Digging on Shigeru


I’m fascinated by Shigeru Ban’s Nine Bridge Club house.  The projection of the a rectangular grid down into these funnel shapes is such a simple idea on a large scale and totally mind bending in the details.


For my sketch, I made a quarter of one funnel with a revolve, cut it down to a square edge, divided the surface, then turned off the U and V grids, and used intersects projected from Level 1. 




The panel is just a half step pattern with this geometry.


Plenty of flaws in the lattice (intersect based gridlines can get a little funky at the edges, particularly in tangency conditions) but it’s getting there.


  1. I believe this is not the first time Shigeru has done this...http://www.centrepompidou-metz.fr/ similar technique was used in this design. Amazing work!

  2. love it.
    quite simple to resolve it with what you are saying, but then when you would analyze for structure, i am sure it would not deflect in a symetrical manner at all and then would look all wonky and organic..

    also if you were doing it in paper tubes, it would be more and more non-consistent (unless you go around over-designing everything) as the material itself has a behavioral non-linearity.. and to top it all, it would still be non-consistent in production.. :)

    i wonder how they worked around those problems!!

  3. Hi Zach

    thanks for this great contribution.
    This link to the "digital constructors" of the structure might be interesting as well:

    In contrast to the expensive complicated and partial double curved elements of shigerus design,
    also have a look to Frei Otto's Mannheim Pavillon which is build form thousands 5cm x 5cm simple slats.

  4. I am trying to model this myself, but I am having trouble modeling the quarter funnel. Do you have any tips?

  5. I also I have problems with the modeling of the funnel, you might be a little more detailed.
    thanks :)

  6. That´s really helping me but I still can´t find any detailed drawings of it or good description on how to do them from scratch in 3D (Rhino)

  7. Zach: this is killing me: I can do the funnel easily enough, but how do you cut it down AND get it to subdivide the resultant surface?

  8. Raffi,
    you might need to into the surface of the resulting cut form to divide it.

  9. someone can tell me how this type of structure is called?


Post a Comment