Design Studio SS 07

Foil – Crazy architecture


A variety of new materials are entering the world of architecture and construction. Step by step, they are changing our built environment and gradually influencing our perception. Such materials do not only require specific application possibilities. It is at least as important to integrate the individual elements constructively, creatively and in terms of use within the intended design. For the architect, it is an indispensable requirement to find solutions for the connections of similar elements, as well as those with other materials, because the basic laws of moisture protection and structural strength have in any case remained largely constant. Not being able to draw from a repertoire of detailed solutions makes such a task seem out of the context of conventional architectural creations. The aim of the design program is to develop such a “foil” (French: craziness).


An INDOOR or OUTDOOR structure is to be developed, which primarily makes use of the properties of the novel plastic honeycomb panel “Birdwing” and finds an individual shape. The advantages of the low weight, with simultaneous high constructive strength, as well as a translucent appearance, undoubtedly allow a variety of interesting applications on water, on land or even in the air. It is up to the student to decide in how far he chooses a concrete place of application for the respective structure, or assigns a specific use to the object. In any case, the building structure should make use of one or more advantages of the material and ultimately give the impression that the material was developed specifically for that project. In the course of upcoming design steps, joining possibilities (differentiation between indoor and outdoor use), connecting elements, material dimensions and much more are to be considered and incorporated into the design. Thematically, no restrictions are made, but the building structure should not exceed the dimensions of about 5 by 5 meters. Whether on stilted legs, suspended, floating or hanging: in any case, there are no limits to the places where the “Crazy Architecture” can be used.


The “craziness” developed from the material Birdwing, or its related manifestations, shows that a design, or a spatial structure, as it was required in the present design project, can sometimes find its origin in the specification of the material alone. The locations and functions defined in the course of the development process are therefore reflected in consistently different situations of use. These range from minimal accommodation in naturally exposed locations to a wedding chapel in the midst of luminous advertising hoardings. Furniture visions have been brought to life, as have architectural objects that can actually be walked on. Common to all objects, however, is the confrontation with the aesthetic and or structural conditions of the given material. The exact weighting of one or the other characteristic was up to the individual student at any given time. In this way, each individual carried out a thoroughly individual development process.