Architecture and Engineering

Architecture and Engineering is a research group belonging to the Division of Architectural Theory and Methods. The group's research questions are based on how spaces and architectural expressions interact with materials and load-bearing structures. Four basic elements characterize the working method of the group:

•    Contextual anchoring in contemporary and historically based references
•    Mathematical modelling, simulation and optimization
•    Exploratory experiments with an artistic approach
•    Digital representations and prototypes for communication in the different stages of the design process

The group's research aims at:
•    investigating the potential of new materials and new production methods in architecture and engineering through mathematical modelling and simulation
•    supporting architectural and engineering communication in an iterative design process through the development of digital representations and physical prototypes

The group is active within the Chalmers Areas of Advance, in particular within the Building Futures


How can we increase the usage of timber structures by adding prestress?

Timber structures like gridshells and other kinds of complex 3d structures have a potential for increased load capacity or reduced material usage using prestress.  However, lightweight structures come at a price, often expressed as instability problems. By prestressing the structure and creating a permanent state of stresses large enough to overcome fluctuation of stresses due to e.g. live loads, challenges can be overcome. In this project, we use prestress as a tool to elaborate on opportunities of timber structures.

Geometric design and fabrication strategies for masonry structures

Masonry has an important place in the history architecture and our cultural heritage. Even though many thousand years old the idea of stacking blocks in different configurations is still very much relevant, not only in architecture, but also in toys and games such as Lego® and Minecraft©. The intersection between historical and modern methods and theories creates interesting avenues for research and the reinvention of bricks and masonry structures in a modern context. We investigate geometrical patterns, production techniques and structural forms that can be integrated in new tools for form finding, analysis and fabrication of masonry structures.

Material informed digital sculptural design

This project aims to investigate how to make better use of material properties in the sculptural aspects of digital design by exploring the mathematical representation of elasticity in relation to digital form representation and the process of artistic sculpting. The work builds on from existing form finding techniques that aim reduce material usage by optimising structural form under the influence of a gravitational field, but aims for a generalisation of the such a method so that it can be applied in a different context and under a different set of forces/force fields. The method development is targeted for application to structural joints with a high demand in terms of the geometrical and structural complexity.


2018, August
Research pavilion by Alexander Sehlström to be exhibited at Wood & Technology 2018 fair.
2018, September
Workshop: 2018-09-22—23
Conference: 2018-09-24—25


2017, November
10 % PhD seminar: Jens Olsson

2017, October
Chris Williams and Alexander Sehlström attended Expert’s discussion on the Mannheim Multihalle, built in 1974, and the upcoming refurbishment scheme.
2017, September
Emil Adiels, Mats Ander, Jens Olsson, Alexander Sehlström and Chris Williams attended and presented their work at the IASS 2017 Symposium in Hamburg.
2017, February
10 % PhD Seminar: Erica Henrysson
10 % PhD Seminar: Alexander Sehlström
2016, October
Mats Ander and Alexander Sehlström presented extended abstracts at NSCM 29
2016, April

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Published: Mon 20 Feb 2017. Modified: Tue 28 Nov 2017