Modular Timber Gridshells


  • Daniel Kuda Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture
  • Monika Petříčková



fractality, gridshell, modular structure, timber


Needs of considering environmental impacts and growing emphasise on using renewable resources is discussed also in the field of architecture and construction. Timber, as a key element, provides certain benefits with less negative environmental impact than non-renewable resources, represented by commonly used materials (e.g. concrete). Nevertheless, using the timber as a core element for constructing of multi-storey or large hall buildings can be more difficult due to limits of the wood. New task for architects and engineers therefore arises and the target is to come up with a feasible solution for using the timber as a core material, despite its features. One of the key requirements for wide use of load bearing timber structure systems is “modularity”. Many different forms of structures can be achieved by repeating the basic module to fulfil architect’s intentions. This article focuses on a large-span structure, based on gridshell type systems. Such modules could be simply prefabricated and connected to another module. Modules can be pretty small, which contributes to easy and cost-effective transportation. Nevertheless, technical requirement and limitation of such modules needs to be taken into consideration. Problems come up with using the same universal element in parts of structure with different character of load and stress. Also, universal element should fulfil various space and form requirements set by architect. Suggested construction system is based on “fractality”. The goal of the system is to fulfil requirement of final structure and space requirements by replacing the standard module by a predetermined number of sub-modules. Structure is then denser in exposed areas and sparser in others. Design module is than expected to be tested and put into practice for wide usage in construction projects where wood is desired as the core material.