The exhibition "Evolution of German Shells: Efficiency in Form" travels through space and time and examines a number of landmark German shell projects. These shells are constructed in various materials (concrete, wood-and-plastic, and steel-and-glass) and for various purposes (private housing, open-air theaters, fair and market halls). The exhibition is the result of the students' complex exploration performed through literature review, essays, models, photographs, structural analysis, site visits and meetings with prominent German structural engineers. Featured works chronologically include Leipzig Market Hall (Grossmarkthalle, 1929), Mannheim Multihalle (Multihalle de Bundesgartenschau, 1975), Grötzingen open-air theater (Naturtheater, 1977), Balz House (Haus Balz, 1980), and Courtyard Skylight of Hamburg History Museum (Hamburgmuseum, 1989).
The scope of the exhibition covers a vast range of shell structural systems, form finding techniques, and construction materials. The purpose of the exhibition is to demystify the structural engineering of shells and make it accessible to the general public; identifying the distinction between structural art and architecture.
The objects on display do not just reveal the evolution of how engineers understood structural form principles and new construction materials and techniques. The exhibition also focuses on the socio-economic circumstances behind each structure in an attempy to convey their emotional power and significance.
The exhibition is currently held at the Engineering Library, Friend Center, Princeton University, NJ 08540. The official opening of this exhibition is on February 15, 2013.