The springing up of freeform architecture and structures introduces many challenges to structural …
The springing up of freeform architecture and structures introduces many challenges to structural engineers. The main challenge is to generate structural forms with high structural efficiency subject to the architectural space constraints during the conceptual structural design process.
Structural Morphology is the study of the relation between form and force, which can be considered the guiding theory for this challenge. The relation between form and force is important for all types of structures during the entire structural design process.
Thus, Structural Morphology has a wide range of related research subjects and multiple research approaches. Therefore, Structural Morphology has gained neither a clear definition nor a unified methodology.
In the present research, a theoretical framework for Structural Morphology has been proposed, that provides an effective solution to the challenge mentioned above. To enrich the proposed framework of Structural Morphology, systematic Form-Finding research on shell structures is conducted. Shell structures, the structural efficiency of which depends strongly on their 3D shape, have particular problems regarding the relationship between form and force. To obtain a structurally efficient shell, the form should follow the flow of forces, and a process of Form-Finding can achieve this. In this issue of A+BE, Form-Finding of shells indicates a process of generating the equilibrium structural forms of hanging, tent or pneumatic physical models.