Author and Photos by Talking Forests
University of Stuttgart created a self-shaping cross-laminated-timber tower in the German town called Urbach. Talking Forests was so excited to see this wooden wonder in person. “The design of the tower emerges from a new self-shaping process of the curved wood components. This pioneering development constitutes a paradigm shift in timber manufacturing from elaborate and energy-intensive mechanical forming processes that require heavy machinery to a process where the material shapes entirely by itself.”
“The Urbach Tower constitutes the very first structure worldwide made from self-shaped, building-scale components.” Can you imagine a structure that expands and contracts based on moisture content? The panels that make up this structure are made of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and use Spruce and Larch wood boards that are predicted in how they will form in shape. “The parts are overlapped and laminated together to lock the geometry in place, forming larger curved CLT components with form stable geometry.”
They even thought of how to protect this amazing wooden wonder from the UV rays of the sun and fungi that could attack it. Every part of the process was done in one place which means that it came together easily and sustainably. “The structure showcases the possibilities for efficient, economical, ecological and expressive wood architecture that arises at the intersection of master craft, digital innovation and scientific research.” Technology, science and innovation intersect right here!
I was so happy to document this wooden wonder tower as it only a few hours from my house in Germany it is a part of the Remstal Gartenschau 2019.