Grand Opening of the Wangen Tower and Hybrid Flax Pavilion

April 26, 2024 /
Landesgartenschau Wangen im Allgäu, Germany

A. Menges (ICD), J. Knippers (ITKE)
[Picture: ICD/ITKE/IntCDC University Stuttgart]

Inauguration of two outstanding new buildings

After just 10 months of planning, the Wangen Tower and Hybrid Flax Pavilion were opened to the public as part of the opening ceremony with prominent figures from culture and politics. The two innovative buildings were planned according to the latest findings in digitalisation and lightweight construction research and show visitors in different ways how bio-based materials can open up new paths for regenerative architecture.

The tower and pavilion were designed by researchers from the IntCDC Cluster of Excellence at the University of Stuttgart and realised in cooperation with local companies.

The Hybrid Flax Pavilion is a central exhibition building on the Landesgartenschau grounds, surrounded by the renaturalised River Argen. The pavilion is the first to showcase a wood-natural fibre hybrid system as an alternative to conventional building methods. The pavilion, combines slender cross-laminated timber with robotically wound flax fibre bodies in a novel, resource-saving load-bearing system made of regional, bio-based building materials with a distinct local connection. Flax was historically processed in the local textile industry, whose old spinning mill site was renovated as part of the Landesgartenschau. The undulating roof, together with the circular floor plan and the centrally located climate garden, offers a space that merges seamlessly into the landscape.

 Opening Landesgartenschau Wangen: Hybrid Flax Pavilion Team
Hybrid Flax Pavilion Team

With an impressive height of around 22 metres, the Wangen Tower offers breathtaking views over the Allgäu and the Alps. It is the world's first accessible tower to use curved cross-laminated timber components that self-shape as the wood shrinks. The tower's load bearing, spiraling timber structure offers a unique spatial experience and, with a material thickness of just 130 mm, represents a resource-saving and at the same time high-performance timber structure.

 Opening Landesgartenschau Wangen: Wangen Tower Team
Wangen Tower Team

Fostering knowledge exchange between research and construction companies, both buildings were realised in collaboration with regional companies. The bespoke, resource-saving, fully dismantlable and reusable structure was enabled by integrative computer-based planning methods and digital production processes.

Both buildings are the result of many years of research by the Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC), led by Professor Achim Menges, Head of the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD), and Professor Jan Knippers, Head of the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart.

Opening Landesgartenschau Wangen: Wangen Tower and Hybrid Flax Pavilion
Wangen Tower and Hybrid Flax Pavilion Landesgartenschau Wangen i.A. 2024
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