Alberto Pugnale

Alberto Pugnale
University of Melbourne | MSD · Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

PhD in Architecture and Building Design

About

49
Publications
73,686
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
301
Citations
Introduction
Alberto Pugnale is Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design at the "Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning" of the University of Melbourne. Visit www.albertopugnale.com for more details.
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Lecturer
June 2012 - August 2016
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Lecturer
June 2010 - May 2012
Aalborg University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
January 2007 - December 2009
Politecnico di Torino
Field of study
  • Architecture and Building Design
September 2003 - July 2006
Politecnico di Torino
Field of study
  • Master of Science in Architecture (Construction)
September 2000 - October 2003
Politecnico di Torino
Field of study
  • Bachelor in Architecture Sciences

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a critical study about the church of Longuelo (Fig. 1, 2), Italy, designed in 1966 by Giuseppe “Pino” Pizzigoni (1901–1967), an Italian architect who lived and worked in Bergamo. He began his studies on shell structures in the 1950s and many of his buildings show outstanding skills in conceiving and handling complex structures....
Article
Full-text available
Reciprocity is a structural principle that has fascinated designers and builders throughout the world since ancient times. Despite the topic's having been studied by various academics, designers and researchers, a critical overview of the references is still missing, as is an outline and discussion of the current and future promising research/desig...
Article
In several of Frei Otto’s early membrane structures, acoustics was a rather relevant design aspect that could not be controlled through classical form-finding approaches based on physical models. Moreover, it is possible to add that, geometrically speaking, Frei Otto’s membranes could naturally perform acoustically, because of their anticlastic sha...
Article
This paper presents a comparison between human-defined and AI-generated design spaces through simple optimisation applications. A design space is a formal expression of a design idea. It is constructed by selecting a set of variables, which limit the search for suitable solutions to a design problem within a specific range of options. Most computat...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity is in a state of global collapse. Among the main drivers of this crisis is habitat degradation that destroys living spaces for animals, birds, and other species. Design and provision of human-made replacements for natural habitat structures can alleviate this situation. Can emerging knowledge in ecology, design, and artificial intellig...
Article
This paper presents a theoretical framework for the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in architectural and structural design processes, and it is complemented by some practical applications. The aim is to demonstrate that AI can be used to simulate certain aspects of human cognition and can therefore be integrated into CAD software to...
Chapter
Full-text available
‘Sketches of Thought’ is a human-machine collaborative design system based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The first aim of ‘Sketches of Thought’ is illustrating an approach to AI-integration within the designer’s creative workflow. The system translates a hand-drawn architecture sketch into a photorealistic image that suggests a possible evolutio...
Article
This paper aims to review Dante Bini’s career, as well as his form-resistant Binishell and other pneumatic construction systems. The role of Mario Salvadori in Bini’s international success works as the introduction to a broader discussion about the relationship between innovation in design and innovation in construction for shell and gridshell desi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the construction of Airshell, a small timber gridshell prototype erected by employing a pneumatic formwork. Inspired by the work of Frei Otto and Dante Bini, the technique is based on a pneumatic membrane and an Arduino® board – the former used as dynamic formwork and the latter to monitor both the structure height and the membr...
Conference Paper
Construction has always been a fascinating and challenging aspect of timber gridshells. So far, only three techniques have successfully been used for the erection of such structures: the so-called ‘lift-up’, ‘push-up’ and ‘ease-down’ (Quinn et al. 2015). Inflatable Membrane Technology is here proposed as a new solution and is tested by means of num...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes a new erection technique for post-formed timber gridshells which takes advantage of inflatable membrane technology. Consolidated construction techniques for timber gridshells are based either on “pull-up” / “push-up” (i.e. Mannheim Multihalle) or “ease-down” behavior (i.e. Downland Open Air Museum). However, these techniques sh...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Italian architect Dante Bini began his studies on shell structures during the 1960s. He developed and refined a form-finding and construction technique to erect a finished large-span reinforced concrete (RC) shell structure through the use of an inflatable membrane. This system was patented in 1964 under the name ‘Binishell’ and, over the follo...
Article
Full-text available
Timber gridshell structures, such as the Multihalle for the federal garden festival in Mannheim or the Downland Museum, have been the result of a creative–generative process that indissolubly ‘welded’ the structural contribution to that of form exploration. The challenging design and construction issues have been typically addressed and resolved in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Before the introduction of NURBS-based CAD software and optimisation, the design of form-resistant structures was based on the use of either experimental tools (physical form-finding) or analytical surfaces, and architects were challenged in the articulation of spaces from the intrinsic characteristics/rules of structural forms. An outstanding exam...
Chapter
Full-text available
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The construction of concrete shells has always been a difficult and expensive procedure. Preparation of complex formworks, as well as placement of curved reinforcing rods require experience and increase the overall cost. Building concrete shells is even more of concern within the Australian context, where the use of simple and rapid technologies ha...
Article
The concept of transferring forces in a reciprocal way has always been related to the use of timber beams, that is, elongated elements. However, planar components can also be considered; circular tiles, squares, triangles and more articulated or irregular geometrical shapes are all valid alternatives. This report proposes an initial exploration of...
Article
Full-text available
Guest editor Alberto Pugnale introduces the theme of and contributors to special issue of the Nexus Network Journal dedicated to Reciprocal structures.
Article
Reciprocal systems based on superimposition joints, i.e. where un-notched bars sits on the top or in the bottom of each other, could be regarded as being intrinsically three-dimensional because of their natural out-of plane development. This paper presents seven of these three-dimensional configurations, conceived and built by the students of the M...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The concept of transferring forces in a reciprocal way has always been related to the use of elongated timber elements. However, planar components can also be considered -circular tiles, squares, triangles and more articulated or irregular geometries are all valid alternatives. This paper proposes an initial study on reciprocal systems based on pla...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper deals with the design of reciprocal spatial configurations, based on the use of planar elements, which are investigated and classified according to their morphological characteristics and design potential. Reciprocal structures were first originated as assemblies of elongated elements. In Europe, the concept of spanning longer distances...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper deals with a multi-objective design/optimization grid-shell problem. Structural behavior and light absorption/shading have been selected as fitness functions. Such performance criteria can separately lead to different and divergent optimal solutions but, if they are considered as a whole, they are expected to result in several equivalent...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper discusses the application of a Multi Objective Search method to the design of shell structures. Contrasting objectives of light weight and high stiffness are consid-ered for two case studies with different geometry and constraints. The multiobjective search is performed in the frame of the Pareto theory of non domination, implemented in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper deals with the design of reciprocal spatial configurations based on the use of planar elements, which are investigated and classified according to their morphological characteristics and potential. Reciprocal structures are generally designed with the use of linear elements. Since their historical conception, at least in Western culture,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper discusses teaching of technical subjects in architecture, presenting two experimental activities, recently organized at Aalborg University -a two week long workshop and a one day long lecture. From the pedagogical point of view, the activities are strategically placed between conventional disciplinary courses and architectural design stu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper present seven different three dimensional structures based on the principle of structural reciprocity with superimposition joint and standardized un-notched elements. Such typology could be regarded as being intrinsically three-dimensional because elements sit one of the top of the other, causing every configuration to develop naturally...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The pioneering works by Poleni, Rondelet and especially Gaudì, shows how some structural principles related to the field of shape-resistant structures has been well-known for centuries. The design of structural shape has been approached differently; the more analytical way of engineering, such as the works of Dyckeroff and Widmann or the intuitive...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper deals with the principle of structural reciprocity, considering its origins in both Occidental and Orient culture and aiming to highlight the definition, main characteristics and interesting aspects of such concept referring to its application to the world of construction. Issues spanning from history, form-finding and morphology, struct...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Il rapporto che in architettura lega forma e struttura è di particolare interesse sia nella ricerca sui temi del ‘non-standard’ (Migayrou 2003), focalizzati per lo più sullo studio della gestione parametrica del progetto, sulla fabbricazione a controllo numerico dei suoi elementi, nota come File-To-Factory o più recentemente Digital Crafting, e sul...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an optimization procedure for the solution of the planarity problem, a requirement of grid shells with four or more sides faces that need of having four adjacent nodes laying on a plane in order to use plane glass slabs as cladding elements. It can be satisfied by applying specific geometric rules in the grid generation phase bu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper aims to discuss recent approaches in using more and more frequently computer tools as supports for the conceptual design phase of the architectural project. The present state-of-the-art about software as conceptual design tool could be summarized in two parallel tendencies. On the one hand, the main software houses are trying to introduc...
Article
Full-text available
The optimization problem related to the tessellation of free-form grid shells is presented in this paper. This kind of structure is generally composed of a supporting grid that defines the geometry of a large number of cladding elements that are always different from each other. From the construction point of view this means that each single piece...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper an optimization problem related to the tessellation of a free form grid shell is presented. This kind of structures is generally composed by a supporting grid that defines the geometry of a large number of cladding elements always different one from another. From the constructive point of view it means that every single piece needs to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Force density Method [FDM], since Linkwitz and Schek's first development in 1970's, has been well known as a powerful tool for analytical form-finding and static analysis of self-stressed structures like tensile membranes and cable networks. Actually force density is always associated to a real stress state of the structure under a field of app...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a critical study of the church of Longuelo, Italy, designed in 1966 by Giuseppe (Pino) Pizzigoni (1901–1967), an Italian architect who lived and worked in the city of Bergamo. He began his studies on shell structures in the Fifties and many of his buildings show outstanding skills in conceiving and handling complex structures. T...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we present two different optimization procedures, developed and implemented to deal with economic and constructive problems of free form grid shells. This kind of structures is generally composed by a supporting grid that defines the geometry of a large number of cladding glass elements always different one from another. From the cons...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper a computational morphogenesis process is applied to the design and the optimization of the shell roof of a large music hall. The architectural concept is based on the folded plate technique: a set of reinforced concrete plates, connected to each other on the edges, forms the global shape of the roof. The dimensions of each plate are d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper a constructional problem related to grid-shells design is approached as an optimisation problem and an evolutionary solution technique is proposed. The construction of glass grid-shells, when only four sides cladding elements are used, requires to check the planarity of each element, it means that the four corner points have to belong...
Article
Full-text available
The paper presents a method to generate and structurally optimize the shape of free form shells by means of a genetic algorithm. The shape of the shell is described with the aid of a NURBS representation and the algorithm modifies and improves it on the basis of the structural behaviour. A FEM analysis is performed for each individual and at each g...
Article
Full-text available
In occasione della conferenza tenuta al Politecnico di Torino il 6 novembre abbiamo incontrato Mutsuro Sasaki, strutturista giapponese noto per le collaborazioni con architetti «eccellenti» nelle quali ha contribuito alla definizione della forma architettonica fin dal primo momento, enfatizzando il carattere intrinsecamente multdisciplinare del pro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the paper the application of a GA evolutionary algorithm to the structural optimisation of free-form architectural shell structures, as large concrete roofs, is shown. The attention is focused on the need of different computational tools and on the problems involved in multidisciplinary design, as the communication and information exchange. The...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Analysis and Design of timber gridshells with new innovative glulam material
Project
This research project aims to develop and apply numerical optimisation techniques, such as Genetic Algorithms, for the design and optimisation of free-form and innovative form-resistant structures. In particular, the research group has already obtained results on the following sub-topics: 1. Computational morphogenesis of free-form RC structures. Goal: develop an interface between CAD parametric models and FE solvers to run optimisation procedures during conceptual design; develop a strategy to interpret the results of a GA optimisation procedure, that is supporting the selection of sub-optimal shapes for shell structures. Current results: The Crematorium of Kakamigahara was selected as the first case study to develop an interface between Rhinoceros (where the parametric model of the roof was defined) and Ansys (which was used to perform FE analyses). The optimisation process was run by means of a GA. 2. Computational morphogenesis of acoustic folded-plate structures. Goal: develop a raytracing algorithm for rapid acoustic analyses of architectural spaces; test the raytracing algorithm for the optimisation of a hypothetical folded-plate roof structure for a concert hall. 3. Computational morphogenesis applied to historical case studies. First goal: study the emergence of unexpected topological variations of a parametrically defined composition of hypars. Current results: The Church of Longuelo was selected as the first historical case study to be redesigned starting from concepts rather than from the original spatial configuration of the building. Second goal: study the acoustic performance of Frei Otto’s tensile structures, therefore combining structural form finding with acoustic optimisation. Current results: Redesign of the Dance Pavilion and the five umbrella structures in Kassel (currently under development). 4. Geometry optimisation of free-form gridshells. Goal: rationalise the production and reduce the construction costs of structural and cladding elements. Current results: development of a GA and a VFDM for the optimisation of free-form glass gridshells. 5. Development of E-learning material for the Melbourne School of Design students. Goal: development of video tutorials and GH definition for Master’s students. This e-learning material includes tutorials for: surface discretisation, structural form finding, structural FE analysis, geometry preparation for fabrication.
Project
Italian architect Dante Bini began his studies on shell structures during the 1960s. He developed and refined a form-finding and construction technique to erect a finished large-span reinforced concrete (RC) shell structure through the use of an inflatable membrane. This system was patented in 1964, under the name ‘Binishell’, and was applied to construct hundreds of domes throughout the world. This project aims to: - contextualise Dante Bini’s early work within the previous research on pneumatic structures, which began in the 1920s; - contextualise Dante Bini’s work in the period of great media success for RC shells (1960s); - understand Mario Salvadori’s role in Bini’s international success; - study Dante Bini’s Australian experience (1974-1980), including a timeline of the events that defined Dante Bini’s emigration to Australia; - complete a survey of the Australian Binishells (with detailed information on the archival sources, major alterations and current conditions); - explore Dante Bini’s double profile—architect and builder—which led him to develop his inventions both architecturally and as commercial products; - study the relationship between innovation in design and innovation in construction for shell and gridshell designers.