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The main research interest of the Institute is geared towards fibre composite materials and their application for architecture and the study of innovative structural morphologies. These fundamental aspects of the research activities at ITKE are investigated both from a theoretical and a practical point of view, integrating computational engineering and advanced analysis methods together with fabrication and development of full scale prototypes to investigate technical functionality and the architectural potential of fibre composites for architectural structures. The institute is involved in the development of national and international codes and guidelines for the designing and sizing of fibre-reinforced plastics in building structures.
The ITKE was part of the development of the innovative, biologically inspired BuGa Fibre Pavilion for the 2019 Bundesgartenschau in Heilbronn. The unique light-weight structure is fully computationally designed and fabricated with an automated robotic winding process – made from individual glass and carbon fibre composite components. These methods allow for the adaptation of form and fibre layout for each of the 60 components depending on their structural and architectural requirements. The pavilion is not only structurally highly effective and lightweight, but it also provides for a unique architectural and spatial experience.