Skin Iteration- Fabric

After presenting a series of grid shell explorations in the past weeks, Studio 14 shifted the investigation to the skin of the shell. Among some of the considerations taken in the design phase of the paneling system were aesthetics, deformation, material performance, solar radiation, wind filtration, and cost/labor projections.

Team Proposal

A main objective to be achieved was to provide  a skin system that would enhance the geometry of the grid. Responding to this need to empower the grid we decided to protrude the squares to the exterior as to create a second layer that is both, cohesive and responsive to the structure. The purity of the design as we further explored, also allowed for a more complex topography to be added to the surface without changing the dimensions and parameters initially set. The proposed skin will result in a diamond shape panel that alternates between solid and void and that will gradually change in height along its curvature.

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Design Performance


The openness of the proposed skin present numerous advantages on the performance of the grid. First, the size of the openings and the intended transparency of the material will allow for daylight and wind to be filtered through it. Also, the vertical nature of the panels will provide a light control most of the day and will additionally enhance the experience with the play of shadows.

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Material Performance


While the design of the panel system is the main determinant of its performance, we know choosing the appropriate material becomes crucial for its ultimate success. Among some of the materials being considered because of their inherent elastic qualities, are various types of fabric such as Vinyl Tarps, PVC Tarps, Polystyrene Spandex and Polyethylene Tarpaulin. These fabrics have additional advantages of being low cost, light weight and flexible enough to form and fit more complex shapes. We are continuing our search for a material that is both cost effective, as well as adaptable to the needs of the project.

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Skin Fabrication


Using parametric software we will then explore the projected stress taken on each cellular panel along the different curvatures of the grid. This further exploration will contribute to an understanding of how the skin is currently performing under our given parameters and will allow us to adjust the design to improve its performance.

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