Principal Symmetric Structures

Davide Pellis*, Helmut Pottmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We introduce a new class of quadrilateral gridshell structures in axial force equilibrium where beams run symmetrically to the principal stress directions of their limit membrane shell. This kind of structures have the property that, at each node, the axial forces in the four connected beams are approximately equal. This allows for a more homogeneous distribution of forces in the structure, particularly in shapes where stresses are significantly anisotropic, in which case a conventional gridshell typically results in numerous beams remaining nearly unloaded. In this work, we first discuss the properties of principal symmetric structures and evaluate their advantages relative to other types of gridshells. We introduce then a computational pipeline for the design of such structures based on a quadrilateral remeshing and a subsequent optimization, and show some results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationShell and Spatial Structures - Proceedings of IWSS 2023
EditorsStefano Gabriele, Amedeo Manuello Bertetto, Francesco Marmo, Andrea Micheletti
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783031443275
StatePublished - 2024
Event2nd Italian Workshop on Shell and Spatial Structures, IWSS 2023 - Turin, Italy
Duration: Jun 26 2023Jun 28 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference2nd Italian Workshop on Shell and Spatial Structures, IWSS 2023


  • Architectural geometry
  • Gridshells
  • Structural optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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