Shell Structures for Architecture

Form Finding and Optimization

Edited by Sigrid Adriaenssens, Philippe Block, Diederik Veenendaal, Chris Williams

© 2014 – Routledge

340 pages | 176 Color Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415840606
pub: 2014-04-21
US Dollars$63.95
Hardback: 9780415840590
pub: 2014-04-21
US Dollars$190.00

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About the Book

*** Featuring a foreword by Pritzker Prize Winner Shigeru Ban ***

Bringing together experts from research and practice, Shell Structures for Architecture: Form Finding and Optimization presents contemporary design methods for shell and gridshell structures, covering form-finding and structural optimization techniques. It introduces architecture and engineering practitioners and students to structural shells and provides computational techniques to develop complex curved structural surfaces, in the form of mathematics, computer algorithms, and design case studies.

• Part I introduces the topic of shells, tracing the ancient relationship between structural form and forces, the basics of shell behaviour, and the evolution of form-finding and structural optimization techniques.

• Part II familiarizes the reader with form-finding techniques to explore expressive structural geometries, covering the force density method, thrust network analysis, dynamic relaxation and particle-spring systems.

• Part III focuses on shell shape and topology optimization, and provides a deeper understanding of gradient-based methods and meta-heuristic techniques.

• Part IV contains precedent studies of realised shells and gridshells describing their innovative design and construction methods.


'As the role of computational tools in structural design continues to grow, the form-finding techniques detailed here are more relevant than ever. Bringing together experts in the field, I expect Shell Structures for Architecture will be a valuable inspiration and reference for architecture and engineering students and professionals seeking a deeper understanding, which is essential to make full use of such tools and techniques.'

Daniel Piker, Robert McNeel & Associates

'This book should be in the library of designers of shells and grid shells.'

Bill Baker, Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

'In their integration of technical and creative disciplines, shell structures are a fascinating typology – this is a valuable source book for architects and engineers alike.'

Xavier De Kestelier, Partner, Foster + Partners

'Shell Structures for Architecture expands architectural possibilities; a great influence on the thinking of contemporary architects.'

Toyo Ito, Founding partner, Toyo Ito & Associates

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Contents On architects and engineers Sharing the same spirit Introduction Part 1: Shells for Architecture 1. Exploring shell forms, John Ochsendorf, Philippe Block 2. Shaping forces, Laurent Ney, Sigrid Adriaenssens 3. What is a shell? Chris Williams 4. Physical modelling and form finding, Bill Addis 5. Computational form finding and optimization, Kai-Uwe Bletzinger, Ekkehard Ramm Part 2: Form Finding 6. Force density method, Klaus Linkwitz 7. Thrust network analysis, Philippe Block, Lorenz Lachauer, Matthias Rippmann 8. Dynamic relaxation, Sigrid Adriaenssens, Mike Barnes, Richard Harris, Chris Williams9. Particle-spring systems, Shajay Bhooshan, Diederik Veenendaal, Philippe Block 10. Comparison of form-finding methods, Diederick Veenendaal, Philippe Block 11. Steering of form, Axel Kilian Part 3: Structural Optimization 12. Nonlinear force density method, Klaus Linkwitz, Diederick Veenendaal 13. Best-fit thrust network analysis, Tom Van Mele, Daniele Panozzo, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Philippe Block 14. Discrete topology optimization, James N. Richardson, Sigrid Adriaenssens, Rajan Filomeno Coelho, Philippe Bouillard 15. Multi-criteria gridshell optimization, Peter Winslow 16. Eigenshells, Panagiotis Michalatos, Sawako Kaijima 17. Homogenization method, Irmgard Lochner-Aldinger, Axel Schumacher 18. Computational morphogenesis, Alberto Pugnale, Tomás Méndez Echenagucia, Mario Sassone Part 4: Precedents 19. The Multihalle and the British Museum, Chris Williams 20. Félix Candela and Heinz Isler, Maria E. Moreyra Garlock, David P. Billington 21. Structural design of free-curved RC shells, Mutsuro Sasaki The congeniality of architecture and engineering, Patrik Schumacher Appendices: 22. The finite element method in a nutshell, Chris Williams 23. Differential geometry and shell theory, Chris Williams 24. Genetic algorithms for structural design, Rajan Filomeno Coelho, Tomás Méndez Echenagucia, Alberto Pugnale, James N. Richardson 25. Subdivision surfaces, Paul Shepherd Index Bibliography List of Credits List of Projects List of Contributors

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Professional Practice
ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / General