Project

Reciprocal structures / Nexorades

Goal: The principle of reciprocity is based on the use of load-bearing elements which, supporting one another along their spans and never at the extremities, compose a spatial configuration with no clear structural hierarchy..

This project aims to:
- provide a consistent definition of structural reciprocity;
- provide a complete list of references, publications, patents and architectural projects related to structural reciprocity, in both Western and Eastern cultures;
- develop and discuss form-finding, optimisation and design approaches for reciprocal structures/nexorades;
- explore the use of different materials and joints for reciprocal structures/nexorades;
- explore reciprocal configurations made with planar elements;
- organise and lead Design & Construction workshops as teaching/learning activities for architecture and engineering students;
- delineate future research and design directions.

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Project log

Olivier Baverel
added 2 research items
Nexorades or reciprocal frames can be seen as a practical way to reduce the complexity of connections in spatial structures by connecting reciprocally the members by pairs. This reduction of the technological complexity of the connections is however replaced by a geometrical complexity due to numerous compatibility constraints. The purpose of this article is to make explicit these constraints for elementary structures and to solve analytically the resulting system of equations. Applications to regular polyhedrons are presented and a practical realization (a 3 m high dodeca-icosahedron) is shown. In the brief conclusion, perspectives for complementary analytical developments for spatial structures are drawn forth.
Alberto Pugnale
added 10 research items
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 out-of the plane. The structures presented here were developed and built by the students of the Master of Science in "Architectural Design" during a two week long workshop organized at Aalborg University in the fall semester 2011.
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 studios. On the one hand, this allows a better mix of theoretical lectures, exercises and design practice; on the other hand, narrow topic related to structural design may be deepened on the basis of a research-based approach to design.
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, structural behaviour and construction techniques are discussed in the paper, which should be considered as a starting point to stimulate future research and design directions/approaches.
Alberto Pugnale
added a project goal
The principle of reciprocity is based on the use of load-bearing elements which, supporting one another along their spans and never at the extremities, compose a spatial configuration with no clear structural hierarchy..
This project aims to:
- provide a consistent definition of structural reciprocity;
- provide a complete list of references, publications, patents and architectural projects related to structural reciprocity, in both Western and Eastern cultures;
- develop and discuss form-finding, optimisation and design approaches for reciprocal structures/nexorades;
- explore the use of different materials and joints for reciprocal structures/nexorades;
- explore reciprocal configurations made with planar elements;
- organise and lead Design & Construction workshops as teaching/learning activities for architecture and engineering students;
- delineate future research and design directions.