CODA (Computational Design Affairs ) is a research group at BarcelonaTech (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya ). Their research is focused on the creation and optimization of lightweight structures by means of computational design . Its ultimate goal is to reduce the ecological footprint of the building industry through technological efficiency. On the other hand, the group believe that technological development must be democratic, and solutions universally accessible. Their recent research focuses on the instrumentalization of the elastic deformation of timber structures.
CODA members Enrique Soriano and Pep Tornabell, were invited to participate in HelloWood festival held each year in Hungary and bringing together young designers and architects around wood construction. For a week and with the help of 8 students, the group stepped forward in their research by conducting the project BigO, a toroidal wooden shell. The aim was to build a very rigid structure but keeping affordability by assembling simple elements. The strategy was making a simple thin double curved shell from slender straight flat planks of massive timber.
Being a summer workshop, simple constructive solutions were welcome. This context forced pragmatic solutions: the structure was assembled with 100 identical pieces of 9.5 meters that were manufactured on a specifically built table. Original raw planks were approximately 4 meters, with a section of 1 x 10 cm, so they had to be joint, cut, marked and bored. Genuine digital manufacturing, not done by robots, but by enthusiastic students with much precision. Both the detailing and the the setting-out on site were solved with students experiencing specific material in- situ.
The experience produced two conclusions. The first is that the combination of anticlastic curvature and surface synclastic produced a highly torsioned geodesic curve, that induced high prestresses in the planks, not only from the bending from the torsion. The grid of coupled slender flexible planks, was then self-stiffened by the counteraction of the prestresses. The structure was achieved maintaining a low profile technology for a highly efficient result.The second conclusion is that the group would definitely not have been able to reach a similar result without the extraordinary good atmosphere in the festival. The experience of researching, exchanging, and learning to implement constructive solutions with the other groups was highly rewarding.
authors: Enrique Soriano y Pep Tornabell de CODA BarcelonaTech
Location: Csorompuszta, Hungría
Colaboradorators: Peter Krompáczki, Alma Tóth, Dóri Komlóssy, Akos Takacs, Paul,
Irina , Marta Ventura, Daphne Zografou
Surface: 75 m2
photo credit: Somoskoi Gabor, Donat Kekesi, Peter Krompáczki, Enrique Soriano