Students Develop Prototypes Reusing RCA Dome Stadium Roof
tetraMIN is a hanging screen aggregate consisting of componentry generated from tetrahedron geometry via Rhino’s Grasshopper parametric modeling plug-in. Comprised of laser cut polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) scraps, each component forms a periodic minimal surface, and is propagated into a regular pattern by a series of reflecting/mirroring operations. The PTFE is the former roof material from the RCA Dome, a large pneumatic roof stadium prior to demolition in 2008, and was donated to the studio by Michael Bricker, director of People for Urban Progress, located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
System prototyping and fabrication occurred in one week by a nine member team of Ball State University architecture students. Working with the Institute for Digital Fabrication’s faculty and equipment (primarily laser cutters), the team fabricated each component with a tab-and-slot connector system to enable the assembly of the screen. Inexpensive zip ties are also strategically deployed throughout the screen assembly for structural stiffening
Backlit for a glowing visual effect, tetraMIN is currently on display in the College of Architecture and Planning’s gallery to coincide with a special event aligned with manufacturing and materials research.
André Paul Haffenden
Kevin R. Klinger, Associate Professor
People for Urban Progress / Michael Bricker, Director