Urbach Tower

Urbach / Germany / 2019

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A unique tower made from self-shaping wood, Remstal Gartenschau 2019, Urbach, Germany


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.


The Urbach Tower is the first wood structure made from self-shaped components. It serves as a landmark building for the City of Urbach’s contribution to the Remstal Gartenschau 2019.


 


Project Team: 


ICD – Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart
Prof. Achim Menges, Dylan Wood
Architectural Design
Self-forming Curved Wooden Components Research and Development 


ITKE – Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design, University of Stuttgart
Prof. Jan Knippers, Lotte Aldinger, Simon Bechert
Structural Design and Engineering 


Scientific collaboration: 


Laboratory of Cellulose and Wood Materials, Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), Switzerland & Wood Materials Science, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich)


Dr. Markus Rüggeberg, Philippe Grönquist, Prof. Ingo Burgert


Self-forming Curved Wooden Components Research and Development (PI)


Industry collaboration:


Blumer-Lehmann AG, Gossau, Switzerland   


Katharina Lehmann, David Riggenbach


Self-forming Curved Wooden Components Research and Development,


Wood Manufacturing and Construction


 


Project Support


Gemeinde Urbach


Remstal Gartenschau 2019 GmbH


German Federal Environmental Foundation


Design, Fabrication and Engineering Methods for the application of curved wood elements in high-performance, resource-efficient wood construction: Project Tower Urbach, Remstal Gartenschau 2019 


Innosuisse – Swiss Innovation Agency
Smart, Innovative Manufacturing of Curved Wooden Components for Architecture with Complex Geometry 


Carlisle Construction Materials GmbH


Scanntronik Mugrauer GmbH

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    A unique tower made from self-shaping wood, Remstal Gartenschau 2019, Urbach, Germany 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...

    Project details
    • Year 2019
    • Work finished in 2019
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Urban Furniture / Leisure Centres
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