Spread Bundle Assembly

The most striking and fascinating aspect of this project is the great complexity of the macro-structure, created by the intelligent proliferation and addition of the most simple micro-structure components: three 6 mm steel rods connected at their ends and bent into a pre-stressed arrangement with three simple adjustable connectors. The deformation of these micro-structure elements achieves its key properties by playing an intelligent structural trick. The thin rods used as straight elements would be inherently unstable and prone to buckling failure under the smallest of compressive loads: spacing them apart with adjustable spacers configures them into a more stable basic system, by pre-empting the failure mode and flexing them into a bent shape. However this bent shape introduces a more elastic or flexible behaviour and deformations under changing load-paths become an important design feature. The project explores this quite unusual behaviour in an exemplary way by creating and studying a large-scale model.

GPA 01 Studio (Michael Hensel, Achim Menges)
Judson Moore, Michael Robinson, Rice University, Houston, 2004