A continuum structural topology optimization method was proposed for morphogenesis of dendriforms during the conceptual design phase. A topology optimization model minimizing structural strain energy (i.e., maximizing global stiffness) under a structural volume constraint was established by an independent continuous mapping method (ICM). This optimization model can be solved by an iteration formula established based on the saddle condition for a single constraint optimization problem. The influences of several factors such as the ratio of reserved volume to total volume, the stiffness of roof structure, the geometry shape of roof structure, and the height of design area, on topologies of the dendriform were discussed, and several illustrative design examples were given. The results show that: the topology configurations of dendriforms become more complex with an increase in the amount of materials;the branches of dendriforms decrease with an increase in the roof stiffness;different topology configurations of dendriforms are obtained by different geometric forms of the roof structures;the topology configurations of dendriforms are not affected by the height of the design area beyond a certain height, although the main branch of dendriforms can be increased.<br/> ©2018, Editorial Office of Journal of Building Structures. All right reserved.