university of stuttgart builds biocomposite-based parametric pavilion

university of stuttgart builds biocomposite-based parametric pavilion

on august 15th, there was an official opening of the first experimental pavilion, realized by the department of biobased materials and material cycles in architecture (biomat) of the institute of building structures and structural design (ITKE) in the faculty of architecture and urban planning, university of stuttgart. the installation, located at the university campus in the city center, is a double-curved, parametrically designed segmental shell of light, single-curved wood and biocomposite elements, which are supported by three curved crossed wooden beams. the biomat research pavilion demonstrates the architectural and structural potential of innovative building materials made from agricultural production wastes.




in the course of research work prior to the construction of the pavilion, special wood-based biocomposite plates were developed. the core of the plate is a flexible board made of natural fibers mixed with bioplastic, manufactured through an extrusion process. the natural fibers, such as straw, are waste coming from agricultural production, which finds its second life as material for architectural use. this material used as the core board was developed previously by the head of biomat, prof. hanaa dahy. one of the main advantages of this board in comparison to, for example, MDF, is exceptional elasticity which allows for forming even extremely double-curved surfaces, without heat or water treatment. the CNC cut fiberboard cores are later laminated on both sides with pre-cut 3D veneer sheets – a kind of veneer which can be bend in 2 directions at once. the processes of lamination and forming happen in a mould inside a vacuum press bag. lamination not only allows to form a flexible flat core board into a stiff 3D bent element, but also to create a composite panel with mechanical properties higher than core material itself. for example, during bending test specimens reached elastic modulus of over 5,5 GP which is equal to MDF. simultaneously, another variation of a similar wooden composite plate was developed, in which a flexible wooden board with single direction fibres is used as a core. this variation achieved identical mechanical properties as the first one and finally, due to logistic reasons, was used in this pavilion. 



every three manufactured elements were glued together into a 3-leg components. according to physical tests conducted by the team, PVA D4 glue provided the strongest connection between elements (as strong as the fiberboard itself), as well as allowed for comfortable preassembly of components off-site. later, all 121 components were connected together on-site into 4 fragments, using screws, and pulled on top of the crossed wooden beams, like a piece of fabric, where the final connections were realized. such an approach allows for elements to be separated later and reused to form various other designs and constellations. 








project info:


designers: department of biobased materials and material cycles in architecture (biomat) of the institute of building structures and structural design (ITKE)

partners: the university of stuttgart, the german agency for renewable resources (fnr) in the ministry of food and agriculture (bmel), baden-württemberg foundation, fraunhofer-institut für holzforschung (fraunhofer wki), and industrial funding from mathias stange ets and profine gmbh in the framework of the research project (bioprofile)

collaborators: the technical university eindhoven in the netherlands (tu/e) – department of built environment – prof. patrick teuffel and various institutes of the university of stuttgart, including the institute of construction and structural design (ke, faculty 02: civil and environmental engineering) – prof. urlike kuhlmann and the institute of engineering geodesy (iigs, faculty 06: aerospace engineering and geodesy) – prof. volker schwieger.

supervisor: jun.-prof. dr.-ing. hanaa dahy

tutors: michaela mey, piotr baszyński, jan petrš

students ss18: (design development, fabrication & assembly) daniel bieberstein, lena bienert, claudia böning, julia boos, jasmin min chu, yamac ölcer, silvia richter martínez, reza sadeghi, timo sippach, lisa unterberger, quim vilafranca molero, francesca weiß, sihui wu

students ws17-18: (concept development) mariana zollino – initial concept author helena bartl, jake benedikt, wei ju chi, arzum coban, jan ingo haller, leroy handojo, juan esteban hernandez cardona, viktorya ivanova, julian karl, corinna kernl, laura kiesewetter, jasmin min chu, quim vilafranca molero, dominik plag, yamac ölcer, reza sadeghi, frederica savioa, timo sippach, allan soares, thomas strasser, schichao wang, hao xu

structural analysis: eindhoven university of technology – prof. dr.-ing. patrick teuffel isd, faculty of the built environment arjan habraken isd, faculty of the built environment dirk bos isd, faculty of the built environment

consultants: university of stuttgart prof. dr.-ing. ulrike kuhlmann institut für konstruktion und entwurf janusch töpler institut für konstruktion und entwurf prof. dr.-ing. volker schwieger institut für ingenieurgeodäsie gabriel kerekes institut für ingenieurgeodäsie

tech support: andreas kulla, michael preisack, michael schneider, michaela tondera students scientific

assistants: hasan algan, kristína balušíková, farnaz fattahi, masih imani, julian karl, timo sippach, zerihun waje special

thanks to: florian jonas, nikolas früh, jian-min li, felix tineberg, ibrahem al-salameh, sofi dawout, hashim nazari, sofi yousef, laura mesaric, bich nhu ngo, sebastian guoth, mobin moussavi, ahmad razavi, emi shiraishi, nima zahiri, eliza biała, xiaoyu chen, adel omran, ruqing zhong

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