Tortoise Shell // Louvre Abu Dhabi


Computational Design I, focuses on teaching the fundamentals of visual scripting through Grasshopper while exploring the most basic concepts of computational design. Geometries were produced through a variety of scripts to generate a reactive façade. During this project, we designed a responsive parametric roof that reacts to the environment of an existing building.


Louvre is an art museum located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates designed by Jean Nouvel. The dome roof is the major highlight of the building. The dome is inspired by Arabic architecture. It is a complex, geometric structure consisting of 7850 stars of various sizes and angles in eight different layers.


We designed a four-layered dome to reduce the light and heat from the sun. Each layer has a different purpose. The bottom layer is our parametric roof, which gets smaller and larger according to the sun’s rays. The sun rays that enter the interior are controlled by the bottom layer, and various shadow plays are created in the interior area at certain times of the day.


  1. Create preexisting geometries.
  2. Create a Sphere and split it onto a dome.
  3. Deconstruct mapping surface to gather points and vertices.
  4. Use polylines, fillets, and offsets to create geometries to be projected onto the dome.
  5. Adjust geometries to the desired shape.
  6. Project geometries onto the dome and extrude.
  7. Repeat this process three times.
  8. Create holes to open and close.
  9. Create a square grid and transform it into a series of polygons
  10. Rotate and change the size of geometries to fit in the grid
  11. Create an attractor point.
  12. Remap the attractor point and midpoint of geometries to gather a list of lengths.
  13. Scale the two so the further apart the attractor point is, the smaller the holes.
  14. Create meshes to project surface onto the dome
  15. Extrude to complete layer.



Tortoise Shell // Louvre Abu Dhabi is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master in Advanced Architecture in 2021 by Students: GIZEM DEMIRKIRAN & EMILY BISHOP Faculty: DAVID ANDRÉS LEÓN, ASHKAN FOROUGHI, LAUKIK LAD