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Compiled ByDiksha Garg Nikita Aggarwal Sonal Jain Titiksha Soorma Vrinda Sharma


SHELLS Curved structures Capable of transmitting loads in more than two directions to supports The ideal thin shell must be capable of developing both tension and compression.

SHELL STRUCTURES keep their shape and support loads, even without a frame, or solid mass material inside use a thin, carefully shaped, outer layer of material, to provide their strength and rigidity. THIN SHELL STRUCTURES Light weight constructions using shell elements Typically curved elements Are assembled to large structures TYPICAL APPLICATIONS

Fuselages of Aeroplanes

Boat Hulls

Roof Structures of some buildings

HISTORY Shell construction began in the 1920s; the shell emerged as a major long-span concrete structure after World War II.

THICKNESS OF SHELLS The thickness of the slab elements are normally governed by the number of layers of reinforcing bars. For shells of double curvature, there are usually only two layers.


CHOICE OF GEOMETRY A shells structural behaviour is derived directly from its form. Thus when designing a shell-like structure, the fundamental consideration is the choice of geometry. This not only dictates the sthetics, but the overall efficiency and behaviour under load of the structural system. The basis for curved geometry, as discussed by Williams, can be sculptural, geometric or defined by a natural physical process. THICKNESS It has a thickness smaller as compared to other dimensions Deformations in these dimensions are not large as compared to thickness STRENGTH Its shape spreads forces throughout the whole structure Every part supports only a small part of the load, giving it its strength

Examples include: igloos, egg cartons, turtle shell, food or pop cans, or, even bubbles in foam and cream puffs.





Concrete Shell Structures Often cast as monolithic dome or stressed ribbon bridge or saddle roof

Lattice Shell Structures Also called grid-shell structures Often in the form of a geodesic dome or a hyperboloid structure

Membrane Structures Fabric structures and other tensile structures, cable domes, and pneumatic structures

Used for long spans hence we get column free space Light weight Less rigid as compared to solid structures Economically viable Minimum reinforcement Simple Design More Strength Compared With Other Structures Attractive And Decorative Appearance

Shell buckling is particularly nasty because shell structures are so efficient, almost no deflection occurs and then suddenly there is a total collapse Complicated form work and cannot be reused Labour Cost Is High In Shell Structure Tiny Cracks Or Scratches Cause The Whole Structure Weak Can Be Affected By Temperature Construction Can Be Slow And Difficult

Antonio Gaud aspired to create optimal structural forms using inverted string models, taking his inspiration from Gothic architecture in Spain. A string, when suspended at each end and allowed to hang freely, forms a catenary, a curve of pure tension. Using this principle Gaud formed pure compression geometries by inverting the form of the hanging models. Gaud also experimented with suspending cloth, allowing it to sag to create threedimensional vault surfaces.

Inverted String Model

Suspending Cloth Experiment

Much of Islers free-form geometry was generated using inverted hanging models similar to Gauds. Isler also went on to experiment with pneumatic membrane models, creating what he called bubble shells, where the geometry was defined by air inflated membranes

A service station in Deitingen-Sd, Switzerland, designed by Heinz Isler.


INTRODUCTION: LOTUS TEMPLE, a place for assembly, contemplation & prayer.

Built : in 20th Century Location : Kalkaji, Delhi Designed by: Ar. Fariburz Sahba Geometry : a half open lotus flower, afloat, surrounded by its leaves. The lotus has three sets of leaves or petals, all of which are made out of thin concrete shells. The outermost set of nine petals, called the 'entrance leaves', open outwards and form the nine entrances all around the outer annular hall. The next set of nine petals, called the 'outer leaves', point inwards. The entrance and outer leaves together cover the outer hall. The third set of nine petals, called the 'inner leaves, appear to be partly closed. The lotus is open at the top, a glass and steel roof at the level of the radial beams provides protection from rain and facilitates the entry of natural light into the auditorium Near the top where the leaves separate out, nine radial beams provide the necessary lateral support.


ENTRANCE LEAVES AND OUTER LEAVES The Entrance and Outer Leaves are formed out of Sphere of different radii, with their centres located at different points inside the building. The diameters of the spheres have been fixed to satisfy the structural consideration of varying shell thickness. The outer leaves, the shell is uniformly 133 mm thick towards the bottom, and increases to 255 mm up to the tip, beyond the glazing line. The entrance leaf is 18.2m wide at the entrance and rises 7.8m above the podium level. The outer leaf is 15.4m wide and rises up to 22.5m above the podium.

THE ARCH. All around the central hall are nine splendid arches placed at angular intervals of 40 degrees. The shape of these arches is formed by a number of plane, conical and cylindrical surfaces. The nine arches bear almost the entire load of the superstructure.


The basement and the inner podium were constructed first. Thereafter, for casting the arches and shells, the structure was divided into convenient parts, taking into consideration that when de-shuttered, the portion of the shells cast would be selfsupporting until the remaining shells were completed. The structure was divided as follows: ARCH All 9 arches were cast one after the other in two lifts until the circle was completed. The de-shuttering of the soffit of each arch was taken up after the adjacent arches had attained specified strength.

Inner leaf, radial beams and central hub. After the completion of all the arches, the structural steel staging for the inner leaf was erected. Three shells, 120 deg. apart, were taken up at a time and cast in two lifts, up to the radial beam level, ensuring always that the difference in height between the shells cast was not more than one lift . The process was repeated until all 9 segments were cast. Casting of the central hub was done independently, and after all the shells were cast, they were connected to the hub by casting the radial beams. After sufficient curing, the inner leaf along with the radial beams were de-wedged, leaving the central hub supported. The remaining portion of the inner leaf was then taken up . Interior dome After de-wedging of inner leaf, the steel staging was modified and two folds of shells of the interior dome taken up one after another. For each fold, three shells, 120 deg. apart, were taken up at a time and cast one after another. For each shell the boundary ribs were taken up first and then the shell cast in one single lift. The process was repeated until all the shells were complete

Entrance and outer leaves. The construction of the entrance and outer leaves was done parallel with the casting of the inner leaves and interior dome. Two entrance leaves and one intermediate outer leaf were done First. Thereafter, the outer and entrance leaves were cast alternately, the outer leaf first and then the adjacent entrance leaves. De shuttering was started with a pair of outer leaves and followed by the intermediate entrance leaf.



Inspiration: St. Louis Airport Terminal, 1956 Lambert consisted of three cylindrical groined vaults with stiffening arches along the groins and stiffening ribs at the edges Location : Cuautitln, Mexico, which Candela completed in 1960.






BACARDI RUM FACTORY Factory roof consists of three adjacent hyperbolic paraboloid groined vaults 4 cm. thick and 26 m. square in plan with 2.5 m. overhangs on each side. Bacards shell: not in direct contact with the footings, but instead each of the four corners is supported on a leg that transfers the loads from the shells to the footings which in turn place the vertical weight on the ground. Steel ties connect the footings to carry the horizontal forces. The groin stiffeners are completely hidden from inside view and are essentially invisible from the outside. They are V-beams, which Candela used in all his groined vaults. Additionally the edge stiffeners are set back from the edge, allowing for the thinness of the shell to be fully expressed. The arches are located directly above the glass walls to ensure that in the case of unexpected wind loadings the shell is stiff enough that it does not deflect into the glass. Similarly, stiffening ribs frame the skylights that are fitted between adjacent shells. Even though the stresses are so small in the shell that steel reinforcement is not required for strength, steel was used for construction reasonsto hold the wet concrete in place on steep surfaces and to address other practical issues such as temperature effects.




The Experimentalist

Born in 1910 in Madrid, Spain Received his architectural education from the Escuela Superior de Architectura de Madrid While in school he developed a proclivity for geometry and began to tutor his fellow students. This experience coupled with a fascination for the stability of structures gave him the confidence to pursue shell design. As his interest in shells resurfaced years later, he began to experiment. Candela supposed shells could be an economical way to cover space if they were sensibly designed, and concrete was the only practical and economical material that could capture the fluidity of the shell form. After a lot of research and study in Mathematical Theory of Elasticity, he found the mathematics pseudo-scientific and unable to account for the behaviour of the material, and almost gave up his research for fear of failure and lack of acceptance. Intuitively inspired, however, by the pictures of Maillart's Zurich Exposition shell, in 1951 he abandoned his caution and began to construct experimental shells.

Following these physical proofs, he received his first public commission, THE COSMIC RAYS PAVILION for UNAM, the National University of Mexico. CONCEPT: In order to allow cosmic rays to penetrate the building, Candela constructed two hyperbolic paraboloidic vaults along a principal parabola that he stiffened with three arches. This form allowed him to pour the thinnest roof that had ever been constructed: 5/8" at the crown increasing to 2" at the springing. Built : in 1951 Location : south of the National Autonomous University of Mexico called Ciudad Universitaria, between the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry. Geometry : small in scale, plastic light covers.

STRUCTURE AND MATERIAL The pavilion consists of foundation based on isolated footings two bays from three rigid frames with reinforced concrete columns that clearly divides the space into two. The cover side walls are reinforced concrete and have a corrugated finish; obtained by the formwork for casting of the wall. These are covered by the reinforced concrete shell that makes the above functions.

Measuring 40 feet by 35 feet the pavilion, the structure contains two laboratory spaces specializing in the measurement of cosmic rays and nuclear disintegration for the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Ciudad Universitaria. Its remarkably thin shell is quite appropriate.

This structure was the first that gave great prestige to Candela, both by the grace of formal simplicity, as the supposed technical display extreme thinness. The pavilion, though small, had quite a presence and was the first public validation of Candela's Supposed Arbitrary Original. His experiment had paid off and, within the realm of his initial hypothesis, he spent a career developing, enhancing, constructing, and educating.

Submitting the winning entry in a competition, Candela's second commission was LA IGLESIA DE LA VIRGEN MILAGROSA (1954).

Built : in 1953 1955. Location : Narvarte, Mexico city Geometry : hyperbolic paraboloid form to minimize material over a large space one defining ideal of gothic. The structure : 1,533 square meters (16,500 square feet).

CONSTRUCTION Started with an asymmetrical umbrella, tilted it so that the short side rested on the ground, then pulled up the middle of the short side to form a pointed triangle that we will refer to as a half-bay. By placing two of these forms back to back, candela formed one full bay and then he designed the nave of the church through four of these bays. When hyperbolic paraboloids are designed with small warping, the form boards can provide adequate curvature so that straight boards can be used. For milagrosa the warping is too large for such construction so candela used parallel boards 1.27 centimeters ( inch) thick with wedges between them.8 the wedges can be seen in a close-up of the formwork. Candela used a thickness of 4 centimeters (1 inch) on many of his shells, including milagrosa.




NINE TYPES OF FORMS THAT FELIX CANDELA USED, WITH SEVERAL VARIATIONS, DURING HIS CAREER. 1. Conoid This form consists of three horizontal edges and one arc

2. Straight hypar This form is a hyperbolic paraboloid, generated by straight lines. The short name for hyperbolic paraboloid is hypar. A hypar is a ruled surface in two directions: arches in one direction, and inverted arches (or cables) in the other direction. Most of Felix Candelas forms are variations of the hypar, either generated by straight lines or curves, and with straight or curved edges.

3. Group of straight hypars This form is the result of grouping several panels of form # 1, the basic straight hypar. The four corners remain at the reference level, while the mid points of each edge are elevated to another plane.

4. Umbrella of four panels with one central support This form was used by Felix Candela in many of his projects to cover large areas such as warehouses, factories, malls, and farmers markets.

5. Curved hypar, saddle Three arcs define this form. The lower elevation of the middle arc converts this shape into a hypar

6. Dome with square plan, with an arc on each side Three arcs define this form. The central arc defines the top. This form has been used to cover large areas, such as sports arenas.

7. Two curved hypars, intersected This form is the result of intersecting two saddles, like the one shown in form # 5. The central point goes to the lower reference plane. The four corners define the supports.

8. Three curved hypars, intersected This graceful form is the result of intersecting three curved hypars. The central point goes to the lower reference plane. There are only three points of contact with the ground.

9. Four curved hypars, intersected This is Candelas most famous form. It is the intersection of four curved hypars, creating an octagonal plan of supports.