An exploration of a hyperbolic paraboloid as an office building

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The purpose of this thesis was to create a structure that is a result of a hyperbolic paraboloid shell (hypar). As a result of this, a certain order evolved which dictated the form, the structure, and the environmental aspects of the two buildings designed. Through the design of the hypar walls, came the opportunity and/or need for daylighting. This is the conscious design of a building form to use direct sunlight for illumination and thermal benefit. Buildings so designed respond both to direct sunlight and to sunlight modified through diffusion or reflection by the sky vault, clouds, natural or man—made elements of the landscape, and the buildings, themselves. The workers occupying these buildings spend a major portion of their day in a place that could have psychological and physiological effects. Sunlight gives reassuring orientation to time, a place, and weather, as well as producing interior environments that are comfortable, delightful, and productive.