Gridshell is a new venture led by University of Naples professor Sergio Pone to create dynamic outdoor spaces using parametric modeling. One of their recent projects is a patio cover for the Masseria Ospitale Restaurant in Lecce, Italy made out of lightweight wood. The new structure is a collaboration between architects, architecture students and professors, and demonstrates the possibilities of this economically and environmentally innovative method.
The Masseria Ospitale structure was parametrically designed through a collaborative effort between Gridshell and CMMKM Architettura e Design. The project design team included Sergio Pone, Sofia Colabella, Bianca Parenti, Bernardino D’amico and Filomena Nigro. The design began with a grid of squares that were forced into deformation through variable heights and torsions that flex the rods of the grid into a mesh of diamonds. This new structure creates a very intricate, but effective shade structure that breathes life into the restaurant patio. This amazing shade structure is spans the depth of the outdoor patio behind Masseria Ospitale and is semi-covered through an integrated wood skin system.
The evolution of the parametrically modeled lightweight form resistant structure is evident across architectural blogs and magazines throughout the world. It is an economical solution that can utilize salvaged and renewable resources such as wood to create engaging public structures on almost any site. This is a great example of the relationship between digital modeling tools and the built environment, but it is a weaving principle that is as old as the craft of basketry. It is great to see architecture creating forms based on principles in nature and our cultural histories.