The University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) and Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) worked together to design and fabricate a park pavilion made from advanced fiber composites in the German city of Heilbronn.

In biology, most load-bearing structures are composites made from fibers such as cellulose or collagen, and a matrix material that supports them. Their organization, directionality, and density are fine-tuned and varied in order to ensure that material is only placed where it is needed.

The BUGA Fiber Pavilion applied this biological principle of load-adapted and highly differentiated fiber composite systems into architecture. The glass or carbon fiber reinforced plastics that were used for this building are suited for this approach because they share their fundamental characteristics with natural composites. The ICD and ITKE worked on this interdisciplinary exploration of biological principles together with the latest computational technologies. Only a few years ago, this pavilion would have been impossible to design or build.

The pavilion is made from more than 150.000 meters of spatially arranged glass and carbon fibers. A new approach to additive manufacturing, developed by The University of Stuttgart, was implemented, producing the building components by robotic, coreless filament winding. Fibrous filaments are freely placed between two rotating winding scaffolds by a robot, and the predefined shape of the building component emerges only from the interaction of the filaments, eliminating the need for any mold or core. A lattice of translucent glass fibers is generated, and black carbon fibers are placed where structurally needed, resulting in highly load-adapted components with a distinct appearance.

The research on fiber composite building systems and structures will continue at the new Cluster of Excellence “Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture” at the University of Stuttgart.