for gregory quinn’s doctoral thesis at the berlin university of the arts in germany, he explains how elastic gridshells are highly efficient structures which are able to cover large spans with very little material or embedded energy. the simplicity of these structures lie in their ability to generate beautiful doubly-curved shell surfaces from slender and initially straight beams. while it is efficient in its built-state, the existing methods with which to erect them are usually associated with significant complexity, cost and time.


this pavilion is being exhibited at ancb the aedes metropolitan laboratory in berlin

 

 

furthermore, gregory quinn assures the importance of large shelters for medical treatment, social convalescence and religious gatherings in refugee or disaster stricken areas remain under-serviced. this is due to the necessary focus on smaller family dwellings but also due to the cost, time, complexity and energy demands associated with their construction.


elastic gridshells are efficient structures able to cover large spans with little material or embedded energy

 

 

the ‘sheltair’ method makes use of pneumatic falsework, that is air-filled cushions, and has the potential to greatly increase the speed of construction for large-span shells (up to 100 m in a matter of days). which would have groundbreaking implications on construction costs and efficiency with promising potential for application in rapidly re-deployable event covers and shelters.


the importance of shelters for social convalescence in disaster stricken areas remains under-serviced

 

 

this 13 m pavilion in the garden of the aedes metropolitan laboratory in berlin has been built to test and validate the researched method but also to demonstrate its architectural potential. the bio-mimicry of the shell curvature and repeating patterns of the grid complement the sustainability aspects of the solution and offer a refreshing contrast to typical planar shelter systems.


this pavilion has been built to validate the researched method but also to demonstrate its architectural potential

 

 

the implementation and construction for gregory quinn’s ‘sheltair’ is purposefully and necessarily low-tech. however, the physical interaction between the elastic curves of the beams with residual stresses and the pneumatic form of the cushion in relation to the architectural target shape, for example a funicular, is particularly complex.


this pavilion investigates the use of air-filled cushions to rapidly erect elastic gridshells for humanitarian causes


the implementation and construction for gregory quinn’s ‘sheltair’ is purposefully and necessarily low-tech

 

 

SheltAir – Design Video
Gregory Quinn


‘sheltair’ can be used for medical treatment, social convalescence and religious gatherings


scientifically developed by gregory quinn as part of his doctoral thesis at the berlin university of the arts


the ‘sheltair’ makes use of air-filled cushions and can increase the speed of construction for large-span shells


the bio-mimicry of the shell curvature and repeating patterns of the grid complement the sustainability aspects


the simplicity of these structures lie in their ability to generate beautiful doubly-curved shell surfaces from slender

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

  • This seems like it would work well for erecting the rebar reinforcements for a concrete shell.

    Michael Crumpton says:

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