Menges & Knippers: ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2015-2016 in Stuttgart
Photos: ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart
Every year since 2010, the University of Stuttgart campus has seen a temporary construction go up, designed by researchers and students under the direction of Achim Menges of the Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and Jan Knippers of the Institute of Building Structures & Structural Design (ITKE). This time they have been helped by a team of biologists and paleontologists. The design of the pavilion made of timber plates draws inspiration from the morphology of the shells of a certain sand dollar. Its complex geometry – with a curved double layer – is analyzed for the purpose of testing new techniques of building structures, combining computational design and robotic construction. Weighing 780 kilograms and taking up an area of 85 square meters, the fragmented composition is formed by 151 pieces of plywood, and its diameter ranges between 0.5 and 1.5 meters. The sewn joints transfer traction pressures between hollow segments, as in the fibrous connections between plaques of sea urchin shells.
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