NœudAL is the annual research pavilion produced by the computational design research studio ARC6801/2 H and the Laboratory for Architecture Informatics and Robotics (LAIR) at the University of Montreal, Faculty of Environmental Design, School of Architecture.
In 2022, the research studio explored the construction of optimized architectural structures from constrained material kits as an important notion underpinning the environmental impact of buildings and the circular economy. The research pavilion produced by the master students with the help of the studio tutors/researchers is a custom structural network composed of wooden members and folded aluminium nodes.
The 238 wooden members adhere to a strict set of predefined limitations designed to maximize the use of residual or reclaimed material from construction activities in North America. All the members used are short elements with a 2×4 section derived from the standard 8’ stud. Moreover, almost 90% of the members composing the canopy of the pavilion have just eight different lengths, making the cutting of the elements a very simple and fast task.
The custom geometry of the pavilion is made possible by 148 aluminium nodes constructed from an innovative combination of flat 1mm and 3mm thick 5052 aluminium sheets. The novel technique allowed the production of custom 2,3, and 4 member nodes that are light (several hundred grams) while being very stiff in their directions of structural action. The computational process proposed for the pavilion allowed for a very low-tech, manual assembly that involved folding 2d laser cut aluminium pieces following the engraved instruction and the formal constrains of the triangulated node volume.
NodeAL was made possible by the generous support of AluQuebec
Images by Kevin Larouche-Wilson and Andrei Nejur