Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Free-Form Flapper Walls
Location: 10 Childrens Way Allegheny Square, North Side, Pittsburgh, PA 15223
Architect: Koning Eizenberg, Ned Kahn, Perkins Eastman
Project partners: Extech Exterior Technologies, Century Steel
Materials: Aluminum frame, Extruded Acrylic Flappers
The screen walls for this museum are comprised of extruded plastic panel arrays supported by the Triodetic aluminum free-form wall frame system. Product was on site ready for assembly 13 weeks after order. Assembly for the total 10, 000 sq. ft. of flapper wall framing required 1000 man-hours. Each screen is referred to as a flapper wall & is designed to allow every small panel to pivot under even minor wind gusts. The effect is to provide a continually variable ripple in the wall profile adding dramatic dynamic effect.

Free-Form Free Form Structures

Toronto Zoo Pavilions

Awarded the prestigious Thomas R. Baines Award, from the Canadian Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Architects: NORR Toronto, Portico Group. Seattle
Triodetic Hypars provide a number of column free pavilions, including a rainforest exhibit that is the largest indoor gorilla habitat in North America, a 100, 000 litre floor to ceiling aquarium, research station and home to a variety of mammals, reptiles & insects.

Externally these multiple Triodetic Hypars create a unique flowing ribbon-like roof profile that reflects Canada's mountainous terrain. The interior sweeping roof lines, with Triodetic space framing exposed, display the slender structural members that comprise these lightweight curved building elements. A Hypar (hyperbolic parabola) is a surface curved in two directions that can be designed as a shell or warped lattice. With loads transmitted in tension or compression the tube members used in the space frame network can be very slender and yet still achieve very long clear spans.

A hypar is triangular, rectangular or rhomboidal in plan, with corners raised to the elevation desired for use and/or appearance. The edges of Hypars are typically restrained by stiff hollow beams that collect & transfer roof loads to the foundations. Hypars are clad with corrugated metal deck, metal up-stand edge panels, timber & shingles or polycarbonate.

Spaceframes Glass Roof Hypars Glazed Roofs


Other Schools Incorporating Triodetic Space Frames: Algonquin College, Winooska HS VT, Mission College CA , New York State University, Markham High School, Redlands University,

space Frames Glass Walls Pool Space Frame

Glass Walls

Triodetic framing allows vertical, inclined or curved glass walls to span further and/or withstand high wind pressures. Tube framing with the Triodetic joint is economical & fast to construct in any profile desired and any project location. Triodetic contracts pre-approved local glazing suppliers & installers & oversees installation.

BARREL VAULTS BARREL VAULTS Barrel Vaults Museums Glass Walls Space Frames

Strong Museum, Rochester New York

Free-Form Roofs

Architect: Chaintreuil Jensen Stark
Materials: Galvanized steel tube, Anodized aluminum cladding

Design Challenges:

  1. Roof shape with unbalanced snow loading
  2. Geometrical demands for cladding system
  3. Unrestrained cantilevered column support

It is now apparent that museums with intriguing geometry attract greater public interest and, more importantly, better attendance. This expansion elevates the Strong Children's Museum to the status of second largest in the USA.

The whimsical architecture reflects the museums mission of exploring play to encourage learning, creativity & discovery.

Triodetic's novel roof can be interpreted as a 3-storey high, meandering caterpillar whose dramatic focal point at Chestnut St. is a 70ft high, non-symmetrical glass "eye". A second soaring free-form roof is also designed for construction over the bus terminal at the Museum street entrance.

The striking building design in conjunction with the interactive exhibits are anticipated to double museum attendance within the next 2 years.


Museums & Zoos

Space Frames Free-Form Structures SpaceFrames- Glazed Cone