Shell for Architecture: form finding and optimization

This book brings together for the first time the most relevant form finding and structural optimization techniques for shell and gridshell structures, and transfers knowledge in the form of mathematics, computer algorithms, and design case studies, providing highly pedagogical material for students as well as practicing architects and engineers.

  • Part 1 introduces the topic of shells, tracing the ancient relationship between structural form and forces, the basics of shell behaviour, and the evolution of form finding and structural optimization techniques.
  • Part 2 familiarizes the reader with form finding techniques, covering the force density method, thrust network analysis, dynamic relaxation and particle-spring systems, and discusses how to steer form.
  • Part 3 focuses on shell shape and topology optimization, and provides a deeper understanding of gradient-based methods and meta-heuristic techniques. Each chapter in Parts 2 and 3 is constructed as a lesson with clear learning objectives, developed design case studies, in depth mathematics, homework questions, definitions of key concepts, and suggested further reading.
  • The precedent studies in the Part 4 demonstrate the innovative design of realised gridshells and continuous shells and their design approaches.

With contributions from a range of prominent practicing architects, engineers and academics, this book provides architecture and engineering practitioners with an in-depth introduction to shell and gridshell structures.

Image: Teshima shell by contributing author Mutsuri Sasaki