Richtfest Ceremony - Wangen Tower and Hybrid Flax Pavilion

March 25, 2024 /
Institute for Computational Design and Construction (Prof. A. Menges)
Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (Prof. J. Knippers)

Landesgartenschau Wangen im Allgäu, Germany
[Picture: Christoph Morlok ]

Richtfest Ceremony heralds final construction phase of the Wangen Tower and Hybrid Flax Pavilion

In glorious spring weather, the Richtfest Ceremony for the two research buildings of the University of Stuttgart's Cluster of Excellence IntCDC was celebrated together with the partners involved in the project on the grounds of the State Garden Show 2024. The Richtfest (topping out) is a traditional German ceremony performed by builders after the last element of the supporting structure is placed during its construction. Mayor Michael Lang hosted the event and thanked all project partners and participants.

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 roof 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.

Richtfest speech by Sterk

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.

With bright blue sky, the guests were amazed at the wooden construction of the Wangen Tower, made from just 13 centimetre thin, curved CLT panels. Thanks to a structurally favourable design based on the biomimetic principle of the natural shrinkage of wood, the curved components require very little material. The six prefabricated tower segments arrived on site at precisely timed intervals directly from the pre-assembly department. There, carpenters from the Gossau-based timber construction company Blumer Lehmann assembled the tower on site.

Richtfest speech by Blumer Lehmann

In front of the breathtakingly beautiful view of the nearby Alps, two carpenters from Blumer Lehmann were able to deliver the Richtfest 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 (ICD) and Professor Jan Knippers, Head of the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) 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.

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