Asymptotic Geodesic Timber Vault

This research project combines new methods from applied geometry, computational engineering, and structural design. By designing webs of asymptotic and geodesic curves simple planks of ash wood are woven together in their tall and flat orientation into a lightweight timber structure. This approach offers high structural rigidity, with efficient use of sustainable materials. The structure can be assembled flat by low-skilled workers and offers a kinetic deformation into the doubly curved design shape, to create a spatial strained gridshell. Finally, the Tri-hex timber grid is covered with developable polycarbonate panels to ensure constructive wood protection and create a weatherproof shelter for cultural events in the Kreative quarters of Munich.

The project is funded by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and was constructed in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich, Professorship of Structural Design.

Video: Alyssa Williams
Video: Michael Ethan
Photos: Yilinke Tan
Photo: Michael Ethan
Photo: Yilinke Tan
Photo: Michael Ethan
Photos: Eike Schling
Photos: Michael Ethan

Name: Asymptotic Geodesic Timber Vault
Type: Strained Gridshell
: Kreativquartier Munich, Germany
Completed: November 2022


The University of Hong Kong | HKU
Department of Architecture
Dr. Eike Schling, Dr. Zongshuai Wan


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | KAUST
Applied Mathematics and Computational Science
Prof. Helmut Pottmann, Dr. Hui Wang

Technical University of Munich | TUM
Chair of Structural Design, Prof. Pierluigi D’Acunto
Jonas Schikore, Julian Trummer, Sebastian Hoyer

Student Team TUM:
Josef Eglseder, Anne Ambrosy, Clemens Lindner
Laura Lehle, Martina Gruzlewski, Gabriele Felici, Desiré Agostini, Davide Binci

Aida Domingo Losa, Andrea Albalate Pérez, Anna Gaudin, Axel Rasmussen, Belén Ruiz, Camilla Evangelisti, Davide Piccolo, Elisa Cordaro, Esteban Álvarez Balogh, Federico Ferrero, Lavinia Krick, María García, Maria Pancewicz, Mathilde Larose, Philip Schneider, Rémi Koumakpayi, Valentina Ficca

Design Factory 1:1 | TUM
Nora Singer, Matthis Gerike
Schwere-Reiter-Straße 2h / Halle 29
80636 München

Engineering Support:
Joram Tutsch, Kayser+Böttges Barthel+Maus Ingenieure und Architekten GmbH
Máté Péntek, Wind Consultant, Chair of Statics, TUM
Jörg Rehm, Approval Planing and Fire Safety, Chair of Design and Construction, TUM

Documentation Team:
Yilinke Tan (Photo), Michael Ethan (Video), Alyssa Williams


Holzbau Amann
Holzbau-Amann GmbH, Albtalstrasse 1D, 79809 Weilheim-Bannholz
Bernhard Tritschler

Metallbau Brandl
Erhard Brandl GmbH & Co. KG, Eichstätter Str. 16, 85117 Eitensheim
Thomas Brandl, Franz Meyer


RGC Hong Kong
General Reserach Fund, Early Career Scheme (RGC Ref No. 27604721)
Title: Asymptotic Building Envelope
Principal Investigator: Eike Schling

UGC Hong Kong
Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme (G-HKU707/20)
Title: Kinetic Grid Mechanisms
Principal Investigator: Eike Schling

Technical University of Munich | TUM
Chair of Structural Design, Prof. Pierluigi D’Acunto

About eikeschling

Dr.-Ing. | Architect BYAK Assistant Professor in Architectural Structures The University of Hong Kong

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