The Asymptotic Geodesic Timber Vault has been assembled at the Design Factory 1:1

Forschung, International |

In the fall 2022, the University of Hong Kong collaborated with the Technical University of Munich to design and construct a complex spatial timber structure simply by weaving together regular flat planks of ash wood.

Image: Michael Ethan

This research project combines new methods from applied geometry, computational engineering, and structural design. By designing webs of asymptotic and geodesic curves simple planks of ash wood are woven together in their tall and flat orientation into a lightweight timber structure. This approach offers high structural rigidity, with efficient use of renewable materials. The structure can be assembled flat by low-skilled workers and offers a kinetic deformation into the doubly curved design shape, to create a spatial strained gridshell. 

The Vault is assembled from three identical gridshells, which were prefabricated by a group of 20 students in the Design Factory 1:1. Finally, the Tri-hex timber grid is covered with developable polycarbonate panels to ensure constructive wood protection and create a weatherproof shelter for cultural events in the Kreative quarters of Munich.

The project is funded by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and was constructed in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich, Professorship of Structural Design.

Text written by Eike Schling. More images and impressions of the Asymptotic Geodesic Timber Vault can be found here. The opening of the pavillion will take place on Tuesday, 29th of November (starting at 5 PM). Further information about the opening can be found here.


Funded by
RGC Hong Kong
General Reserach Fund, Early Career Scheme (RGC Ref No. 27604721)
Title: Asymptotic Building Envelope 
Principal Investigator: Eike Schling

Academic Partners
Technical University of Munich | TUM
Chair of Structural Design, Prof. Pierluigi D’Acunto
Jonas Schikore, Julian Trummer, Sebastian Hoyer

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | KAUST
Applied Mathematics and Computational Science
Prof. Helmut Pottmann, Dr. Hui Wang

Industry Partners
Holzbau Amann
Holzbau-Amann GmbH, Albtalstrasse 1D, 79809 Weilheim-Bannholz
Bernhard Tritschler

Metallbau Brandl
Erhard Brandl GmbH & Co. KG, Eichstätter Str. 16, 85117 Eitensheim
Thomas Brandl, Franz Meyer

Engineering Support
Jonas Schikore, Chair of Structural Design, TUM
Joram Tutsch, Kayser+Böttges Barthel+Maus Ingenieure und Architekten GmbH
Máté Péntek, Wind Consultant, Chair of Statics, TUM
Jörg Rehm, Approval Planing and Fire Safety, Chair of Design and Construction, TUM

Workshop Manager
Nora Singer

Documentation Team
Yilinke Tan (Photo), Michael Ethan (Video), Alyssa Williams

Student Team
Josef Eglseder, Anne Ambrosy, Clemens Lindner
Laura Lehle, Martina Gruzlewski, Gabriele Felici, Desiré Agostini, Davide Binci

Aida Domingo Losa, Andrea Albalate Pérez, Anna Gaudin, Axel Rasmussen, Belén Ruiz, Camilla Evangelisti, Davide Piccolo, Elisa Cordaro, Esteban Álvarez Balogh, Federico Ferrero, Lavinia Krick, María García, Maria Pancewicz, Mathilde Larose, Philip Schneider, Rémi Koumakpayi, Valentina Ficca