Timber Fabric


Funding: EPFL

Status: Completed, 2007-2013

Doctor: Markus Hudert, Architect

Thesis director: Prof. Yves Weinand, architect and engineer, IBOIS


Applying Textile Principles on Building Scale

This thesis project proposes to investigate a new family of timber constructions based on the logic and principles of man-made fabrics. In fabrics, as well as in basketry, the coherence of the yarn elements is governed by friction. Additionally, the basic materials are, in principle, available with infinite length. This radically changes on a building scale. Whereas there might be a possibility of building structures based on friction up to a certain size, it is certain that one needs to consider material limitations, for instance in length, and how to deal with them. One has to address the question of how to translate textiles into building structures without betraying their basic principles. Can textile principles be transformed into something new, something that is more than just a mere literal metaphor of weaving? The consequences of such an approach might result in something that is not immediately recognized as a textile structure, but yet adapts its logic in the most stringent way.

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Link to thesis