ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion

Located on Stuttgart University’s city centre campus, the Research Pavilion aimed to provide both a semi-interior extension of the University’s central public square and a demonstration of the latest developments in material-oriented computational design, simulation, and production processes in architecture. The result is a novel bending-active structure made entirely of extremely thin, elastically bent plywood lamellas that unfold a unique architectural space that at the same time is extremely efficient with the employed material resources. The pavilion demonstrates an alternative approach to architectural computational design: here, the computational generation of form and structure is directly driven by physical behaviour and material characteristics. The computational design process is based on physical experiments on the elastic bending behaviour of 6.5-mm-thin birch plywood strips, resulting in a structure that is 10 metres in diameter, with 500 geometrically unique parts, and a total construction weight of only 400 kg.