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Extreme Light-Weight ConstructioN

The motivation for this research study was to develop an extreme light-weight bending-active construction system, oriented towards as thin as possible plywood boards (2-3 mm) using numerical form-finding methods and CNC milling.

Wood material has typically low stiffness. Its high elasticity, mostly a disadvantage in terms of load-bearing, is used here to realize a highly efficient material specific structure. The „social structural system behaviour “ developed through the flexible interlocking joints, plays a crucial role in its load-bearing capacity. The form-adaptive joints further facilitate an easy assembly without glue or screws. The characteristic wave-shaped structure creates a high load transmission construction that allows the reduction of material to extremely thin veneer birch plywood.

The integration of design computation, simulation and digital fabrication leads thus to a novel and expressive structure that builds new connections between architectural design and engineering.

1st Prize Global Art and Engineering Award AAVID

Status: Completed
Type: Research study
Topic: Lightweight Construction
Support: Technical University Munich, Chair for Architectural Informatics
Exhibition: USA, Italy, China
Size: 55 sqm
Material: Plywood board 2-3 mm

Interior perspective

Interior perspective

Birds view

Birds view

 
 

3D generation steps

 

Bending-active structure system steps

Load-bearing test with paper scale model 1 to 10 (ratio weight to load 1:50)

Load-bearing test with paper scale model 1 to 10 (ratio weight to load 1:50)

Load-bearing capacity

Applying the construction system onto shell geometries results in an outstanding ratio of weight to load-bearing of 1/50. Physical performance tests of only paper models with the wave-shaped construction systems transfer the forces so well that the model with an own weight of only 120g can bear 6000g.