The challenge

As early as in 1975 Frei Otto designed a wide span grid-shell structure for the Multihalle Mannheim. A shoal of wooden bows are intersecting each other in a grid with equal distances between the nodes. Can this structural principle be adapted to a building kit with equal nodes and equal bars?

The invention

Two junction plates constitute together with a central bolt the nodal joint of the RES-Grid Shell Structure as an adjustable hinge for the intersection of four bars arranged in two opposite directions. The bars, rigidly connected to the junction plates, form an upside down catenary that defines the curvature of the grid shell. A special detail of the RES-Grid Shell is the shear-resistant infill made of double-layered glass elements. Alternatively bracing can be done with the RES-Rope Structure.

The advantages

  • Free-formed vaults with standardized elements
  • Grid shells without extra bracing

The applications

  • Wide-span vaults
  • Greenhouses
  • Distribution in do-it-yourself stores