This woven carbon fiber pavilion looks like design of a crafty spider. But it’s actually modeled after an entirely different bug. The research team at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (the same team that made this peanut-shaped building), designed its 2014 research pavilion based on the flying beetle. Or more specifically the beetle’s elytron, that hard, protective forewing that shields the wings the insect uses for flying.
Every year, the ICD constructs a research pavilion, and every year, the structure looks super weird. It’s a time that the computational designers can crack their knuckles and really dig into some big, challenging architectural questions that often get brushed aside for more practical concerns. This year, the big question was: How can you build architectural structures with composite materials like glass and carbon fiber without using massive molds to dictate the shape? This is a difficult thing to do, and the answer could usher in a radically new way of constructing buildings.