Inflated Vaults

This project by Eric Giragosian was part of a research studio conducted by Yasushi Ishida to investigate various methods in finding forms of vaulting shell structures. Framed within three parts, the studio began with an interest in pneumatic systems, looking to Frei Otto’s own investigation with these systems.

Utilizing a bottom up design approach, the project began with making physical models of pneumatic shells using latex clamped to mdf frames. The investigation continued by introducing various method to deform and shape the inflated forms.

The second phase of the studio looked to finding ways to digitally recreate the physical models in phase one. This resulted in a toolset to use to push the possibilities of the physical models. Continuing our investigation of vaulting shell structures and pneumatics, the next phase of this project focused on refining the toolset we created in Part 2 in order to design architectural spaces.

The diagram below lays out the workflow we implemented to achieve the final project. Through the course of this phase we designed vaulted shell structures, rationalized the vault through panelization, and a self supporting shell.