Tree-based constructions

  structural model © Chair of Structures and Structural Design  

Master's Course Architecture Research Field

Timber construction is traditionally based on prefabricated wooden semi-finished products with geometrically simple and versatile basic shapes such as rectangular or square cross-sections. Nevertheless, the production of timber construction elements in the form of boards, battens and beams involves a logistical and production effort that should not be underestimated. For production reasons, only straight wood can be used for further processing; tree trunks with their curved and branched structure are usually sorted out. The seminar is dedicated to the use of this material for the development of appropriate construction principles.

In the first part of the course we will organize visits to the forest to analyze the "harvest" of the raw material. Then, the raw material will be digitized using image-based modeling. The data will serve as the basis for the design and development of components that will be used in a small self-supporting structure (designed by the students). The components are then fabricated from the raw material. The project concludes with the implementation of the designs in 1:1 scale models. The course also includes the teaching of basic principles of load transfer in nature.


  •     Understanding the growth and resilience of wood that grows in trees.
  •     Understanding of woodworking and construction tasks
  •     CAD construction from acquired wood
  •     Construction and assembly
  •     Teamwork
  •     Project management
  •     Communication management
  •     Technical problem solving

Language : English/German

Teaching methods : Theoretical and practical work in workshops

Participation requirements: Basic knowledge in Rhino and Grasshopper, Have completed a basic training in Manulab (moodle).

Number of participants: 15 (BA and MA)

Meetings: weekly, Thursdays 15:00 - 17:00

Location: Chair of Structural Engineering

Start: 28.04.2022

Hand in: 28.07.2022

Tutor : Kevin Moreno Gata M.Sc.,

More information on the homepage: Website

References: Publication




  • Understand the growth and resistance of wood grown in trees
  • Understand wood fabrication and construction tasks
  • CAD design from acquired wood
  • Construction assembly
  • Teamwork
  • Project management
  • Communication management
  • Technical problem solving

Language: English/German

Teaching methodology: Theoretical and practical work in workshop

Participation criteria and registration: Grasshopper & Rhino basic knowledge; To have completed basic training in Manulab (moodle)

Number of participants: 15 (BA and MA)

Appointments: Thursdays, 15:00 - 17:00

Place: Lehrstuhl für Tragkonstruktionen

Start: 28.04.2022

Submission: 28.07.2022

Tutor:  Kevin Moreno Gata M.Sc.

Further information on the homepage: Hompage

References: Publication

Poster: Download