Keywords: sandwich constructions, glass fibre reinforced polyester, GRP, liquid design, freeform roofs, composites, structural engineering, shell roof structures, architecture, technology transfer, stressed skin roofs
Composite stressed skin roofs for liquid design architecture
This article describes the design, development and research build process of a new generation of shell roof structures for architecture. The result marks a new era, the renaissance of the shell structures, once popular in architecture in the 1960s, but disappeared since. Liquid design architecture enhances a more free and complex geometry of buildings. The main attention in this contribution is given to the 'free form' roofs of the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv (architect Moshe Safdie). The principle idea was initiated in discussions with colleagues from aeronautic and yacht design. The subsequent process of design and engineering made use of state-of-the-art design and engineering computer programs, but relied even more on the 'out of the box' abilities and imagination of the technical designers. The production stage was greatly assisted by the transfer of technology from yachting industry, although the architectural application, mainly in its size, but also in transport, shipment and assembly had to be developed further on the building industry's level of technology and pricing.