The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 94 (2016) > Issue 3 > Digitally designed – Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies
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Digitally designed – Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies

This paper describes the digital parametric design and fabrication optimisation that was carried out on the recently-completed Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies building in Doha, Qatar. The processes, tools and techniques used are described, with background given about the issues and decisions that led to their development and implementation. The benefits we believe these tools brought to the project are also discussed, from the point of view of both the building’s construction and Arup’s internal workflow.

The paper focuses on the building’s roof structure, which is completely free-form, architecturally defined by a 3D doubly-curved NURBS surface. The roof’s surface area is approximately 13 500m2 and is constructed from curved plate girders, each one unique. The roof’s geometry ranges from areas with a radius of curvature of approximately 500m, therefore relatively flat, to areas of high curvature with a radius of 5m or less.

Author(s): B. Lewis (Arup)