The Urbach Tower is made of wood that shapes entirely by itself

The Urbach Tower is a unique wood structure. The design of the tower by ICD Stuttgart emerges from a new self-shaping process of the curved wood components. This pioneering development constitutes a paradigm shift in timber manufacturing from elaborate and energy-intensive mechanical forming processes that require heavy machinery to a process where the material shapes entirely by itself.

This shape change is only driven by the wood’s characteristic shrinking during a decrease of moisture content. Components for the 14 m tall tower are designed and manufactured in a flat state and transform autonomously into the final predicted curved shapes during the industry-standard technical drying. This opens up new and unexpected architectural possibilities for wood structures, using a sustainable, renewable, and locally sourced building material.

The Urbach Tower is the first wood structure made from self-shaped components. It serves as a landmark building for the City of Urbach’s contribution to the Remstal Gartenschau 2019.

Design and info © ICD Stuttgart

Images © ICD Stuttgart and Empa

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