Robots sew plywood pavilion to ‘expand wood architecture’

Work has begun on a pavilion made of laminated plywood panels sewn together by robots at the University of Stuttgart.

Marking the first time wood has been stitched together on this scale, the project is designed to explore the potential of robotic sewing to join many timber elements.

Researchers believe it "expands the tectonic possibilities of wood architecture."

The design of the pavilion, inspired by the anatomy of sea urchins, is an initiative of the university’s Institute for Computational Design and Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design.

The entire structure will weigh just 780kg, be over 9 metres tall and lead onto a public square.

Inside the pavilion will be a partially covered tiered seating area.

The structure consists of 151 light, double-curved beech plywood segments which are sewn by industrial robots running on custom software.

The team behind the project said: "The pavilion shows how the computational synthesis of biological principles and the complex reciprocities between material, form and robotic fabrication can lead to innovative timber construction methods."

Images via the University of Stuttgart

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