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By Haresh Lalvani and Ajmal Aqtash

School of Architecture, Center for Experimental Structures


We continue our experiments in the structural topology of minimal surfaces and combine the well-known Costa surface with the tensegrity principle. A ‘triple-layered’ module of a tensioned Costa surface is made from individual fabric elements that are stitched together in a saddle-shaped array to form a continuously tensioned membrane which holds the discontinuous zig-zag compressive elements in place, and apart from each other, in a co-operative structural action. The structure shows two types of holes in the membrane, the topological holes of the Costa surface and holes between adjacent membrane modules needed for a quicker physical assembly. Topological tensegrity membranes like this one open up new structural possibilities for shaping architecture.

Faculty: Haresh Lalvani+Ajmal Aqtash

Students: Blaine Campbell, Manuel Castaneda, Thorton Dai, Kyle Day, Kerim Eken, EunHae Oh