Glulam can be curved in 2 or even 3 dimensions. There are few limitations as dynamic timber forms are possible with the aid of 3-D modeling and planning.
At the Orchid Pavillion, each timber rib was not only uniquely curved, but it was also off-axis which gives the impression of a blooming flower. The freeform glulaminated larch ribs were fixed to internal rings set at 1- meter centers and made from galvanized steel. The rings are in-turn restrained by steel tension cables which, traveling diagonally along the inner curve of the structure, deliver the forces into the foundation.
Timber is stong in compression and in tension; when used these properties are used in a space frame, it can achieve impressive results. This space frame by Venturer was as ingenious as it was simple to build. The mesh of timber with 2D sliding pin joints enable each member to slide over or under the adjacent member. This frame was build in 6 weeks which included building a 3D model in structural mesh software, component design, procurement, and the installation. Space frames can be an architectural feature within another building envelope or a stand-alone structure.