Erection of post-formed gridshells by means of inflatable membrane technology

  • YEAR
    Liuti, Alessandro
    Pugnale, Alberto
    2015 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Construction, Materials and Technology


This paper describes a new erection technique for post-formed timber gridshells based on an inflatable membrane technology. All well-known gridshell construction techniques are either based on the pulling/pushing up a flat grid of laths, or on the easing down of a grid of quads from a certain height. These techniques already suffer from shortcomings at the small scale; when applied to the large scale, the lack of a standardised and cost-effective erection method implies that new techniques have to be thought up each time. This is one of the reasons why gridshells are have only been designed for exceptional projects, such as the Downland Museum or the Mannheim Multihalle. Gridshells are not widely applied to common projects, even though they enable large spans to be covered with the minimum amount of material, they are fast to construct and are entirely recyclable. In this work, an inflatable membrane has been designed and used to erect a gridshell prototype with a footprint of 55m2. Inspiration comes from the work of the architect Dante Bini, who, since 1964, has been realising hundreds of inflatable concrete domes around the world.


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