Creasing the British museum: Topology finding of crease patterns for shell structures

Robin Oval, Romain Mesnil, Tom van Mele, Olivier Baverel, Philippe Block

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Several structural systems rely on a specific hierarchy between their constitutive elements, which results in topological constraints on the feasible patterns that can describe them. Folded, corrugated, or creased surface structures require this bipartition, also called two-colouring, between independent wavy and smooth directions. Finding a valid pattern for complex design problems is not straightforward and identifying relevant ones is important as creasing can either strengthen or weaken a structure. This paper presents a way of tackling such a design problem, by focusing on the roof of the Great Courtyard of the British Museum, revisiting this structure with a creased shell to increase its bending stiffness in the key directions. The methodology includes two-colour topology finding of corrugated patterns, parametric structural analysis, and simple structural optimisation through data analysis for topological combination, which opens new research avenues for performance-informed topological exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-56
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • corrugations
  • creases
  • folds
  • structural design
  • surface structures
  • topological design


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