of utilization compared to the singly curved arch modules since the added units combine to transfer loads mimicking a vault.
  • Displacement around the supports differs minimally but the portions of the shell farthest from supports have deformation due to the applied loads
  • The maximum and mean displacement vary slightly in the global advanced structure. This implies that we can remove some of the supports from areas with lower displacement.

  • From the experiments, it was evident that the spanning top of the gridshell is structurally enhanced by the use of subdivisions — where triangular bracings perform better than quadrilaterals
  • However, the funicular bottoms do not respond in the same way and require a separate strategy. This may be because :
    a) of the tensile force applied by the flow of water
    b) compression from the dead and live loading towards the minimising cross-sectional area
    c) inefficient merging of modular units
  • Moreover, the size of elements used to achieve workable results was too high and would have to be classified across varying heights and utilisations
  • This calls for designing customised grid as the next step to direct the force flow towards the supports optimally, we begin by zoning the regions on the basis of nature and magnitude of load acting on it.


The process reiterates that structural design is most optimised in terms of performance and sustainability when it is tailor-made than mass-produced in the same manner that the shells could vary in thickness and curvature and the gridshell breaks from uniformity at specific regions. A one size fits all solution is not just detrimental to the aforementioned but would also cost more. Digital tools with appropriate strategies aides and makes it possible to cater to the same.


Oasis: Gridshell Design is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in Advanced Computation for Architecture & Design 2021/22 by
Students: Maryam Deshmukh, Sidhant Choudhary
Faculty: Manja van de Worp, Matthew Gabe