Biomimicry: Biomimicry – Adapting bird wing into a retractable roof system

Name: Natalie Ki Xiao Xuan



The current shelters mostly are difficult and time-consuming to be erected and are usually made of heavy materials. Many of them are not foldable in a configurable geometrical order which make their transportation more difficult and their storage for future use is most problematic. This paper by evaluating major existing shelters, proposes a lightweight, foldable shelter that inspired by the bat wings characteristics that can be replaced, repaired and stored in a very short period of time. The proposed structure has the capability to be expanded by adding more space to its ends and sides. Considering that the wing of the bat is the most agile flyer as compared to birds that allows them to manoeuvre in a flexible manner. The wing inspired structure frame system can meet different topographical and environmental conditions and also different functions. The structure, in addition to its main function as a temporary shelter, can be used for temporary exhibitions and also for many temporary applications. 

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Background Project


Is an element in the building envelope system that works to regulate the environmental conditions of interior and exterior, which is usually kept separate.


The first idea of “retractability” was introduced to explore flexible structures by Francesco de Giorgio and Leonardo de Vinci.

Retractable Roof

A type of roof structure in which a part of, or the entire roof can be moved or retracted within a short period of time, so that the building can be used either in an open state or in a closed state


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