Panelisation Vanke Pavillon Facade

Hi there,

does anybody know how to work with these kind of panels in Rhino or Grasshopper?

This is the Vanke Pavilion by Studi Daniel Libeskind from The Milan Expo in 2015.

I tried to work with the Panelisation Tool without succes at the moment.

I would apreaciate your help!

Try to ask @johnharding. I remember a presentation at CITA from him and his colleague from

The process uses an iterative approach based on Chebyshev nets (it’s not the same though as 600x600 tiles need to be spaced). @will and I worked on a proof of concept in 2014 or something like that (I think we had a week to come up with something), then it was developed by the Ramboll façade team in Milan. I’ve managed to find some old code which might help, basically it can be used on any surface geometry from a starting point and curve.

It goes row by row, spacing out setting out rectangles as it moves along, so they kind of shift along as they go. Then from these setting out rectangles, there’s a couple of rotations I think to create the overlaps. In the final script I think these rotations were adaptive based on local curvature but I don’t seem to have that one (that might have been the Milan team that adapted it, if you’re out there let us know!). You need to offset your original surface to avoid clashes (not done in this example).

Anyway, something attached if you want to give it a go with your own surface. The code is buggy, you don’t have much time to perfect things with tight deadlines you just have to get it done!


Thanks for the connection @Petras_Vestartas (689.1 KB)


Great write-up @johnharding!

I recall them resolving some of the clashes in areas of high curvature by “folding” panels.

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Indeed, the ‘specials’ @will! I think there were about 10% of them like that. Due to a standard tile being used for the other 90%, they could be repurposed after the Expo (I was told they were reused somewhere, although I know not the project). This was quite pleasing as the original concept had all the tiles a bespoke shape/size and would have been almost impossible to reuse on a regular facade.