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Urbach Tower

The Urbach Tower is a unique wood structure. 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. This shape change is driven only by the wood’s characteristic shrinking during a decrease of moisture content. Components for the 14 m tall tower are designed and manufactured in a flat state and transform autonomously into the final, programmed curved shapes during industry-standard technical drying. This opens up new and unexpected architectural possibilities for high performance and elegant structures, using a sustainable, renewable, and locally sourced building material. The Urbach Tower constitutes the very first structure worldwide made from self-shaped, building-scale components.

What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
The structure, enclosure, architectural qualities and the physical form generational all emerge from the unique material properties of wood.

Credits

Architecture
ICD / ITKE – University of Stuttgart

Client
Gemeinde Urbach

Year of completion
2019

Location
Urbach, Germany

Total area
7 m2

Photos
ICD / ITKE – University of Stuttgart

Project Partners

Blumer Lehmann AG

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