Timber Shell Structures

This master thesis by Sebastian de Wit is the result of a graduation project where research is conducted on parametric design of segmental timber shell structures. Throughout this report, the design process as well as the development of a parametric model to design, analyze and fabricate segmental timber shell structures is described. Furthermore a new connection is developed and tested in the laboratory to connect unique segments in order to achieve a double curved shell structure.

Throughout this master thesis a design process is described and introduced applicable for (double) curved geometries, which are rebuild into planar segments, analysed and fabricated. All topics related to this design process are described and provide a guideline for future research. Certain aspects improved or extended through research, so it becomes applicable for a wider variety of materials and geometries.

Though the model is developed for timber shells, it could also be applied for instance on glass shells if the parametric model is altered at certain points. These points could be for example; the mechanical properties of the material and connection, the connection between segment itself and and the setting of the finite element analysis. The parametric model provides insight on a design process that incorporates all aspects from design until assembly, where structural optimization, sustainability and fabrication are considered to introduce a design process for daily use.

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