Preliminary Modeling
July 19th, 2011 | Back to Blog Listing

Lenticular Trusses at the Raleigh, NC airport
Below are two models (front and rear view) of what the current Axel Warehouse is intended to look like. There is certainly not any granular detail of the actual office space(s), but the shell is pretty easy to visualize. Although I have been looking forward to using the bow-truss system (as described in an older post), it looks like we are now going to use an inverted triangular truss. The system will basically consist of steel beams that lie flat across the roofline. Each of them will have a cylindrical steel column extending down from the middle, with steel tension rods spawning across both sides. I was immediately sold on these after Matt Catterall showed me a picture of them from the Detroit Airport (I am a huge fan of most modern airport architecture).

I had actually come across the same type of trusses back in March of 2011 at the Raleigh/Durham airport in North Carolina. I was in absolute awe of the way they had implemented them there, an amazing combination of wooden beams with steel supports and tension rods. Admittedly our system will not be nearly as impressive, but the geometry of them is still very appealing. The architects of this airport say that it is a type of Lenticular Truss system. A snapshot of those trusses can be found to the top right.

Shell view from the front (SW corner)

Shell view from the rear (NE corner)

The above models were created by Mary Franzosa (a Cotera+Reed employee) with an architectural program called Rhinoceros. I’ve never actually used the program myself, but seems like a considerably more intricate modeling version of Google Sketchup. From what I could gather, there is considerably more attention paid to the layering capabilities. I believe as we get more granular with the interior CAD development, that we’ll be able to produce more and more intricate models.