Go to main site


Towards a culture of digital architecture

Curved wood pavilion, made with digital tools, Ibois, Mendrisio, 2013. © Fred Hatt

Curved wood pavilion, made with digital tools, Ibois, Mendrisio, 2013. © Fred Hatt

Timber architecture in the digital age : Professor Yves Weinand invests in a National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) in collaboration with ETHZ (Matthias Kohler, ETHZ, Director of NCCR) and EMPA.

The NCCR Digital Fabrication – Advanced Building Processes in Architecture will be hosted at the ETH Zurich in collaboration with 13 laboratories – 8 laboratories from ETHZ, 2 laboratories from EPFL, 2 from EMPA, and 1 from BUAS. Included is the Laboratory for Timber Construction, IBOIS, directed by Prof. Yves Weinand since 2004. At IBOIS, the future of wood construction is built on the development of new technologies.

The first objective of this NCCR is therefore making digital fabrication the essential constitutive means for the future building industry. A second objective of this NCCR is to enable substantial improvements in the environmental impact of construction and fabrication processes, both from a national and global perspective. Therefore, this NCCR aims at fundamental breakthroughs in design, construction and fabrication to foster radically advanced applications of digital technologies in architecture at all scales, performing building tasks for an individual, efficient and environmentally sound building future. Against this background, the NCCR represents an appropriate and ideal platform for generating a synergetic and interdisciplinary approach, enabling a seminal breakthrough of digital fabrication in architecture and strengthening substantially Switzerland’s future position in the planning, construction and manufacturing sector.

The first phase of this NCCR will focus on six collaborative research projects that will span the full range from basic research to building applications, directed by the following leaders: Weinand, Pauly (EPFL), Gramazio, Kohler, Petros, Menz, D’Andrea (ETHZ), Richner (EMPA). In order to guarantee a successful implementation of the NCCR and outstanding research in a field of vital social, economic and ecologic importance for Switzerland, a total budget of 13’400’000 CHF is invested by the SNSF.