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The Armadillo Vault: Computational design and digital fabrication of a freeform stone shell

Rippmann M., Van Mele T., Popescu M., Augustynowicz E., Méndez Echenagucia T., Calvo Barentin C., Frick U. and Block P.
Advances in Architectural Geometry 2016
2016

This paper describes the development of an unreinforced, freeform vault consisting of 399 discrete limestone blocks with thicknesses ranging from 5 to 12 cm. The vault covers an area of 75 m2 and spans more than 15 m in pure compression, without mortar between the blocks. We discuss how the design of the vault and its individual pieces was entirely driven by constraints related to the fabrication process and to the architectural and structural requirements and timeline of the project. Furthermore, we describe the form-finding process of the shell’s funicular geometry, the discretisation of the thrust surface, the computational modelling and optimisation of the block geometry, and the machining process. Finally, we discuss some of the strategies that were developed for dealing with tolerances during fabrication and construction.

BibTeX

@inproceedings{Rippmann2016,
    author    = "Rippmann, M. and Van Mele, T. and Popescu, M. and Augustynowicz, E. and Méndez Echenagucia, T. and Calvo Barentin, C. and Frick, U. and Block, P.",
    title     = "The Armadillo Vault: Computational design and digital fabrication of a freeform stone shell",
    booktitle = "Advances in Architectural Geometry 2016",
    year      = "2016",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "344-363",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "",
    month     = "September",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",
}

Related publications

Block P., Van Mele T., Rippmann M., DeJong M., Ochsendorf J., Escobedo M. and Escobedo D.Armadillo Vault - An extreme discrete stone shell,DETAIL,10: 940-942,2016 (October).Issue on 'Roof structures'.
Block P., Rippmann M., Van Mele T. and Escobedo D.The Armadillo Vault: Balancing computation and traditional craft,FABRICATE 2017,B. Sheil and A. Menges (editors),2017 (April).
Van Mele T., Mehrotra A., Mendez Echenagucia T., Frick U., Augustynowicz E., Ochsendorf J., DeJong M. and Block P.Form finding and structural analysis of a freeform stone vault,Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2016,K. Kawaguchi, M. Ohsaki, T. Takeuchi (editors),Tokyo, Japan,2016 (September).
Calvo Barentin C., Rippmann M., Van Mele T. and Block P.Computer-controlled fabrication of a freeform stone vault,Proceedings of the IASS Symposium 2016,K. Kawaguchi, M. Ohsaki, T. Takeuchi (editors),Tokyo, Japan,2016 (September).
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