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Architectural Freeform Structures from Single-Curved Panels

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Design tools for curved glass facades

Some of the most striking freeform architectural structures rely on combinations of single-curved panels, often of glass. Novel mathematical tools are paving the way to a new generation of freeform designs.

Industrial Technologies

Design of such complex architectural facades conventionally exploits digital technologies developed for other fields such as the automotive industry and industrial design. However, the fundamental requirements of the two applications differ substantially due to differences in materials, loads, aesthetics, scale and manufacturing methods. EU-funded scientists developed dedicated software within the scope of the project 'Architectural freeform structures from single-curved panels' (ARC). The mathematical methods rely on a new type of surface representation between smooth and discrete called developable strip models. The team has combined this work with extensive investigation of glass panels and their properties during processing and after. ARC partners were invited to apply techniques to the prestigious project building the Eiffel Tower Pavilions on the first platform of the Eiffel Tower exploiting a double-curved glass facade. Insight provided by ARC researchers played an important role in achieving a cost-effective and elegant solution. ARC technology was also utilised in the design of a curved glass facade for the Arena de Sao Paulo in Brazil that hosted the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The field of architectural geometry is booming, as witnessed by an increase in participants at the biennial conference from 130 in 2008 to 400 in 2012. ARC was proud to sponsor the 2010 and 2012 conferences. Comment: unfortunately, bform will not get started; we currently discuss another company, but cannot yet write about it.


Glass facades, freeform architectural structures, single-curved panels, glass, mathematical tools, architectural facades, freeform structures, developable strip models, glass panels, curved glass, glass facade, architectural geometry

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