Folded Timber Shell

Date: 2014

Size: 4.2m x 5.8m x 3.2m (one module)

Materials: Plywood, HDPE, LEDs

Tools: Rhino, Grasshopper, Kangaroo, Hal, ABB Robot

Location: Sydney, Australia

Description: The Folded Timber Shell is an inhabitable, architecturally considered pavilion that is designed to provide visitors an opportunity for user-interaction, highlighting of connection to the immediate environment, refuge and pause along the Harbor path, and prospect to key view of Sydney Harbor. The project is a study in complex geometry and architectural form, building upon the research of shells structures and computational design. The project exploits fabrication using industrial robots and generative computational software to produce a lightweight, folded plywood structural skin. The structure is based on vaulted geometry in an overall six-sided shape measuring approximately 19 x 19 meters.

The project is proposed to be site north of Campbell’s Cove at the Hickson Road Reserve – providing a point of focus at the halfway point of the journey from the Opera House to Walsh Bay. Bench seating will be incorporated at the based of the arch structure allowing viewers to have rest during this journey. This is also intended to take advantage of the adjacent food trucks located at the site.

The LED lights are integrated into curved, interlocking plywood shell structure that is designed to be very lightweight and structurally robust. Lights will be programmed to interpret natural phenomena such as temperature, wind speed, and humidity – with these aspects sensed and expressed via patterns and colors emitted by the LED cells.

Light will be visible both inside and outside the pavilion – creating contrasting experience for those inside versus those above, such as driving along the Harbor Bridge and looking down to the proposed site.

Credits: Design Team: Andrew Kudless (Matsys), Jonathan Nelson + Chris Knapp (Studio Workshop); Engineering: Consultant: Sascha Bohnenberger (BollingerGrohmann Engineers Pty Ltd.); Interactive Consultant: Hank Haeusler; Physical Models: Brodie Fernance, Harley Messersmith, Richard Jedryas, Jason Zhu

Using Format