30. Sep 2015

Learning from water spiders

Photos: ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

The Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) have continued their series of research pavilions with the design of the new ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2014/15 at the University of Stuttgart. The design of the latest pavilion was based on the web construction process of water spiders. The result is a stable construct that can withstand mechanical stress.

Corresponding to the adaptive computational design strategy, a prototypical robotic fabrication process was developed for carbon fibre reinforcement on the inside of a flexible membrane, while still allowing the influx of daylight.

During the day, the pavilion appears to be semi-transparent. After dark, the pavilion begins to glow from within – as if the remains of the sunlight trapped inside the “drop of water” are leaking out.

The 4.1-metre high Research Pavilion 2014/15 covers an area of about 40 square metres and has a volume of approximately 130 cubic metres. The prototypical building articulates the anisotropic character of the fibre composite material as an architectural quality and reflects the underlying processes in a novel texture and structure.

Project team:

Institute for Computational Design – Prof. Achim Menges
Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design – Prof. Jan Knippers

www.icd.uni-stuttgart.de

ICD/ITKE ResearchPavilion14-15 from itke on Vimeo.

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