© Xia Zhi

CIAB pavilion

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City, Country Beijing, China
Year 2013
Client China International Architectural Biennal
Architect Zaha Hadid Architects
Services Structural Engineering
Facts GFA: 120 m²

The pavilion for the China International Architectural Biennale reinterpreted Felix Candela’s works with complementary hypar-shells, both structural and sculptural. As a concept contrasting the originals, the optimal structural logic was partially broken by linking the three parts in the middle of their surfaces and not at the edges. The grid-shell pattern expressed and accounted for the introduced disturbance as a secondary tectonic logic.

The shape was modelled and optimised as a shell, using multi-objective evolutionary algorithms to aid decision-making. The grid-shell pattern was derived from trajectories following the principal stresses under gravity, which help to eliminate shear forces. The remaining internal stresses were translated into a multilayer system of pipes that differentiate the grid shells’ thickness, articulating and coping with irregularities imposed by additional external loads.

Digital tools allowed for many design alternatives’ quick iteration to optimise aesthetics and structural efficiency. Parametric finite element analysis with Karamba3D was used to check the pavilion’s integrity according to the codes. A tight workflow between engineer and architect emerged through a direct interface established on a data level, facilitating the development of concept, shape, pattern, and details within a few weeks.

Structural Engineering
Design Technologies
Temporary & Mobile
© B+G
© Zaha Hadid Architects
© Xia Zhi