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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2023

Co-Design of Fibrous Walls for Multi-Story Buildings

From the book Advances in Architectural Geometry 2023

  • Christoph Schlopschnat , Marta Gil Pérez , Christoph Zechmeister , Rebeca Duque Estrada , Fabian Kannenberg , Katja Rinderspacher , Jan Knippers and Achim Menges


Coreless filament winding (CFW) is an advancement of industrial filament winding for architectural applications. In this process, the formwork is reduced to an absolute minimum, allowing the fibers to span freely in space between anchor points. Using carbon and glass fibers with a resin matrix, it exhibits high potential for lightweight, material efficient building elements. While previous research demonstrated its applicability in shell, roof and long-span structures, the potential in using this method for multi-story wall and slab systems has not been thoroughly investigated. This paper elaborates on methods to develop structural wall components built entirely of carbon and glass fiber composite, which are specifically tailored to meet the requirements of multi-story construction in architecture. A computational design method based on tangent-based approximation was developed to generate bespoke fiber patterns and openings, allowing the wall components to act as load-bearing elements. This facilitates the generation of a multitude of pattern variations which can be adapted to axisymmetric and asymmetric boundary conditions. Structural performance of the building elements is evaluated throughout the design process by means of finite element analysis establishing a feedback loop between design, robotic fabrication and structural evaluation and informing the optimisation of the wall geometry and fiber layup. The developed methods were successfully applied in the design and fabrication of a multistory fiber installation exhibited at the 17th Architectural Biennale in Venice. It demonstrates the potential of coreless wound load-adapted fibrous walls as architectural building components leveraging integrative computational design, structural engineering and robotic prefabrication.

© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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