Book chapter

Le costruzioni in legno dell’IBOIS : forme curvate, intessute, intrecciate: una conversazione con Yves Weinand

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  • Form-finding, form-shaping, designing architecture : experimental, aesthetical, and ethical approaches to form in recent and postwar architecture = approcci sperimentali, estetici ed etici alla forma in architettura, dal dopoguerra ad oggi / Hildebrand, Sonja ; Bergmann, Elisabeth. - Mendrisio Academy Press. - 2015, p. 113-129
English How is it possible today to build with timber in an innovative manner? With appealing aesthetics, a convincing structural concept, and appropriate to the material involved? Architect and civil engineer Yves Weinand runs an office in Belgium and has also since 2004 been the director of IBOIS, the laboratory for timber construction at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He heads an interdisciplinary team of researchers, including architects, engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists. The aim of IBOIS is to develop innovative timber materials that can be manufactured in an economical way. Important fields of research are load-bearing timber panels and volumes, origami-like folded plate structures, new types of connection such as friction welding of wood, and the application of textile principles on the scale of a building. Weinand’s approach to form, like Frei Otto’s, starts from area-covering structural elements. Both architects develop their design concepts through a process of conceptual reflection, while by contrast the final form arises in an experimental process. Weinand does not adopt Otto’s idea of form-finding in a dogmatic manner, but only for a few projects. More important to him is the work-inherent derivation of form starting from the material or from an important architectural detail such as the timber joint. His approach is thus similar to Renzo Piano’s and Richard Rogers’ concept of a “tectonic of assembly” – described by Roberta Grignolo elsewhere in this publication – and is also deeply rooted in handicraft. But by bending, weaving, interbraiding and joining timber, Yves Weinand is bursting the narrow limits of the Swiss-German art of “correct building”. What appears to me to be the most persuasive aspect is that in his load-bearing timber fabrics with textile modules, the process of form generation is determined by the material itself and by its deformation. According to Weinand, this represents a substantial challenge for mathematicians and engineers, but at the same time it guarantees the tectonic quality of the form. Tectonics is thus becoming a topical subject once again, as the parametric model developed by the IBOIS team manages to mediate between space and technology.
  • Italian
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  • RERO DOC 306992
  • ARK ark:/12658/srd1318833
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