Arquitectura Viva
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Menges & Knippers. ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion in Stuttgart (Germany)

This temporary pavilion for bionic research results from applying a process combining computational design with robotic fabrication methods.

Inspired in biomimetic principles, the project began with research on the structure of exoskeletons of arthropods, in particular the lobster, in collaboration with biologists of the University of Tübingen. This study made it possible to verify that the fibers of the exoskeleton, basically made of chitin, were arranged in different directions and densities, forming patterns that provided answers to the structural requirements of the various parts of the exoskeleton.

The next step was to emulate the properties of threads of chitin and protein through fibers of carbon and glass, which intertwined to form a spool of sorts whose geometry could be calculated thanks to computer simulations.

Held up only by the 4-millimeter thickness of the shell, the final structure has a diameter of 8 meters and a height of 3.5. To build it, a robot was conceived and fabricated with two multi-jointed arms and steel structures at the extremes, which were used as frames, over which the robot wove the glass fiber and eventually formed a hyperbolical hyperboloid. When the canvas was ready, the robot reinforced the points of greatest structural effort with spools of carbon fiber.

AV Monografías 226 - SOU FUJIMOTO AV Monographs
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