Traditional thinking in architecture and engineering alike is to understand the built environment as static. Build structures resist changes in the environment through stiffness. ‘Hybrid Tower’ asks, what an architecture could be, that is soft and gives in to forces in a controlled yet way. An architecture that embraces the idea of resilience and adaptation.
‘Hybrid Tower’ is an integrated hybrid structure – made from only two components: Bend GFRP rods and custom-made CNC knit. The unique combination of these two materials creates a very light and yet stiff structure, which balances wind and other external forces through an interdependent combination of compression and tension elements. The structure is extremely light and easy to assemble, but yet strong enough to withstand a 3 month outdoor installation on the world cultural heritage side of the central square of Guimaraes/Portugal: Largo do Toural.
The tower was developed in an interdisciplinary collaboration between architects (CITA, Copenhagen) , structural- and textile-engineers (KET, Berlin, Fibrenamics, Guimaraes), material testing specialists (Duisburger…..) and the knitting company AFF (A. Ferreira & Filhos). Together they developed materials and design and fabrication processes, which allowed using knit as structural element in a previously unprecedented scale. The collaboration opens new avenues for textile as building material.