Hexagonal Shell Element
The building element for a triangulated shell structure has been developed to explore the potentials of BioFlexi – a flexible high-density fiber board made of up to 90 % natural fibers from agricultural residuals and bio-based polymers – for structures of architectural scale. The student design proposes a double-layered grid shell which is formed by single-curved elements connected with hexagonal connector plates. With the curvature of the single elements being directed towards both normal directions of the shell, the double-layered structure obtains a structural height is supposed to span over several meters.
The curved elements are fabricated as a multi-layered sandwich: the flexible BioFlexi is laminated on both sides with a natural fiber textile and oak veneer. In only one process step, the BioFlexi is brought into its curved shape and laminated with the additional layers by vacuum pressing. In contrast to other materials like thermoformed polymers or form-laminated wood, the flexibility of BioFlexi as the elements core material offers fast, low-cost and low-energy formability while the fixation of its shape through veneer layers provides outstanding stiffness.
Student design project by Mariana Zollino, University of Stuttgart.
Design Studio: Flexible Forms, WS 17/18