Hexagonal Bending

Type: Structural Research
Year: 2015
Team: Quirin Mühlbauer, Eike Schling
Office: Technische Universität München, Chair of Structural Design, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Barthel
Exhibition: IASS2015

The sculpture HEXAGONAL BENDING utilizes the elastic deformation of rigid PVC foam panels to create a modular shell dome supported by a cable net. For the IASS Symposium Contest, a system of 61 modules was fabricated. The structure has a hexagonal footprint with each side being 2 m in length. The dome has a diameter of 4 m and weighs approx. 50 kg.

Module and System
A planar star shaped module was developed based on a hexagonal grid. This module consists of three concentric arms, which, in turn, branch out to from six connection points. At each joint, three modules are interlocked to form a rigid connection. This connection is used as restraint, which forces the modules into a concave, blossom like shape.

The hexagonal structure consists of symmetrically bent modules, each adding to the residual stress of the system. This stress pushes the overall structure upwards to form a dome utilizing the qualities of shell structures. The curved shape of the modules creates an upper and lower structural layer. The upper layer is used as a hexagonal compression network with rigid links. The lower layer is activated as a triangular network of tension cables making the structure stiff and receptible for bending stress.

About eikeschling

Dr.-Ing. | Architect BYAK Assistant Professor in Architectural Structures The University of Hong Kong

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