Structural explorations

We have been fortunate to have been able to work with engineers such as Peter Rice, John Thornton, Bruce Gibbons, Rob Kinch, Jane Wernick, Sean Clarke (Arup), Atelier One (Neil Thomas, Carolina Bartram), Elliott Wood (Gary Elliott, George Georgiou), Horgan Lynch (Karel Murphy), to push the boundaries of conventional construction and structural design. Some of this work is included in the projects illustrated.

Early work in tensile membrane structures, supported with a research grant at the Architectural Association, led to founding the design and experimental consultancy Air Structures Design, and developing programmable cellular self-articulating, and self-propelling mobile and walking inflatables (and an IASS conference paper ”Experiments and observations on the use of pressure-tensioned membrane systems for locomotion and flight”) special effects structures for stage and screen, and later to the first UK contract for a 36m Ø “Bini” concrete shell dome formed on an air-supported membrane.

Eleven years as an associate with Ian Ritchie Architects included responsibility for much of the development of innovative structural glazing end responsive external envelope solutions whilst running a number of major projects throughout Europe. This work has continued as consultants to other architects on glazing and building skins, and in our own project work. It has led to editorial contributions to a number of publications (Institution of Structural Engineers, ”Structural use of glass in Buildings”; Steel Construction Today (No 6 Vol 6); BD 15.4.1994 Review of smart materials and structures, Japan; (Well) Connected Architecture 1994, Ian Ritchie; AJ 15.6.95 Toward the Transparent Envelope; The Structural Engineer 18.7.95 Glass in structural Engineering; Architects’ Guide to Stainless Steel SCI 1997; The Biggest Glass Palace in the World, Ellipsis 1997).

Our work has also included competition-winning designs for bridges in Cork and London (The Architecture of Bridge Design, Bennett/Telford 1997).

We have over many years run live structures-building projects at a number of schools of architecture and engineering in the UK and Ireland, from first through to final year students. A recent paper presented to the AIARG 2016 conference is included here AIARGpaper2016LiveStr.pdf, along with representative poster illustrations of recent projects run with final year engineering students at University College Cork. LiveStructPosterUCC2016bridges ,  UNHCRshelters4

tensegrity tower