AUTHOR: James Solly
The Elytra Filament Pavilion is the central installation of the Engineering Season at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which highlights the creative potential of integrated design engineering through a series of exhibitions and events.
The project showcases how technology can serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary working methods and how novelty in design and construction can emerge through the integration of structural engineering, production engineering and climate engineering. Building upon years of research conducted at the Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart, the canopy utilizes the potential of fibrous building systems to generate heterogeneous spatial conditions and environmental microclimates through its highly differentiated and locally adapted fiber reinforced polymer structure.
ELYTRA FILAMENT PAVILION ©NAARO
Innochain ESR James Solly (ESR 08, Virtual Prototyping FRP) was part of the Engineering Design team from the ITKE, his work on the project forming part of his wider research into FRP structures formed through Coreless Filament Winding (CFW) and their integrated simulation and fabrication strategies.
The canopy structure was initially formed from an initial 40 hexagonal cell modules and over the course of the exhibition, live winding events have resulted in an additional 3 components being added, resulting in a total of 43 cells. Each cell has a diameter of 2.4m.
ELYTRA FILAMENT PAVILION COMPONENT UNDERSIDES ©NAARO
By varying the sequence in which the glass and carbon fibre rovings are wound, the geometry of each cell is controllable, with the primary variation being in the diameter of the central aperture. This changes the quantity of material placed and the overall geometric stiffness of the cell. Apart from varying the geometry, the additive nature of CFW allows for different types and amounts of fibre to be placed as required, with carbon fibres placed particularly in regions where high stiffness and strength are required.
ELYTRA FILAMENT PAVILION COMPONENT TYPES ©ICD/ITKE
The role of ESR 08 within the project was particularly focused on this definition of cell geometry and material distribution to ensure that each component was suited to its location within the global structure.
COMPONENT OPTIMISATION ©ICD/ITKE
COMPONENT TESTING ©ICD/ITKE
WIND LOADING BEHAVIOUR (SCALED UP) ©ICD/ITKE
Part of the work performed by the ESR was in the integration of the fibrous column elements with the steel supporting columns and their foundations, which included surveying the V&A garden and later setting out the pavilion within this space.
SETTING OUT ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
In order to install such a large semi-permanent structure within a public space required the involvement of multiple stakeholders. A key piece of work by ESR 08 was to produce engineering documentation to justify the safety of the Elytra Filament Pavilion. This was subject to external review by a checking engineer and the pavilion subsequently approved for installation.
ELYTRA FILAMENT PAVILION INSTALLATION ©NAARO
ELYTRA FILAMENT PAVILION ©NAARO
ELYTRA FILAMENT PAVILION POSTER, EUSTON UNDERGROUND STATION, LONDON
Design, Engineering and Fabrication Team:
Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann
ICD – Institute for Computational Design, University of Stuttgart
Achim Menges Architect, Frankfurt
Team also includes: Marshall Prado (fabrication development), Aikaterini Papadimitriou, Niccolo Dambrosio, Roberto Naboni, with support by Dylan Wood, Daniel Reist
ITKE – Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design, University of Stuttgart
Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, Stuttgart, New York
Team also includes: Valentin Koslowski & James Solly (structure development), Thiemo Fildhuth (structural sensors)
Transsolar Climate Engineering, Stuttgart
Building Technology and Climate Responsive Design, TU München
Team also includes: Elmira Reisi, Boris Plotnikov
With the support of:
Michael Preisack, Christian Arias, Pedro Giachini, Andre Kauffman, Thu Nguyen, Nikolaos Xenos, Giulio Brugnaro, Alberto Lago, Yuliya Baranovskaya, Belen Torres, IFB University of Stuttgart (Prof. P. Middendorf)
Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2016
Links and Further Information
Further images and information regarding the project may be found at the following links:
Other Web Publications:
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
University of Stuttgart
Kuka Roboter GmbH + Kuka Robotics UK Ltd
SGL Carbon SE
FBGS International NV
PFEIFER Seil- und Hebetechnik GmbH
Stahlbau Wendeler GmbH + Co. KG