We are pleased to welcome John Bahoric to The Culture Concept Circle as a guest author: Spotlight Stories
He describes in his own words how the design team surmounted the structural challenges to produce an outstanding outcome.
The SMMB was designed during a period of fantastic innovation. Many designers of the day were pushing the limits in material and form and were influencing architectural outcomes.
Ironically, our challenge around budget and time meant that we too had to be creative and open to various materials and forms.
The 2015 Summer Architecture Commission, the NGV Summer Pavilion represents a true synergy of building disciplines, whereby the structural expression and associated form, materiality and construction methodology are one and the same with the architecture.
Each participant played a key role and comraderie, coupled with a “can do” approach, rose to the surface.
Engineer and architect worked with interplay in the development of a rational geometric shape.
This process tested materiality and structural sizing to provide a solution that is remarkably efficient, easy to build and deconstruct, and visually very exciting.
Much of the work was done using in house digital design tools
The grid shell is a two way arched surface, and our choice of shape and materials allows the individual members to work together as a single system.
The strength of the grid shell comes from its arching action (curvature), its rigid connections and member sizing and materiality.
The design process involved tracking the shape of the structure as it was loaded to failure in the virtual environment.
The shape at failure contains information that tells us a lot about its stiffness and strength, and we used this information to calculate the size of each member and to finalise its form.
Our design checks also included measuring deflections and dynamic behaviours under wind loads (ie would wind cause the structure to flutter?).
Upon completion of design, the digital file was handed over to the fabricator to enable for its speedy construction.
This project was unique in so far as no drawings were produced by the architect nor engineer – all of our information was captured within the digital file.
The builder worked closely with the engineer to resolve connection details and fixity details to the garden slab structure.
A trial assembly was done off site to ensure every piece could “fit” into place (like a meccano set) prior to reassembly on site.
Words & Images of Pavilion’s Structural Development ©John Bahoric, Guest Author, Spotlight Stories, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
director | structural design studio
Contact: [email protected]
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