Digital Urban Orchard: robotic manufacturing of complex shape

Digital Urban Orchard: robotic manufacturing of complex shape
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

The Orchid is a light pavillion designed and executed by the students of IaaC as part of the development of the performance of Master Thesis. This pavilion is conceived to be placed on the roof of the center of studies and be able to serve as a main greenhouse along with other types of secondary functions. The pavilion is generated by bars of wood sawn into square sections with 4.5 cm sides. Once the design is modeled, the pieces are cut and assembled by robotic manufacturing into arches of about 72 cm wide and variable length, generated by 18 layers of wooden bars. Each of these arches must be stable in their own weight, to ensure a proper construction process. Once the 12 arches are generated they are placed in position, together with each other, to generate a stable structure at all levels. In a subsequent process they will be covered with a plastic skin which will generate parameterized environmental conditions necessary for the greenhouse.

Windmill's intervention in this project has been advising on the stability of the structure. We evaluated, along with the students, the conditions necessary to generate auto stable arches by the superimposition of articulated bars and triangulations, having studied both the theoretical conditions and the execution of the joins. We have also evaluated boundary conditions and stability of the structure in a final state.