The Canopy Pavilion: A lightweight shading structure using a deployable auxetic linkage membrane

Advances on Architectural Geometry 2020


We present the Canopy Pavilion, a lightweight shading structure for a social gathering space. The shading surface is realized as a tensioned auxetic linkage membrane, composed of two double-curved anticlastic layers separated by a compression pole. The membrane is assembled flat on the ground from laser-cut hexagonal aluminium panels, and is subsequently mounted on a circular support frame. Tensioning then deploys the surface to its desired target shape. We apply numerical optimization to form-find the equilibrium shape of the tensioned membrane. The geometry of each individual linkage panel is further adapted to reduce material usage, while maximizing the main function of the structure, to provide shading. Our material system offers a number of distinct advantages. Individual panels can be cut from standard sheet material, all connections between panels are identical, the surfaces can be assembled on the ground and deployed easily to their double-curved shape. The pavilion is a first demonstrator for a novel lightweight construction system at architectural scale that has potential applications in facades, roofs, or support structures.