Ruled Surface// A Himalayan Retreat

The Ruled Surface Design
During the previous semester, the design for the ruled surface retreat was developed. The initial stages of the design process can be found here. Last semester the priority was the overall structure and the design considering wind, snow loads and other environmental factors. Leading up to the workshop, we developed our 1:5 model to help us understand what our key issues were.

The Objective of Workshop 3
In our final workshop we decided to work on the key connections of the ruled surface design, exploring options for each connection and its feasibility. As a team of 12 we subdivided into smaller groups, with each group focusing on a different aspect. These are the key aspects developed during our final workshop:

  • Ground connection including the installation process
  • The design and connection of the floor
  • The entrance
  • The oculus
  • The skin

Ground Connection and Installation Process
As the timber members hit the floor at an angle, this was a very important connection to figure out. In the design, the forces acting on the connection were considered. Not only is the connection itself important, but how we can place and measure out the position of the members would be critical in getting the right angles.

The Floor
The design of the floor had not been considered up until this point. The main priority was finding a design solution that could be supported by a ring in the structure’s base. Another consideration was the spans as we are limited to 3.6m in length for a timber member.

The Entrance
Due to the complexity of the form and angled timber structure, the entrance has always raised many questions. Primarily, two options were explored, a staircase and a rope ladder. Once we decided on the rope ladder, its location was considered.

The Oculus
The design of the oculus is one of the key design features, yet one of the more complex aspects to implement. Over the weekend many design options were ruled out due to complications during construction and fabrication. By the end of the weekend a solution emerged that could be successfully implemented.

As a result of the exploration with the oculus, a new system of shingles was developed too add rigidity to the top of the structure. This also means that the oculus does not have to be structural.


The Skin
The skin has many roles in this design, it is the waterproofing, the insulation, the door and “the window”. There are several materials that form part of the skin as one can see below in the images. In addition to the build ups, the construction was also considered.

During the workshop, not all the issues could be resolved. However, the design is at a point where, with a bit more development, it could be feasible to construct at 1:1 in Nepal.

Ruled Surfaces//A Himalayan Retreat is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master in Advanced Architecture, in 2018/2019 by:
Students: Yara Tayoun, Aysel Abasova, Ankita Alessandra Bob, Sri Sai Tarun, Megan Smylie, Anton Koshelev, Fiona Demeur, Doruk Yıldırım, Surayyn Uthaya Selvan, Justin Sheinberg, Tarek Kassouf, Ivan Marchuk
Faculty: Manja van de Worp and Raimond Krenmueller
Student Assistant: Elliott Santos and Yi Fan Liao