Fiberglass and Concrete Create Complex Curves

Fiberglass and Concrete Create Complex Curves

The roof of the Boston Harbor Park Pavilion relied heavily on current computer modeling and CNC technology, as well as a creative use of concrete, fiberglass, plywood, and screws to achieve the complexly curved form.

From Concrete Construction:

To create the forms, CW Keller used Rhino 3D modeling software to define the surfaces of the design, optimize the material yield, and translate the data to machine-ready files for CNC, which then mills the machined pieces for the forms. Those pieces are reassembled, laminated, and sanded smooth to create the final form. This technology allows for a much more precise, cost-effective form.

The project combined shaping plywood sheets to contoured ribs for the more subtle curves and using plywood forms for the two deeply curved, multi-directional areas. The two canopies measure 40×50 feet and 40×60 feet. CW Keller realized that after pouring the concrete, the seams and screw heads would be visible underneath the canopy, so they suggested pre cutting the plywood sheets with edges to create an interesting visual element, as well as creating a pattern for the screw heads and pre drilling those holes. All of these pieces were shipped to the site, ready to assemble.

Because of the contours of the roof canopies and the more than 400 sheets of plywood the project required, the forms simplified the construction process, added to the overall aesthetic of the project, and saved countless hours of construction time.

The complexity  of the spout’s curvature required a solid form be manufactured. The form was coated with fiberglass to ensure the final finish of the concrete in this area matched the Finnform.

Project Goups: CW Keller, Turner Construction, S&F Concrete, SGH Engineering.

Photos via Concrete Construction