Lamella Roof Constructions by Hugo Junkers

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p. 1611-1621 In 1924 and 1925, Hugo Junkers (1859-1935) patented a steel lamella roof construction, based on the wood lamella roof design by Fritz Zollinger. Because of its simplicity and markable rigidity it was soon used for many large roofs worldwide, which could span up to 40 m. It combines prefabrication, light weight, easy erection and durability in a striking manner. Unfortunately, due to the World War II and its consequences only few of these roof structures still exist. The most significant difference between the lamella roofs designed by Zollinger and Junkers was, beside the used different material, the construction of the joints. In contrast to Zollinger, the joints by Junkers were rigid in all directions. This paper describes the evolution of lamella roof designs from Zollinger to Junkers. Not so well known lamella systems by Jucho and Hünnebeck will be discussed as well. Advantages and disadvantages of each construction type will be presented, too. However, the focus points to Junkers lamella roofs.

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... When the need for production halls with large spans increased, so did the cross-section of the lamellae, which showed great deflections right after the construction [7]. Other architects started experimenting with the change of disposition and the doubling of the lamellae [7,8], but soon new types of lamella structures were designed, using steel elements and purlins as reinforcement [7,9]. [6]. ...
... Later, the diamond pattern was applied to the spherical surface for dome structures and to this day, examples on free-form geometries can be found. Lamella structures were built all over the world, from timber to concrete, all following the geometry of a cylinder [7,[9][10][11]. Other types of geometries were too complex to calculate without a computer. If the geometry is symmetrical on both axes, the number of equations is smaller, and the calculation is simpler [10]. ...
... The original lamella structure, the Zollinger roof, was designed as two circular cylinder surface segments of the same radius that meet along the ridge. Cylinder surface segments were also used for other types of buildings, such as halls and barns [5,7,9,11]. ...
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This paper presents timber lamella structures applied to the circular cylinder surface when all lamellae axes intersect at the nodes. To achieve the uniformity of all elements in this structure, the geometry of the structure must be carefully designed. The main methods for the research are graphical and numerical methods for geometric design and a prototype construction for a specific geometric pattern. The methods are discussed for their ease of replication, as well as the possibility of reinterpretation on other surfaces, while the prototype design and construction give insight into the process from design to execution. The combination of these methods allows for a thorough analysis of the geometry for lamella structures. The analysis shows that geometrical design must begin from the whole to the lamella, and that the number of element types in the structure depends on the disposition of the elements and the angle of the pattern. The discussion shows the advantages and limitations of the proposed methods, while the conclusions give the guidelines for the implementation of lamella structures into new design projects.
... In the past, reciprocal frame structures were conveniently used thanks to the possibility to span large spaces with short elements. Beyond the 19th century roofs, described by A.R. Emy, in 1921 Friedrich Zollinger patented a "lamella roof" (also known as the "Zollinger roof", see Figure 14), which consisted of a series of wooden boards [26], connected with each other according to the topology of a canonical reciprocal frame structure. It can be noticed that the geometry of Zollinger's barrel vaults [27] resembles P.L. Nervi's Orbetello and Orvieto hangars (see Figure 14). ...
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The research starts from an analogy found between two apparently very different structural solutions: the double spiral pattern of the herringbone brick courses in the domes built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1484-1546) during the Renaissance, and the particular pattern of a wooden floor ‘à la Serlio’, described by Amand Rose Emy in his Treatise at the beginning of 19th century, made by diagonal beams reciprocally sustained. The diagonal pattern of the floor has a geometrical relationship with the cross-herringbone pattern, so that the latter can be obtained by some geometrical transformations of the former. This pattern was also used in thin shells built by Nervi, from the destroyed airplane hangars in Tuscany to the Palazzetto dello sport in Rome, and even by Piacentini in 1936 and earlier in some neoclassical domes. Thus the construction tool, useful for building domes without expensive scaffolding, could have a structural role at the completed construction stage. Within the research different structures were investigated, in order to observe the relevance of this peculiar structural scheme particularly in the construction of modern domes.
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