PURE COMPRESSION STRUCTURES
The investigation on the potential formation of a structure without the use of any mortar, connection and scaffolding has been carried forward in relation to the task of: reconfigurable architecture . Following a parallel research on aggregates, we started focusing on how we could use construction logics capable to employ standard discrete components to generate space.
This research was about logics of equilibrium and in particular was related to the static of rigid bodies as a strategy to generate space.
Cantilevering was the most important feature of this system, generating arches would have become an opportunity to generate enclosed space. The optimal placement under the restriction that there can be at most one object resting on top of another is called harmonic stacks. This simple principle has been tranlated into a computational model, suitable for our component, that could go beyond the linearity of the harmonic solution.
The first element at the top tells the maximum overhang of the second, those 2 elements together will inform the overhang of the third element according to the average of their 2 centers of mass and so on. All the elements are linked to the reference curve in a way that we could modify its shape to optimize the section of the arch in terms of overall thickness.






Out of this computational model we were able to design our firs enclosures made of elements subject to pure compression and based on a simple interpretation of vertical forces acting at the center of mass of the elements.





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These constructions, however, were limited to using simple center-of-mass considerations and, as much as we could optimize them, they remained predictable in terms of outcome and far from an optimal use of the material. That’s why we jumped into the study of more complicated stacks.The physic of a rigid body says that a block is in equilibrium if the sum of the forces and the sum of the moments acting upon it are both 0. The balance of a given stack can be determined by checking whether a given set of linear inequalities has a feasible solution.
Our tests started both digitally and with physical models, we started testing our structures in Maya where we could embed gravity while at the same time we were testing them for real using wooden blocks. After that all the structures were generated in grasshopper once developed a compuational model capable to simulatie the behaviour of loaded stacks of blocks.










Our computation evolved into the formation of walls when we managed to set up a tool capable to evaluate surfaces and assign an array of arches to it.
This gave rise to very interesting behavior of the structure giving rise to a responsive formation related to the counterbalance needed to achieve equilibrium.



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