Carbon fiber and robots. A Pavilion inspired by a beetle

The Institute for Computing Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart have designed a Pavilion visually and physically reminiscent of an insect, or rather a beetle. The working group is not new to these recent projects: in fact another hall has been recently designed, and it is based on the exoskeleton of a lobster; its structure is designed and built on the model of the skeleton of a sea urchin.


The project is based on robotic development of double modules structures composed of layers of carbon fiber: in this way the entire architecture remains minimal and lightweight, allowing a high degree of freedom. It covers an area of 50 square meters, but weighs only 593 kg.

Beetle-Shells-Structure-7-495x350The team of researchers and students have used high resolution 3D models of various beetle shells – known as elytra – to conduct an analysis of the complex internal structures, working closely with biologists and paleontologists of the University of Tuebingen.

Beetle-Shells-Structure-6-495x350These structures were converted then into a set of design principles, made with glass and carbon fiber reinforced polymer to give the hall an optimal strength-to-weight ratio.


“The project presents a new approach to composite fiber structures in architecture”, explained researcher and member of the ICD team Marshall Prado.