A group of Master’s students at the Melbourne School of Design has recently completed the construction of the first Accoya post-formed gridshell in Australia. This activity took place between September 23 and October 5, at the Parkville Campus, in Melbourne, as part of the intensive subject “Issues in Technology”.
MSD’s approach to teaching and research has always been collating architecture, digital design and building technology to experiment and produce innovation in construction.
Two partners played a fundamental role in this workshop. Gridshell.it, an Italian company recognised worldwide and specialised in designing and constructing timber gridshells, provided design, structural and construction support. Further, Accsys Technology, producing the patented Accoya, a sustainable treated wood with high durability, donated part of the material implied.
This workshop focused upon low-tech building techniques and self-construction. In details, the Accoya gridshell was erected in three stages. First, a flat grid of timber laths was assembled on ground, from prefabricated moduli. Second, the structure was bent and lifted up to its final height taking advantage of an ancient Greek tool: the tackle. With this method, the flat grid was forced to take a shell form by means of only 4 men’s strength. Third, the gridshell was stabilised through diagonal bracing and a simple footing system.
A great team of 16 students constructed the Accoya gridshell in an impressive timeframe of only 5 days.
Coordinators: Alberto Pugnale (MSD), Sofia Colabella (Gridshell.it) and Sergio Pone (Gridshell.it)
Diagonal Bracing: Alessandro Liuti
Assistance: ABP Workshop Team, Hamish Hill and Ross Berryman
Project Team: Ravi Bessabava, Tim Cameron, Kim Chan, Helene Detje, Andrea Fiore, Jack Hinkson, James Holding, Rachel Low, Bridgitte McKavanagh, Paniz Mehdizadeh, Yuichiro Nakano, Jeremy Newland, Petar Petrov, Marcus Spaull, Mia Willemsen, Samuel Williams, Josè Yela Guevara
Sponsor: Accsys Technology