Origami - geometry of folded plate structures
This research proposes new methods to generate rapidly complex folded plate structures that can be built with cross laminated timber panels. Composition and dimensions of these panels as well as the possibility to mill them by Computer Numerically Controlled machines show a great potential for surface structures. The aim of this research is to reveal this potential in the domain of folded plate structures. An interdisciplinary team investigates architectural, structural and mathematical aspects of folded plate structures built from cross laminated timber panels. The main concern of the architectural part is the form finding process which is inspired by Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Based on a simple technique, Origami gives birth to an astonishing formal richness and variability. Complex geometries are generated in an economic way and this research aims at transposing these principles to construction with timber panels We present a method that generates folded plate structures by two polygonal lines. The corrugation line defines the characteristics of the main folds and the cross section line outlines the general form of the folded plate structure. This allows representing rapidly complex folded plate structures in space as well as unfolded. A great variety of forms can be generated. General shape and corrugation can be adapted to specific boundary conditions of a project. For example, amplitude of corrugation can be increased at the edge to reinforce the border of the folded plate structure. This variability is very attractive because it allows the engineer as well as the architect to react on project specific conditions by modifying different parameters of the folded plate structure without alerting its expressive character. A broad range of applications can be foreseen. To illustrate the method we present the geometry generation of the chapel of St.Loup.