Chair of Structures and Structural Design

 

No creature without shell or skeleton, no edifices, no architecture without structure!

 

We all perceive gravity primarily as a physical phenomenon and are oblivious to its effects, despite our constant exposure to it.

At the Chair of Structures and Structural Design, this particular aspect of the environment, namely the effect of forces and strains on any object, including buildings, is the focal point of consideration. This task is closely linked to architectural design since the structure is oftentimes an integral and visible part of the architecture, and, in certain cases like bridges or civil engineering works, constitutes the design as a whole. In order to rise to this interdisciplinary challenge, our team consist of architects as well as civil engineers.

The basic knowledge and principles of a structural design approach as well as the development and planning of supporting structures are being conveyed as part of the undergraduate curriculum via lectures, tutorial, seminars and design projects. On this basis, the graduate courses incorporate current research topics and offer students a possibility to engage in relevant design projects. The seminars focus on the development of innovative projects up to a ready for construction stage.

Topics for design projects and seminars are derived from current research foci of the chair, for instance in the field of timber constructions, industrial planning and infrastructure, or structural morphology principles like folding.

 
'Basic Structures' Chair of Structures and Structural Design

Structural Principles

The principles of a structural design approach as well as the development and planning of supporting structures are being conveyed as part of the undergraduate curriculum via lectures, tutorial, seminars and design projects.

 
Thesis 'Sprung über die Emscher' Lisa Mühlnickel

Graduate courses

The graduate courses incorporate current research topics and offer students a possibility to engage in relevant design projects. The seminars focus on the development of innovative projects up to a ready for construction stage.

 
AIF Prototype Chair of Structures and Structural Design

Lightweight construction

The application of a novel sheet metal forming process in architecture, e.g. for the development of structural, sheet metal cladding elements, is a key area of research.

 
movable paper foldings Chair of Structures and Structural Design

Principles of Structural Morphology

Folding is one of the fundamental lightweight concepts of nature. Our research focuses on the practical application of folding in the built environment.

 
a saddle shaped calebash gourd Chair of Structures and Structural Design

Smart Bio-Materials

A multidisciplinary team consisting of biologists, ecologists, structural engineers, architects and industrial designers collaborate to develop a systematic database to evaluate the potential of a broad substitution of conventional products by renewable alternatives grown into near net shape.

 
Perspective View Tobias Anne-Lehre, Stefano Pascale

Design and construction of industrial buildings

In order to prepare the domestic industry for future challenges in the global competition, this interdisciplinary research network develops strategic concepts for the design of the ‘factory of the future’.

 
bridge over the river Aare, Bern 1857/58

Construction History

The inventive is based on the creation of parallels and analogies, hence it is guided by observation and intuition. These abilities have enabled master builders in the past to create edifices of astounding proportions and qualities by genuine apprenticeship and extensive experience, without defined physical laws or scientific rules.