Parametric wooden Pavilion


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This tutorial aims to explain in a simplified way how to make a parametric pavilion using Rhinoceros 7 and Grasshopper software. It focuses on wooden pavilions with organic shapes (curves) and serial planes, playing with the different bearing points, the rotation of the different planes, the variable height of the enclosure and the distance between the components to allow the passage of more or less light.


Rebuild Curve | Perp Frames | Range | Construct Domain | Graph Mapper | Plane Normal | Remap Number | Arc | Mirror | Project | End Points | Scale | Line | Join Curves | Fillet | Amplitude | Extrude | Boolean Toggle | Offset Surface


The suggested materials for the pavilions are laminated timber planks shaped to fit the designed forms. The dimensions of the boards, as well as the separation of the boards in their placement, are variable.

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To facilitate the understanding of this tutorial, it is explained below the steps to follow in Grasshopper for one of the possibilities, and later, the modified parameters to reach the second option.

The first thing to do is to draw the curve in Rhinoceros that will guide the direction of the pavilion. Once this is decided, the Rebuild Curve component is used. With this you can refine the curve, making it smoother and more attractive by adding the degree variant.


The next component to be used is Perp Frame, whose function is to generate a number of equally spaced, perpendicular frames along a curve. Here the previously rebuilt curve and the number of segments are input. In addition, the information of a Normal Plane with its corresponding direction vector is added, which will later be used to extrude.


By creating a range of numbers we move on to the Graph Mapper component. In this case a Beizer type of graph is chosen. Changing this variable modifies the shape that the planes create following the direction of the initial curve.


This is followed by the Remap Number component, to change a set of measurements to be within a given goal domain. Its inputs are Construct domain, another component that creates a numeric domain from two numeric extremes.


Then, with these outputs, an arc component is added, introducing the plane, the radius and the angle of the arc, which gives the parametric shape to the pavilion. In addition, this object is projected on the ground plane through the Project component, allowing the intersection curves to be obtained. It continues with the Mirror component, which creates the symmetric of the previous object compared to the indicated plane, in this case the XY.


The extreme points of the curves generated by the envelope planes are extracted with the End Points component, and are introduced, in the first case in Scale (to scale an object uniformly in all directions) and then in the Line component, and in the other case directly into the last one, creating a line with the corresponding points of both. The outputs of the Mirror, Scale and Line components are introduced in Join Curves, which allows all possible curves to be joined. In addition, it is introduced in Fillet, a component that together with a radius input, fillets the sharp corners of a curve.


The output that comes out of the direction Vector that appeared in one of the previous steps is now used to mark the extrusion direction of the Fillet command curve. Finally this is entered in Offset Surface, together with a distance value and a retrim value. The last one uses Boolean Toggle which allows you to quickly change between single true and false values as input.

In this way, the final surface is obtained, which is extruded again in the direction of the YZ plane, in order to increase the thickness of the wooden planks.


The second possible pavilion is made up of wooden planks placed at a larger distance from each other, allowing more light, wind and rain to enter, increasing the visitor’s relationship with the surroundings. It also involves varying shadows from one pavilion to another depending on the time of day, making us more aware of climatic factors and changes.

In addition, the overall shape is different as the Graph Mapper components have been modified to a parabola-like graph, with the pavilion openings higher than the central part.



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Final tutorial Raquel González de la Arada