Richtfest ceremony heralds final construction phase of the Wangen Tower and hybrid flax pavilion

March 25, 2024 / Institute for Computational Design and Construction (Prof. A. Menges) Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (Prof. J. Knippers)

State Garden Show 2024 Wangen im Allgäu

State Garden Show 2024 Wangen im Allgäu

In glorious spring weather, the Richtfest ceremony for the two research buildings of the University of Stuttgart's Cluster of Excellence IntCDC was celebrated together with the partners involved in the project on the grounds of the State Garden Show 2024.

Richtfest ceremony at the Wangen Tower with mayor Michael Lang

The construction of the innovative Hybrid Flax Pavilion was designed by researchers from the IntCDC Cluster of Excellence at the University of Stuttgart based on the latest findings in digitalisation and lightweight construction research and implemented in cooperation with local companies. For the supporting structure, the timber construction company and joinery centre Sterk produced thin, highly efficient timber components from regionally sourced wood, which were pre-assembled with the flax fibre components digitally wound by the company HA-CO in Wallerstein to form a resource-saving and load-efficient hybrid structure. The components were then brought to the construction site by Sterk for assembly depending on the weather and the hybrid supporting structure of the roof was erected in several construction phases in just 8 days.

In addition to the pavilion itself, the carpenters and craftsmen took centre stage at the topping-out ceremony. On the expressive, undulating roof of the pavilion, they recited their topping-out speech next to the topping-out tree and toasted the success of the project.

Richtfest ceremony speech by Sterk company, Bodnegg

With bright blue sky, the guests were amazed at the wooden construction of the Wangen Tower, which was built from only 12 centimetre-thin, curved glulam panels, for the first time. Thanks to the skillful design, which is based on the biomimetic principle of the natural shrinkage of wood, the curved components use very little material. The six prefabricated tower segments arrived at the construction site directly from the pre-assembly department at precisely timed intervals. There, the carpenters from the timber construction company Blumer Lehmann from Gossau erected the tower on site in just 3 days.

In front of the breathtakingly beautiful view of the nearby Alps, two carpenters from Blumer Lehmann were able to deliver the topping-out speech to the numerous partners and guests present at their feet from a lifting platform about halfway up the 22 metre high tower.

Richtfest ceremony tree from company Blumer Lehmann, Gossau CH

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 and Professor Jan Knippers, Head of the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design at the University of Stuttgart. In the spirit of two-way knowledge transfer between cutting-edge research and construction companies, the buildings will be realised in cooperation with companies based in the region. 

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