News and blog
 

Free-form structures

Free-form structures and domes can be used to cover large expanses of space in a variety of venues. Arenas, atria, museums, houses of worship, and industrial buildings all require large covered areas without intermediate columns. In order to realize these large structures effectively, design professionals should shape these buildings to take advantage of form both as a structural element and for architectural expression.  But few construction systems allow full geometric freedom and economic efficiency. Until now. 
 
Free Form Structures
Geometrica is the structural solution that provides both complete geometric freedom of form and economic efficiency.
 
The Geometrica System
 
Geometry, and the building system used to realize it, are clearly interrelated. Unless the right combination of structural system and overall geometry are used, the resulting structures may not be feasible. Solutions with joist, for example, are limited to planar trusses in an array, and work in only one direction. Solutions with machined joints, such as ball-joint systems, must minimize the number of nodes, as these are expensive. Thus, with traditional construction systems, some geometries become impractical even if they could result in material savings.  Geometrica's bulding system solves these problems.
 
Geometrica Hub Joint
Geometrica's universal hub carries bending moments across the joint
 
Geometrica's system is versatile. It features an extruded, universal and strong joint, human-scale modules, dense packing volume, and easy installation that requires the use of minimal equipment. These virtues allow for unlimited forms. And the judicious selection of form results in beautiful and efficient long-span structures.
 
Industrial Freedome
Coemin Freedome® covers the whole industrial complex, Copiapó Chile
 
Geometrica structures are built with lightweight and strong galvanized steel or aluminum tubes, prefabricated in a computer-driven manufacturing line. The connection of tubes and hub is compact, simple and extremely efficient, with no field-welding required.
 
Shopping Center Freedome
Plaza Valle Shopping Center features a center-court Freedome®
 
The connecting hub is an extruded aluminum cylinder with several threaded slots. Each tube is formed at the ends into a matching linear shape that slides into the hub's slot. When all the tubes in a certain hub have been assembled, the joint is completed with washers and a single bolt.
 
DSWMC QATAR Dome
DSWMC facility in Qatar -  architectural free form
 
Once complete, the joint is strong, sometimes even more than the joined tubes themselves. Most importantly, the tubes resist bending moments at the joint. This allows for the deck or cladding of the structure to be affixed directly to the space frame members, without secondary structural purlins that can be as heavy as the frame itself in other construction systems. This feature also permits many variations on basic geometries that are simply not possible with conventional bolted or welded connections.
 
Free Style Marchwood Dome
Free-style 110m diameter Marchwood dome overlooks Southampton Water, in the UK
 
Outstanding aesthetics
 
Viewed up close, a Geometrica structure is clean and elegant – and from a distance, its light and airy quality complements the design geometry of the structure. Geometrica achieves a balance of form and function that is simply not possible with conventional bolted systems.  Almost any structural geometry is possible with the Geometrica system, including flat and faceted space frames, singly curved arches and vaults, double curved domes and hypars and arbitrary freestyle shapes.
 
Geometrica Free Structure Dome
Each Nemak Freedome® covers nearly 18,000 m2 without internal columns
 
If you have a project that requires a free-style cover, or if you would like to receive our newsletter, please send us your information using this inquiry form.