Raffles City by UNStudio - Planar facade paneling

Hi to all the experts,

I’m looking to build this project as a case study and am interested to know what is your approach here to solve the curved glass panels facade (not the rotating fins) so the panels will be planar.

Attached is one approach, but it is leaving a small overlap between the panels. I can space them, but there might be a better approach.

Raffles City_01.gh (25.5 KB)

The surface shape and panel sizes are only a rough guess.
Appreciate your help!

Hey Yoav, I think if you want to build it planar, there is no way around some spacing issues…

Here is my try.

I used the tangent at the midpoint of each segment’s top and bottom boundary. Then I used only the lower tangent to rebuild the top and lower boundary to get a planar result. The gaps are still there, just spaced evenly and are less obvious.

Hope that helps you.

Raffles City_01_Mit_Tangent.gh (29.8 KB)

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Hi Felix,
Thank you for your reply! That’s a very nice solution. In this case, allowing for a non-rectangular panel helps keep the lines continuous.
But I wonder if that is the best solution in terms of cost - judging from the pictures, it seems that the panels are not continuous but a bit staggered especially in the curved areas.
Any thoughts on how they have approached this problem?

The irony of this is that Rhino was probably used in some part to develop the original paneling.

Anyway, there are a lot of issues when looking into paneling complex shapes. Here is an older thread that addresses how complex the problem can become and how easy it is to “overconstrain” the problem:


Hi Scott,
Thank you for your answer and the reference links, these are very interesting topics. Indeed I realize this may be too complex to resolve in a forum discussion.
Just for clarity, by saying Rhino was used in some part, do you mean there was a manual approach or some sort of optimization to the surface itself?
Many thanks

Probably both! This is never a pure science. Always a balance constraints of construction system, budget and team knowledge. So there is some manual changing of the shape to allow the range of panels to fit.

I expect you have been on these pages to find out more specifics how they think about paneling with Rhino.

The interview about the project you are looking at: STH BNK by Beulah - UNStudio

Introduction to UNStudio’s block strategies

UNStudio has provided a two-part article to introduce various digital geometric block strategies used for UNStudio projects. The articles describe how block strategies have been used for past UNStudio projects and are still extensively used for UNStudio projects today.

Geometric blocks are not a new topic in 3D modeling, but through increasingly available parametric plugins it continues to provide an efficient means of controlling a wide range of elements. Effective block strategies can decrease costs by enabling the fabrication of many of the same components for construction.

This study reiterates some key qualities of blocks in the context of digital design and how they can be intelligently applied. It then analyses the specific block strategies applied to the facade design of two of UNStudio’s projects.

Not sure this is helpful, but here is a lot of detail on how a project like this is calculated and fabricated and all the levels of engineering that go into it: