The Parametric Plywood Pavilion


The Parametric Plywood Pavilion
Type: Student
Category: Build
Date: Sep, 2016

The Parametric Plywood Pavilion



A new pavilion space created by bending plywood to shift into an incredible new space which blends walls with roofing with inside and outside form.

The Whole Story

The Parametric Plywood Pavilion aims to push plywood beyond the normal limits to create a dramatic new space which showcases the wood in the best possible way.

The bending process of flat sheet plywood can have dramatic changes to the effect of the spaces it creates. By combining computer generated bends in the material with a self supporting interlocking structure, simple sheets of two dimensional plywood can be transformed into spaces such as The Parametric Plywood Pavilion.

The Parametric Plywood Pavilion receives its name from two distinguishing factors, the bending of the global form which morphs walls into ceilings as it wraps around the central space, and the bending of the plywood which modulates to adapt each piece individually to the specific material. The form was made entirely in Grasshopper with only the global form manually modelled. This code for creating the design becomes one which can be easily and simply mapped onto any new form.

Where The Parametric Plywood Pavilion really excels is through the modulated interlocking pieces. Each piece is unique with its size and interlocking slits however uses a standard bend which can be adapted to the material. In this case, the plywood bends at a standard radius determined by the structural properties of the material and only one bending mould can service the entire design. It also means that the design can easily be adjusted to suit different materials by simply changing the bending radius in the Grasshopper code. The interlocking process also adds strength and stability to the design. Where each piece intersects with four other pieces, the interlocking slits, which are specific to the building material thickness, lock together to form a solid bond. By using precision CNC robotics for manufacturing, the pieces can be accurately joined together with minimal tolerances. Additionally, this modulation provides a simple means for construction and lowers the cost of materials for the build.

The Parametric Plywood Pavilion can best be described as a proof of concept and a platform for future designs. As almost every aspect of the bending, material thickness, modulation shape and number of pieces can be easily adjusted, the process could be applied to almost any bendable material and any surface. The process is not limited to simple curves and could easily become a sound proofing treatment to a small cafe ceiling or a self supporting large scale performance space. The possibilities are endless through the design process of The Parametric Plywood Pavilion.

The Parametric Plywood Pavilion The Parametric Plywood Pavilion The Parametric Plywood Pavilion

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