Special Projects

Forest Pavilion

Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

Der Pavillon bei Nacht 1 | Der Pavillon bei Nacht
The highly efficient, sea urchin-like structure made of wood was made possible by integrating computer-aided design and manufacturing processes.
Design: The pavilion served as an exhibition space at the Landesgartenschau 2014 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, which has around 1.5 million visitors. Since then, it has been used as a "green classroom". The pavilion is modelled on the shape of a sea urchin, which, with its specific arrangement of panels, forms a particularly stable and efficient structure.

Wood: The Pavilion is the first building whose beech panel structure has been completely robotically engineered, with support from the European Union and the State of Baden-Württemberg. The new method of construction with wooden panels allows for innovative architecture and at the same time an efficient, economical frame with a material thickness of only 50 mm. Only 12 m³ of wood was needed, and almost all of it was used up, as the leftovers were processed to produce beech parquet.

Technique: Robotic manufacturing has enabled the production of 243 different panels; including cutting the insulation, the water-bearing layer and the top layer. The biggest challenge was the production of 7 600 geometrically different toothed joints.
Innenraum 2 | Innenraum
Herstellung der Platten (5-Achs CNC) 3 | Herstellung der Platten (5-Achs CNC)
Verbinden der Platten 4 | Verbinden der Platten
Errichtung des Pavillon mit Lehrgerüst 5 | Errichtung des Pavillon mit Lehrgerüst
Basic information
Year of Completion |  2014
Investor |  Landesgartenschau Schwäbisch Gmünd 2014 GmbH (DE)
Architecture |  Prof. Achim Menges, Universität Stuttgart (DE)
Structural Engineering |  Prof. Jan Knippers, Universität Stuttgart (DE)
Construction Time |  2 months
Number of floors |  1
Plot size |  723 m²
Gross floor area |  139 m²
Construction Costs (netto) |  1 900 EUR/m²
Awards |  German Design Award Special 2016; Wilhelm-Klauditz-Preis 2015; Holzbaupreis 2015 Baden-Württemberg; Beispielhaftes Bauen Ostalbkreis 2009-2014; RobArch Pioneering Research Award 2014

Technical aspects
Concept |  Wood segmental sheathing: beech veneer (50mm); thermal insulation: wood fibre panels of fir and spruce; roof panels: three-layer larch panels
Woodworking |  müllerblaustein Holzbau GmbH, Blaustein (DE)
Origin of Timber, Certification |  PEFC/FSC-certified wood; Roof panels: Alpine region (DE); Load-bearing layer: Europe
Traceability of Timber |  Participating companies are listed
Forestry Value Chain |  Implementation by local companies (100 km surrounding area)
Energy Systems |  Seasonal use, i.e. no active heating and cooling
U-Value Wall | Roof | Floor | Windows (W/(m²K)) |  0.8 (thermal insulation)

Circular Economy 100% Wood