Structural analysis of reinforced concrete folded hyperbolic paraboloid: A case study of the modern miami marine stadium

Sigrid Adriaenssens, Nathan Brown, Rosa Lowinger, Jorge Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The study of historic thin shell structures shows how masterpieces of Mid-Century Modern architecture were realized without complex mathematical analysis or numerical techniques but with solid foundation in simplified yet realistic structural performance and construction practice. Historic knowledge studies how successful past designs, such as the shells of the Miami Marine Stadium, advanced in the light of limited scientific knowledge and cost restrictions. In 2009 the United States National Trust for Historic Preservation put the Stadium on the list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. This study briefly reviews the roof's construction history, reconstructs its original structural analysis, and confirms its validity through a comparative study of four finite element models (FEMs). These models conceptualize the roof as a folded plate or a hypar shell, analyze the structural influence of stiffeners and groin thickening and investigates the connection between numerical results and physical observed crack patterns. Generally, this study allows a better constructional and structural understanding of one of the successful modern architectural masterworks, and of simplified and complex folded plate and shell analysis models. The study also demonstrates how the close link between analysis interpretation and actual structural phenomena can inform decisions about the structural integrity of historic structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-516
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Heritage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Conservation
  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


  • Finite element analysis
  • Folded plate
  • Formwork
  • Hyperbolic paraboloid
  • Modern architecture
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Structural analysis
  • Thin shell


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