A timber vertical garden made with artificial intelligence

Researchers at the Gramazio Kohler Research, part of ETH Zürich, developed a vertical garden made of timber pods and designed with artificial intelligence.

Called Semiramis, the architectural installation is constructed at the entrance of Tech Cluster Zug, Switzerland, as a show of collaboration between machines and humans. The structure is 22.5m in height without vegetation and consists of five amorphous wooden pods, sustained by 8 thin steel pillars.

The design came about thanks to a bespoke machine learning design created in collaboration with the Swiss Data Science Center. It takes into account parameters such as sunshade, rain occlusion and plantable surface. In addition, a collaboration with the Computational Robotics Lab, a custom tool was developed to optimise the pod’s shape by controlling their complex geometry, while considering relevant material and fabrication parameters.

The used timber, cross laminated timber plates (CLT), was robotically assembled with a novel assembly procedure. The process allows butt joint bonding of wood, which makes the production of large areas of complex folded wooden structures possible.

Photos: Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich