Architectural Integration of Self-shaping Mechanisms

2021-2023 | Research Projects
Bridge-Project EXC livMatS / EXC IntCDC

Institute for Computational Design and Construction (Prof. Achim Menges)
Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg (Prof. Thomas Speck)

Energy Gate

Architectural integration of self-shaping mechanisms

for the livMatS Biomimetic Shell @ FIT

The objective of this project is the architectural implementation of fundamental research on bio-inspired self-shaping 4D-printed structures in a weather-responsive building envelope. The Energy Gate facade system is designed to regulate the indoor climate of the livMatS Biomimetic Shell by shielding its interior from high heat loads during the summer while allowing heat to penetrate the building during the winter.

Through a combination of hygromorphic 4D-printed shading elements and an intelligent control system, the Energy Gate passively adapts to daily and seasonal weather cycles while at the same time still allowing this passive functionality to be overridden by the building occupants. The project consists of parallel developments in the testing and tuning of the hygroscopic bio-based plastic filaments, the design and 4D-printing of motion mechanism in the context of environmental and site conditions, as well as the control of the Energy Gate facade along with the monitoring of its performance.



ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart

Prof. A. Menges, Tiffany Cheng, Yasaman Tahouni, Ekin Sila Sahin, Dylan Wood
Scientific Assistants: August Lehrecke, Fabian Eidner, Oliver Moldow, Selin Sevim, Aaron Wagner, Esra Yaman

Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg, University of Freiburg

Prof. Dr. T. Speck, Kim Ulrich



Cluster of Excellence IntCDC at the University of Stuttgart

Cluster of Excellence livMatS @ FIT at the University of Freiburg

Contact information

This image shows Tiffany Cheng

Tiffany Cheng

M.Des (Technology), B.Arch

Research Group Leader | Material Programming

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