Conference Proceedings

The Airshell prototype: a timber gridshell erected through a pneumatic formwork

A Liuti, A Pugnale, S Colabella, A Bögle (ed.), M Grohmann (ed.)

HafenCity University Hamburg & International Association of Shell & Spatial Structures (IASS) | Published : 2017


This paper presents the construction of Airshell, a small timber gridshell prototype erected by employing a pneumatic formwork. Inspired by the work of Frei Otto and Dante Bini, the technique is based on a pneumatic membrane and an Arduino® board – the former used as dynamic formwork and the latter to monitor both the structure height and the membrane pressure throughout the process. The prototype was erected in Pesaro, Italy, in December 2016; the design replicates a gridshell built in Lecce in 2009 by the Italian company, which was built through a more conventional push-up technique. A comparison between the two erection methods is therefore proposed in terms of construction s..

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