PAPERTUBE SPACE-FRAME

PAPERTUBE SPACE-FRAME


Author: ANAND SHAH
Year: 2016
Function: SCULPTURE
Site location: CEPT UNIVERSITY, NAVRANGPURA, AHMEDABAD.
Institution: CEPT UNIVERSITY
Brief description of the project: The 21st century has contributed hugely to the evolution of construction materials, which should be credited mainly to arise of sustainable construction due to rising environmental concerns. “Paper is evolved wood,” says Shigeru ban, the Pritzker-winning Japanese architect. It is astonishing to see how he uses papertube as construction material and incorporates lightweight designs into relief construction. This arouses inquisitiveness to know how construction can be made possible with such a material which is extremely light weight, delicate and vulnerable to damages so easily. In order to understand a material, getting hands on experience on it is as important as reading literature related to it. Therefore to understand its physical characteristics, workability and feasibility as a material, a space frame was designed. It was an exploration of sustainable architecture which resulted into an engineered three-dimensional frame sculpture.
During the making, a series of steps like cutting, drilling, grinding etc. of papertubes were explored. This gave an insight into the structural composition of papertube at a macro level. Plugs made out of M.D.F. (medium density fiber) boards were used in order to connect the papertube members. The main reason behind using Medium density fiber as connecting units was due to its light weight, cheap cost and most importantly being coherent to papertube in terms of its structural composition and material. M.D.F. jigsaws were mass produced using a C & C router machine. Joining of this 2- dimensional M.D.F. jigsaw pieces resulted into a 3- dimensional plug. Circular sockets having a diameter equal to the inner diameter of papertubes were plugged with the M.D.F. joints. Sockets were provided for a proper contact between the tubes and the joints so that a strong connection through surface contact can be established.
Interlocked M.D.F. plugs worked very efficiently, because interlocking enhanced under the action of compressive forces due to papertubes. Being very light weight, the frame needed some kind of lateral bracing in order to resist wind forces. Therefore with reason to provide lateral stability, bracing using 2mm diameter steel cables was done.
A cuboid acted as the fundamental module for space frame. As working with a material like papertube was an experiment, therefore, a very basic design in which a cuboid incorporated as a very simple and stable element was used. Further articulation and resolving joints resulted in a simplified space frame.
The entire frame was taken out of workspace and put in open so that every student and faculty can have a look at it and can debate, as well as discuss their views about it. After a week, the structure was disassembled and put back into our workshop space, so that it can be re-used in one way or the other.
The main aim was to understand material properties of papertube by constructing something which is aesthetically pleasant as well as structurally sound. Moreover, as the budget was a big constraint, even that was to be kept in mind.
Nationality: INDIAN
Contacts: anand.shah.sbst12@cept.ac.in
City and date of birth: AHMEDABAD 31st January 1993
Tutors: Prof. Sankalpa and Prof. Kirit Patel

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