Design Concept of a Kinetic Form-active Hybrid Envelope Structure

Design Concept of a Kinetic Form-active Hybrid Envelope Structure

M.C. Phocas O. Kontovourkis N. Nicolaou

Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

31 March 2014
| Citation



In architecture and specifically in the design of structures, natural systems are of particular interest as far as their principle integral characteristic is concerned, that of a multi-layered, finely tuned and differentiated combination of their components, leading to an optimization and autonomous adaptability with regard to varying external conditions. At the same time, the development of contemporary adaptable lightweight structures takes place on the basis of tensegrity, scissor mechanisms or primary members with predominant bending deformability. Driven by the principle integral characteristic of natural systems, the design concept of a kinetic hybrid structure for a building membranes’ envelope is presented in the current paper. The primary structure is composed of scissor compression and bending-active members interconnected in series through continuous tension-only members with closed circuit. The transformability of the system case example is presented in an initial configuration and five transformation states that correspond to respective transformation states of the membranes’ envelope. The integral composition of the kinetic hybrid structure is described with its configuration and parametric associative design. A preliminary investigation of the system’s horizontal load-bearing behaviour throughout its transformation pathway follows a discussion on the motion planning of the structure. The latter builds on issues of the integrative development of the static and kinematic system, as well as minimization of external energy consumption for obtaining different operational configuration states.


bending-active members, hybrid systems, kinetic systems, scissor members, tensegrity structures


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