This paper describes the processes followed for the design of four complex-geometry elements of two new law buildings in Madrid. The elements have different forms, ranging from a modified spherical dome to sculpted shapes. On some cases the cladding geometry was intrinsically coupled with the structural behaviour, while on others the structural solution could easily accommodate geometric changes. The design tools employed were also diverse, using form-finding algorithms for some elements, while extracting a simple logic to solve others. Beyond a mere description of design processes, the paper aims to discuss the role of the structural engineer in the design of complex forms.
Alejandro Bernabeu Larena, Dr Ingeniero de Caminos, Canales y Puertos
Director - NB35 Ingeniería
Dancho Azagra, MEng(Hons), CEng, MIStructE
Associate - Buro Happold