Researchers at the Institute of Structural Design in Stuttgart, Germany, are developing a flexible composite fiber to build the Elytra pavilion, a carbon fiber roof.
Structures and Concepts
For thousands of years, human beings have used fabric to create shelters of all kinds: it is a trend that can forcefully return when a series of research completes the development of “textile” architectural elements that will literally change the face of our buildings.
Over the past 15 years, especially studies and applications have seen enormous growth in research teams in Europe and the United States, with the experimentation of entire textile facades for buildings and new light and resistant fibers.
Germany is the driving force
The reference point for research is the ITKE, or Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design in Stuttgart, where Professor Jan Knippers develops with his students methods for the creation of “architectural fabrics”.
Knippers is currently working on the development of a domed structure, the Elytra Pavilion, which will make its debut at this year's Garden Show. The pavilion is made of thin fibers held together by steel wires: it is a magnificent proof of interlocking and efficient weight distribution.
At the end of the assembly and positioning, a second polymeric shell is placed on the first to better protect the whole: the final goal is to create more living spaces using fewer materials: a philosophy that will change the way we design, build, use and recycle. .