The shell is formed of flat polygonal plywood panels, connected at the edges with hinges and faceted to form a dramatic curved shape. The name derives from the panel shapes which mimic the pattern of a giraffe’s colouring.
ArchitectRamboll Computational Design Group
Project TypeSmall Project
Structural EngineerRamboll Computational Design Group
Main ContractorRamboll and TRADA
Wood SupplierJames Latham
Timber SpeciesBirch, Malaysian Red Hardwood
Timber ElementsPlywood, Structure
A doubly curved timber shell, an assembly of simple, readily available materials – plywood, hinges and adhesive – housed the TRADA pavilion at this year’s Timber Expo in Coventry.
The shell is formed of flat polygonal plywood panels, connected at the edges with hinges and faceted to form a dramatic curved shape. The name derives from the panel shapes which mimic the pattern of a giraffe’s colouring. The shell itself is a practical demonstration of how simple timber elements can produce innovative structural forms of great elegance.
The idea for the pavilion originated when Rupert Scott, TRADA membership and marketing manager, visited the London offices of Ramboll and saw a timber gridshell structure which had been erected in the foyer. Could Ramboll’s structural engineers design a similar innovative structure for the TRADA stand at the forthcoming Timber Expo in September 2012?
“What we wanted to do at Timber Expo” explains Rupert, “was to fire the imagination and show what was possible in timber. The constructional products and services of about 150 companies in the timber sector are on show at Timber Expo. As host of the show we wanted a stand which showed how timber has the potential to achieve innovative and exciting structural forms”.
Although the structure was designed using very sophisticated techniques, the final result is a beautifully simple structure of plywood, hinges and glued joints.
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