An event pavilion I created (with lots of help) for the Open Architecture Collaborative (formerly: Architecture for Humanity Boston) space at the 2015 & 2016 Architecture Boston Exposition (ABX).
This was my version of a folding cardboard dome that we saw online, done be two students (Dwayne van Halewijn & Leon Zondervan) at TU Delft University in the Netherlands. The original concept though, comes from origami.
It's made from 256 of the same triangle, with the triangles along the bottom trimmed to sit flush with the floor. Plus an octagonal roof, either flat or pitched. Everything is held together with 2” wide clear shipping tape. The cardboard pieces are tapped together with a ½” gap and taped on both sides. The two pieces of tape are then pressed together in the gap to create a continuous hinge.
For our version, I replaced the 8 triangles that attach to the roof with thin plywood because in a half size test build we found the connection to the roof to have the most stress and tended to tear apart. This allowed me to create a mechanical hinge that was strong but could still fold.
I also replaced the solid roof with an open frame made from bamboo and PVC. The frame provided a lightweight but rigid structure for the cardboard, as well as providing a rotational center for the hinges. The hinges are made from clear rubber tubing that was split lengthwise, then softened in hot water, then bent around a dowel and clamped. After they cooled, the hinges held their new shape.
While the dome is fully self-supporting, cutting a door or removing pieces to create a door, causes a weakness making the structure sag at that point. I added the interior support legs, also made of bamboo and PVC, to prop up the dome either side of the entry.
Note: Look at Scenes 2 & 3 for drawings and dimensions of the triangles and the triangle assembly.
For more information on the Open Architecture Collaborative visit:
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