Robotic precision in manufacturing parametric design

Designed by researchers of the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) and the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart, the BUGA Wood Pavilion celebrates a new approach to digital timber construction.

The BUGA Wood Pavilion at the horticultural exposition in Heilbronn is a nice example of the new architectural possibilities that engineered wood and new parametric design centered production technology can offer. Following biomimicry principles, the pavilion consists of 376 segmented timber shells, inspired by the plate skeleton of sea urchins. In assembled state, the shells create a form-active structure through its expressive double curved geometry.

To create the extremely lightweight self- supporting construction, a transportable robotic manufacturing platform was specially developed for the automated production of the hollow shell elements, which were modeled with parametric design software.

Each polygonal segment is built up from two plywood panels with a LVL connector in between and features unique finger joints (more than 17,000) on the sides to make them fit together like an enormous jigsaw puzzle Altogether, the structure spans 30 meters, creating a unique architectural space used as podium for one of BUGA’s main concert venues.

Photos: ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart