Published: Design of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures

© 2021 EPFL

© 2021 EPFL

IBOIS is proud to announce the publication of Design of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures, by Prof. Yves Weinand, available to order from the 27th of September 2021, which proposes a radically new conceptual design approach toward structures and presents the methods to make it a reality.

The book includes an in-depth description of the tools and related case studies that allow for an alternative conceptual design approach holistically embracing form, space, and structure, while also taking into account the new necessities of life cycle assessment and sustainability. The proposed conceptual framework allows the genius and sensitivity of designers to integrate naturally into the design process, free of historical barriers or limitations.

In his foreword, Hanif Kara describes Design of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures as “a timely book that connects Yves Weinand’s forensic knowledge of timber to the conventional boundaries of material science, engineering, computer-aided design, culture, and history to bring art and science back together through a breath-taking tour-de-force of research.”

This publication certainly hopes to generate a new paradigm amongst academics and practitioners from engineering, architecture, and other disciplines on how integrating new, cutting-edge tools and methods into their practice transforms the conceptual design of structures. By significantly reducing the distance between concept, production, and actualization, these methods create an immediate link between these stages, and allow for a quasi-seamless approach of the entire process.

IBOIS research in origami-inspired folded plate structures began as early as 2010, and developed into an interest in folded plate systems and free-form spatial geometries. Typically, designing adequate edgewise joining details for comparatively thin wooden panels is a major challenge of timber engineering. This generated an interest in integral mechanical attachments for edgewise jointing, which became another focus of IBOIS’s research. The advantages of this technique are undeniable, and the application of robotics and computer programming to the design and construction of timber structures has opened enormous possibilities for new kind of sustainable, state-of-the-art timber constructions. It is undeniable that investigations within the structural design of interconnected timber plate structures have not yet been adequately addressed or explored in the timber industry.

The Annen headquarters in Luxembourg is a prime example of and the most recent structure showcasing all design elements and features explained in Chapter 2 of the book, written by Aryan Rezaei Rad. His research, presented in his thesis ‘Mechanical Characterization of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures: Experimental studies and macro modelling technique’ is central to the technology presented in Design of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures. The chapter is co-authored by Petras Vestartas, whose thesis, titled ‘Design-to-Fabrication Workflow for Raw-Sawn-Timber using joinery solver’ equally develops new, digital, design-to-production workflows. The headquarters showcases advanced technology transfers in engineering and architecture taking place at IBOIS. It is composed of 23 discontinuous double-layered, double curved timber plate shells. Each arch is a double-curved shell structure, with a design is inspired by Eladio Dieste’s Gaussian masonry vault. The span of the arches ranges from 22.5 meters to 53.7 meters, and the height and width of each arch are, respectively, nine meters and six meters. Each arch has its own exclusive freeform geometry design using custom developed CAD plugins. This cleanly demonstrates the applicability of the methods described to the creation large-scale, innovative structures.

By not only exposing a new kind of structure, but offeringa conceptual framework and associated toolkit capable of erasing the traditional transition from conception, to production, to actualisation, Design of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures offers the possibility of revolutionising the approach of construction projects. Additionally, the usual separation between primary and secondary structural bearing element disappears throughout all presented case studies, and shows how parameters of a geometric nature can be applied using digital tools and technology. This allows mechanical decision-making to move upstream and be neatly integrated into the basic geometrical choices which underlie the design of the project.

The cover should display here
© 2021 EPFL

Paperback: £44.99

Hardback: £120.00

eBook: £40.99

Author: Yves Weinand

ISBN 9780367689384

Published September 27, 2021 by Routledge

216 Pages 91 Color & 59 B/W Illustrations


Yves WEINAND, Design of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures, Routledge, 2021.

Aryan REZAEI RAD, Mechanical Characterization of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate Structures: Experimental studies and macro modeling technique, EPFL thesis n°8111.

Petras VESTARTAS, Design-to-Fabrication Workflow for Raw-Sawn-Timber using Joinery Solver, thesis EPFL thesis n°8928