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The grid-shell of Jinji Lake Mall - Rise like a Phoenix


Medium: journal article
Language(s): en 
Published in: Steel Construction, , n. 4, v. 7
Page(s): 258-261
DOI: 10.1002/stco.201420039

Jinji Lake Mall, a 290,000 m² shopping and entertainment centre, will be centrepiece to a development of several super-high-rise buildings by the waterfront of Jinji Lake in Suzhou, China. Visible from the surrounding skyscrapers, the appearance of the “fifth façade” became of paramount importance. In response, the architectural design foresaw a continuous, 35,000 m² free-form glass roof to cover the four individual buildings of the mall ensemble.
schlaich bergermann and partner consulting engineers were tasked with the structural design of the roof whose shape was inspired by the wings of a phoenix. To alleviate excessive in-plane stresses in the roof, a rigid triangulated grid was discarded in favour of a more elastic quadrangular frame system, requiring the generation of a quad-dominant topology on the free-form surface. The complex interplay between base buildings and roof structure required that all analysis be done on a combined model including roof, tree columns and sub-structure.
Multi-resolution mesh modelling stood at the core of a generative work-flow which mathematically optimized for geometric and structural criteria in the same process. Furthermore, geometrically similar facets were grouped and subsequently assigned the same panel, reducing the unique panel count.

free-form geometry structural optimisation architectural geometry grids-shell multi-resolution meshing panelling
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