COMPUTATION + COMPRESSION
Fall 2013 | Material Information | Professor Danelle Briscoe | With Alex Dallas and Zach Walters
This project explores geometric form finding and the construction of compression only structures in dry stacked stone. Compression only vaults are defined by their stability and geometry, so we created a parametric process in Grasshopper that allows for the manipulation of inherently stable geometries to create unique form.
The arch that the definition creates is divided using a hybrid grid, generating a minimally distorted system of interlocking masonry units that can be fabricated on a 3-axis CNC router. Properties of both an orthogonal grid (as is applied to a vault) and a radial grid (as is applied to a dome) are merged. The final form tapers at the apex for structural efficiency and load distribution, units at the peak of the arch would be only 2 inches thick while units at it’s base are 6 inches. In addition, the parametric system minimizes the warping of the faces between adjacent hexagonal components, creating a smooth continuous vault surface
In order to evaluate this process, we fabricated a full scale portion of the arch in limestone and a 1” = 1’ model of the completed arch.