Compression Support Structures for Slabs

Lachauer L. and Block P.
Proceedings of Advances in Architectural Geometry
Springer Vienna
Paris, France
doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-1251-9_10

This paper presents a novel and rigorous approach for the design of efficient spatial support structures for flat slabs. Based on the given dead load of the slab and the topology of the supporting structure, this method allows form-finding of support structures that are in equilibrium with axial compression forces only. During the form-finding process, the resulting horizontal forces from the compression support structure are balanced through translation and rotation of the slab, and subsequently resolved in the plane of the slab using funicular or trussed strut-and-tie systems. The presented method can be applied for the design of a variety of different typologies of supporting structures, such as inclined columns, curved walls, branching structures and shells. A computational prototype of the approach is implemented as CAD modeling tool, and the potential of the method is shown through two formal design explorations.


    author    = "Lachauer, L. and Block, P.",
    title     = "Compression Support Structures for Slabs",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of Advances in Architectural Geometry",
    year      = "2012",
    editor    = "Hesselgren, L. and Sharma, S. and Wallner, J. and Baldassini, N. and Bompas, P. and Raynaud, J.",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "135-146",
    publisher = "Springer Vienna",
    address   = "Paris, France",
    month     = "September",
    doi       = "10.1007/978-3-7091-1251-9_10",
    note      = "",

Related publications

There are no items.



ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 1, HIB E 45
8093 Zurich, Switzerland

+41 44 633 38 35  phone
+41 44 633 10 53  fax

Copyright © 2009-2017 Block Research Group, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.