Richtfest Ceremony of Wangen Tower and Hybrid Flax Pavilion

March 28, 2024

In glorious spring weather, the Richtfest Ceremony for the two research buildings of the University of Stuttgart's Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) was celebrated together with the partners involved in the project on the grounds of the State Garden Show 2024.
[Picture: Christoph Morlok]

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. These components 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. Afterwards, Sterk transported the components to the construction site where the hybrid supporting structure of the roof was erected.

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

Richtfest Ceremony at the Wangen Tower. The Richtfest is a traditional German ceremony performed by builders when the last element is placed atop the structure during its construction.

With blue sky, the guests were amazed at the wooden construction of the Wangen Tower, which was built from only 13 centimetre-thin, curved CLT panels. 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 front of the breathtakingly beautiful view of the 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.

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.
Review: On Tuesday 30 January 2024 officially marked the start of construction for these two outstanding projects

Richtfest speech

Monika Göbel, Architect
Research Associate – IntCDC Senior Researcher

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