M. Contestabile1, O. Iuorio1, S.W. Garrity1
1)  University of Leeds,
LS2 9JT, Leeds, (UK)

Keywords: Form-Finding, Masonry Shells, Particle-spring Systems, Structural Design,
Thrust Network Analysis.

Abstract. Since antiquity masonry shell structures have had a key role in architecture. Although masonry tends, largely, to be used as a non-structural cladding material in most forms of contemporary architecture, relatively recent research has been reported on the use of masonry for shell structures. Such work provides an opportunity to reintroduce masonry into the architectural environment. This paper investigates the use of two currently available form-finding methods to design a free-form masonry shell structure to comply with a basic initial brief. One form-finding method is based on thrust network analysis, the other is based on the use of particle-spring systems. The structural behaviour of the two shell structures generated using the different form-finding methods is assessed under two load combinations, vertical loading and combined lateral (wind) and vertical loading, using an elastic finite element analysis. Comparisons of the two designs are made indicating differences in the mass of materials used, geometry, tensile and compressive stresses and deformation under design loading.