Rigid Origami folding canopy
Folding Canopy is a research project aiming to investigate folding geometries as a principle for kinetic structures and their application as folding lightweight canopies.
The starting point for this research project was the task of developing a temporary roof for the amphitheater of Vito Acconcis Mur Island on the river Mur, in cooperation with the artist. It soon turned out that no existing roofing and shading system would meet the specific requirements. Vito Acconcis preliminary sketches showed a swarm of independently moving, lightweight canopy elements that move in from the river banks and join in the middle to cover the theater. These elements need to be retractable, lightweight, movable, highly resilient to wind forces and provide rain covering and sun shading.
In the following research process we developed a new canopy system based on a folding principle called Miura-Ori, a form of Rigid Origami that can be packed to a compact shape. The canopy elements are running on a system of supportive and motive cables, allowing a continuous folding and unfolding process. A major part of the research effort concerned the issue of materialisation in Origami, that is the step from an ideal paper model to an architectonical model with material thickness. This step also included the construction of a real-scale prototype that allowed the study of the system in actual outdoor conditions. This mockup could be realized with the consultancy and support of SFL Technologies and Sattler AG / Ceno Tec.