Leichtbau BW Installation

2014 ICD Research Buildings / Prototypes

Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (Prof. J. Knippers)
Institute of Aircraft Design (Prof. P. Middendorf)
Institute for Computational Design and Construction (Prof. A. Menges)

Design and Fabrication Process images by ICD/ITKE/IFB University Stuttgart

Photographs by ICD/ITKE University Stuttgart

Hannover Fair 2014 photographs by ICD/ITKE University Stuttgart

Leichtbau BW Installation, Hannover Fair 2014

Carbon fibre reinforced composite surface structure

The Leichtbau BW Installation has been designed by the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) and the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE). It forms a central exhibit at the BW-I and Leichtbau BW stand at this year’s Hannover Fair, the biggest industry fair worldwide. The spatial installation is constructed from carbon fiber reinforced composite surfaces and aims at demonstrating Baden Wuerttemberg’s competence in lightweight construction in research and industry.

The design of the installation is based on advanced computational design, simulation and fabrication of composite structures. It utilizes new technologies of tailored fiber placement adopted from the aerospace industry in combination with computational design strategies and structural simulation. The carbon fiber layout is generated through a structural topology optimization, machine constraints and lamination requirements. In the resultant translucent structure the black carbon fibers not only enable a lightweight system but also create a striking surface articulation that exposes the constructional logic to the fair visitors. The semi-transparent structure divides the exhibit into various communication zones with different characters including: an integrated information bar, a small semi-enclosed seating area and a larger marquee which extends into the air for visibility from a distance.

In collaboration with the Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB) a tailored fiber placement process was used. This method uses a computer controlled fiber placement head to sews carbon fiber rovings onto a glass fiber fabric. This allows precisely controlled fiber arrangements. The stitched carbon rovings structurally reinforce the thin, translucent GFK panels.

The Leichtbau BW Installation has been exhibited at the Hannover Fair from 7th - 11th of April 2014.



ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction
Prof. A. Menges, Moritz Dörstelmann

ITKE Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design
Prof. J. Knippers, Valentin Koslowski, Frédéric Waimer

IFB Institute of Aircraft Design
Prof. P. Middendorf, Stefan Carosella, Benjamin Wolfinger

Student Assistants
Matthias Helmreich, Stephen Maher, Tobias Grun, Roman Frank, Felix Bauer


Landesagentur für Leichtbau Baden-Württemberg


Aluform GmbH
3A Composites International AG
Sika AG
Lange+Ritter GmbH
S-form Kunststofftechnik
Modell- u. Formenbau Stock GmbH

Contact information


Institute for Computational Design and Construction

University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

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