The 8 Winners of the Textile Structures for New Building competition at Techtextil

Whether textile reinforced concrete, fabric for lightweight structures or functional textiles, there are many fibre-based materials for the ‘Buildtech’ sector. At Techtextil (9-12 May 2017), the international trade fair for technical textiles and non-wovens, awards were handed out for 8 projects in the Textile Structures for New Building competition. This competition honours the ideas of students and young professionals on building with textiles and textile-reinforced materials.

The jury chose the winning projects for their inspiration and new architectural perspectives.

In the category macro-architecture, first prize went to Katrin Fleischer from the Technical University of Munich for her Deployable Roof. This mobile canopy consists of a folding support grid in the form of a barrel vault. An integrated membrane covering is held under tension by bending active slats.

Second prize went to Margarita Fernández Colombás, Miguel Ángel Maure Blesa, Raquel Ocón Ruiz, and Hugo Cifre of the European University of Madrid for their ‘Espacio de la Nube’. The project is based on pneumatic-tent technology, creating an inflated structure.

Third prize was won by Ahmad Nouraldeen of the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences for his design of a tent dwelling for refugee camps. In terms of form and function, the tent is reminiscent of the wigwams of American Indians. However, it also integrates renewable energy and improved the quality of life of the inhabitants through the inclusion of thermal insulation and ventilation.

First prize in micro-architecture category went to Luani Costa of the University of Minho in Portugal for a smart façade element. The adaptive system consists of triangular membrane elements that the user can open or close individually or all together in response to the conditions prevailing, i.e., wind, rain or sunshine.

Julia Mayer of the Technical University of Vienna received second prize for her Tryplo, a reinterpretation of a modular system using textile components. The modular components are based on the tetrahedron and can be combined to make three-dimensional structures. In addition to applications as toys, the system is also suitable for use in furniture or textile structures.

Material innovation
In the material innovation category, Stone Web by Natascha Unger and Idalene Rapp of the Berlin-Weissensee Academy of Arts was awarded first prize. This modular building block system illustrates lightweight design and is a pioneering contribution to the use of fibre-based structures in the world of building.

Second prize went to Malu Lücking, Rebecca Schedler, and Jack Randol, also from the Berlin-Weißensee Academy of Arts, for Shifting Stone, a prefabricated basalt tissue system that can be integrated into a façade as a self-closing wall structure, rather like a blind. The material employs the relationship between a fibre from one of the hardest stones and the transformation into a flexible, self-active system.

Composites and hybrid structures
The final category was Composites and hybrid structures. Anne-Kathrin Kühner, also from the Berlin-Weißensee Academy of Arts, took first place with her idea for a concrete textile. To make the concrete textile, a textile tube is filled with high-performance concrete. The resulting filament is flexible and can be shaped immediately after the tube has been filled with concrete to create woven, knitted or knotted textiles. For more about this project, click here.

Photos (in order of project): Messe Frankfurt