ICD-ITKE Research Pavillion 2013-14

The Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) of the University of Stuttgart have constructed another bionic research pavilion. The project is part of a successful series of research pavilions which showcase the potential of novel design, simulation and fabrication processes in architecture. The project was planned and constructed within one and a half years by students and researchers within a multi-disciplinary team of biologists, paleontologists, architects and engineers.

© ICD-ITKE

Biomimetic Investigation

A protective shell for beetles’ wings and abdomen, has proved to be a suitable role model for highly material efficient construction. The performance of these lightweight structures relies on the geometric morphology which is based on a double layered structure which is connected by column-like doubly curved support elements.

Beetle shell analysis as inspiration for design principles © ICD-ITKE

Material and Structural Logic

Based on the differentiated trabeculae morphology and the individual fiber arrangements, a double layered modular system was generated for implementation in an architectural prototype. Two types of fiber polymer (glass and carbon) were chosen based on performance and ability to provide differentiated material properties depending on placement. 

© ICD-ITKE
© ICD-ITKE

Coreless fiber winding framework

Two custom-made steel end effectors each attach to a 6-axis Kuka robotic arm. While the effectors define the component boundary, the geometry is controlled by a computed winding syntax between the two robots.

Adjustable arms allow custom forms for differentiated components © ICD-ITKE
Reciprocal robotic arms with attached frame and formal base © ICD-ITKE

Robotic Winding Process

The effectors are adjustable to various component geometries, leading to only one reconfigurable tool setup for all 36 elements. Coreless filament winding does not only save substantial resources through the needlessness of individual molds, but in itself is a very material efficient fabrication process since there is no waste or cut-off pieces.

© ICD-ITKE
© ICD-ITKE

Final Assembly

© ICD-ITKE
Lightweight components make on-site assembly more manageable © ICD-ITKE
© ICD-ITKE
© ICD-ITKE

Full Research Website

Inst. for Computational Design (Prof. Menges)

Inst. of Building Structures & Structural Design (Prof. Knippers)