Institute For Computational Design And Construction, University Of Stuttgart: Prof. Achim Menges, Dylan Wood Architectural Design Self-forming Curved Wooden Components Research and Development
Institute Of Building Structures And Structural Design, University Of Stuttgart: Prof. Jan Knippers, Lotte Aldinger, Simon Bechert Structural Design and Engineering
Laboratory Of Cellulose And Wood Materials, Empa & Wood Materials Science, Eth Zurich : Dr. Markus Rüggeberg, Philippe Grönquist, Prof. I. Burgert - Self-forming Curved Wood Components Research and Development (PI)
Blumer Lehmann Ag, Gossau, Switzerland: Katharina Lehmann, David Riggenbach- Self-forming Curved Wood Components Research and Development Wood Manufacturing and Construction
Text description provided by the architects. The Urbach Tower is a unique wood structure. The design of the tower emerges from a new self-shaping process of the curved wood components. This pioneering development constitutes a paradigm shift in timber manufacturing from elaborate and energy-intensive mechanical forming processes that require heavy machinery to a process where the material shapes entirely by itself.
This shape change is only driven by the wood’s characteristic shrinking during a decrease of moisture content. Components for the 14 m tall tower are designed and manufactured in a flat state and transform autonomously into the final predicted curved shapes during the industry-standard technical drying. This opens up new and unexpected architectural possibilities for wood structures, using a sustainable, renewable, and locally sourced building material.