Scissor-Hinged Membrane Structures A Concept for Multiple-Configuration Retractable Membrane Roofs

Project Details


Scissor structures can be used as retractable supporting structure. Scissor arches are placed parallel to each other with a fixed interspacing, and membrane strips span between them. The membranes are connected to the top and bottom hinges of the scissors, creating a wave-like pattern that can be folded and unfolded together with the scissors.
An additional support system for the scissors is developed to avoid that elements would have to remain permanently over the enclosed space, even when the roof is open. The impact of these elements on the transformation process of the entire structure is investigated. A strategy for controlling the movement of the roof over the underlying space is also suggested.
Block & Van Mele studied a concept for controlling membrane tension in all configurations of a retractable roof, thus making it possible to use the roof in more than one configuration. This concept is re-evaluated in relation to its application in this particular system.
The proposed concepts are evaluated in a series of case studies.

Effective start/end date1/01/0431/12/07

Flemish discipline codes

  • Other engineering and technology


  • architecture