The structure of the Pavilion consists entirely of robotically fabricated glass and carbon fiber elements.
The structure of the Pavilion consists entirely of robotically fabricated glass and carbon fiber elements.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London has unveiled an architectural installation based on a robotically-fabricated fiber composite structure. Developed by a team from the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE), the Elytra Filament Pavilion will ‘grow’ during the course of the V&A Engineering Season, which runs until 6 November 2016, using robots.

The project shows how the principles of biological fiber structures can be applied to architecture through computational design and fabrication methods. Inspired by the forewing shells (Elytra) of flying beetles, the structure of the Pavilion consists entirely of robotically fabricated glass and carbon fiber elements. These create both an extremely lightweight, high-performance structure and fascinating architecture, its creators say.

The installation features SIGRAFIL 50k carbon fibers from SGL Group, which also assisted the project team with material expertise and advice.

Innovative application

‘We are delighted to contribute our materials and expertise to support Stuttgart University’s very striking exhibition project for V&A’s special ‘Engineering Season’,’ said Andreas Wüllner, head of SGL Group’s composites, fibers and materials business unit. ‘The installation impressively demonstrates the wide-ranging potential for innovative application of composite materials. It also shows the high degree of automation that is now possible in the industrial production of components from composites.’

 ‘The project represents a further step in the development of robotically fabricated fiber composite structures for construction,’ said Moritz Doerstelmann, project manager of the architectural installation.

 For further information and videos on the Elytra Filament Pavilion, go here.

This story is reprinted from material from SGLwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.