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Impressive robot-built pavilions were inspired by nature

The designs look right at home in a garden show

Translucent pavilion in garden Photo courtesy of ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

The wizards of futuristic building processes at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Computational Design have done it again. For the 2019 BUGA garden show in Heilbronn, Germany, the researchers created not one, but two, structures that push the boundaries of technology and form.

The BUGA fiber and BUGA wood pavilions sit in the middle of the garden show, which is an appropriate location for two structures inspired by the natural world. The wood pavilion is modeled after a sea urchin’s plate skeleton; the fibrous pavilion takes cues from nature’s load-bearing composite forms.

Wooden pavilion with glowing lights Photo courtesy of ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart
Chairs underneath wooden pavilion Photo courtesy of ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

Both pavilions arch into a domes. The wood pavilion stretches nearly 328 feet over the event’s concert venue, providing shelter and shade. Its shell is built from 376 hollow wood pieces that were robotically milled and assembled into a giant 3-D puzzle.

Fibers wrapped around scaffolding Photo courtesy of ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

Meanwhile, the fiber pavilion takes a totally different approach. The robotically produced structure is built from 492,000 feet of composite glass and carbon fibers that wind around pieces of scaffolding to create a solid, strong frame. A transparent ETFE membrane envelopes the pavilion’s skeleton, giving it the appearance of a techno-utopian spider web.

The pavilion will be on display throughout the horticulture show, which runs through October 6.