Restaurant for marché Jean-Talon
This project for a restaurant-theatre investigates the form-finding capabilities of a catenary approach that follows the hanging chain models of Antonio Gaudi and, at present day, the fabric formwork of Mark West at the Centre for Architectural Structures Technology.
In the case of a chain suspended from two points, the force of gravity places the chain in tension and determines its curvature. This curve can be inversed to form an arch, whereby forces of tension are flipped into forces of compression. An incredibly strong arch can be built using minimal quantities of brick, stone or concrete – materials strong only in compression. While a hanging chain is a linear example, a suspended sheet of fabric behaves as a 3-dimensional field of tension that can be similarly be inverted into a pure compression structure. Used in this sense, fabric is capable of providing the formwork for generating inherently ‘intelligent’ structures of concrete or masonry.
This project envisions a central concrete vault from which a multitude of smaller vaults spread throughout the market. These act as public gathering places, picnic-spots or simple spaces to rest.