Achim Menges

ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion, 2011

The Research Pavilions developed by Menges bear witness to the importance the architect attaches to material systems in total interaction between form, structure, material and space. Built in 2010 and 2011 thanks to a close collaboration with the Institute for Computational Design and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (J. Knippers), the Research Pavilions illustrate the “ecological” evolution of computational design: the ambient environment and the material’s own possibilities (plywood boards) here function as the defining parameters in the design of the form. The complex interactions between the form and its materialisation are determined within a computational process imagined like a biological system. Drawing his inspiration from the observation of sand dollars (of the order Clypeasteroida) or sea urchins, Menges pursues a biomimetic design strategy to define the ontogenesis of his pavilions. But beyond the mere imitation of nature, the architect reproduces its structural principles in order to develop architecture that is always more performative.

Lucy Hofbauer

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