WORKSHOP 1 – Composite Bamboo and Concrete Shell Structures

This workshop exposes students to the physical act of making in architecture through dynamic structural logics and material testing. The objective is to prototype new kinds of shell structures, using concrete as casting material, and engaging more closely with the material’s unique properties: fluidity, pressure and weight. Learning from seminal precedents of thin shell concrete structures, such as those by Torroja, Candela, Isler, Dieste, Nervi and others, the workshop aims to innovate upon composite formwork techniques which are more responsive to liquid material than cumbersome and labor intensive, timber planking formwork methods.

In a first stage of the workshop, students will be tooled up with a variety of form finding techniques for shell structure design, ranging from computational processes, structural simulations, geometrical descriptions and analogue formwork devices. Through trial and error experiments, not only the limits of how a material might perform under gravity will be tested, but also how to direct the exact contribution a material may bring to a hierarchical assembly of live forces at play, in order to enhance material performance. In a second stage, the initial research findings will be synthesized towards a collective proposition and construction of a full-scale and site-specific installation. An inventive fabrication process of translating emerging geometries to traditional building techniques, will use local and low-cost materials, such as bamboo, textiles and cable-net as reinforcing and formwork for composite concrete shell structures.


  • Dr. Jerry Hsiao, Fengchia University, Taichung, Taiwan
  • Olivier Ottevaere, Double (o) Studio, The University of Hong Kong Department of Architecture
  • Richard Hsu, Tongji University
  • Tom Verebes, Turenscape Academy
  • Xiong Ying, Turenscape Academy


Olivier Ottevaere (Assistant Professor), The University of Hong Kong

Olivier Ottevaere (Assistant Professor), The University of Hong Kong
Olivier Ottevaere (Visiting Professor), EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

Start Time

9:30 am

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Finish Time

6:30 pm

Sunday, November 5, 2017



Event Participants