As the name itself implies, the gridshell is a structure that combines a shell and a grid. The structure is first prepared on the ground, where wooden laths are positioned in a flat quadrangle mat, and are then pushed up into the final position. The laths are then deformed and bent to form rhomboid grids in the desired position. When the desired shape is achieved, the laths are attached to edge supports and the structure is stiffened by applying other laths or by diagonal metal bracing.
The very first example of a true gridshell is the Multihalle in Mannheim, designed by Frei Otto and completed in 1975. In Italy, eight gridshells have been constructed and the unique thing about the Selinunte gridshell is the fact that pine was used for the first time, with new joint systems studied by the team of architect Sergio Pone, lecturer in the architecture faculty of "Federico II" University, Naples.
Bildnachweis: courtesy of AIAC, Associazione Italiana di Architettura e Critica (Italian Association of Architecture and Criticism)