Analysis and design of curved support structures

C. Tang, M. Kilian, P. Bo, Johannes Wallner, H. Pottmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Curved beams along freeform skins pose many challenges, not least on the level of basic geometry. A prototypical instance of this is presented by the glass facades of the Eiffel tower pavilions, and the interrelation between the differential-geometric properties of the glass surface on the one hand, and the layout of beams on the other hand. This paper discusses how curved beams are represented by developable surfaces, and studies geometric facts relevant to beam placement along guiding surfaces. Surprisingly, many of the curves which are interesting from the viewpoint of pure geometry (geodesics, principal curves, etc.) occur in this context too. We discuss recent advances in the modelling of developable surfaces, and show how they permit the interactive design of arrangements of curved beams, in particular the design of so-called geometric support structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Architectural Geometry 2016
PublisherHochschulverlag Zürich
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event5th Symposium on Advances in Architectural Geometry: AAG 2016 - Zürich, Switzerland
Duration: 9 Sept 201613 Sept 2016


Conference5th Symposium on Advances in Architectural Geometry

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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