Design-Research-Build: Workshop and Research Hall

We need a change in construction. The goal must be a closed circular economy. For this, a change in teaching, research and construction methods is urgently needed. Our strategy at the t-lab Holzarchitektur und Holzwerkstoffe (=Wood Architecture and Wood Materials) of RPTU Kaiserslautern is to combine student design with research and 1:1 realizations. 

The Workshop and Research Hall (13m wide, 28m long and 7m high) in Diemerstein, Germany was created in this way. The timber construction derives its architectural form from the demand for a consistent circular construction economy of all building components, construction and elements. These are modular and reversibly connected in order to guarantee easy disassembly and subsequent reassembly at a later date without loss of value. In order to ensure non-destructive dismantling of the construction elements, easy-to-handle and detachable joining have been developed and applied. The novel nodes and adapters made of synthetic resin pressed wood developed at t-lab meet these requirements. Reversibility is primarily achieved by pretensioning the construction elements and interlocking connections suitable for timber construction.

The heart of the Workshop and Research Hall is a multifunctional space that can be used for the construction of large-scale prototypes as well as for timber construction workshops, seminars and conferences relating to t-lab's research topics. The 360 square meter space is flexibly furnished and can be redesigned to suit specific uses. In the entrance area, additional rooms (storage, WC, checkroom, kitchen) are arranged in and around a free-standing wooden box.

The primary supporting structure of the Hall consists of pretensioned three-hinged frames made of BauBuche GL 75 with synthetic resin pressed wood nodes. The bracing wall, floor and ceiling panels are made of spruce cross laminated timber. The cone-shaped milled cone adapters connect the roof and wall elements to the frames. On the outside, a similarly reversible wall construction follows: Soft-fibre insulation, counter-battening and vertical boarding made of Douglas fir. Instead of a classic reinforced concrete floor slab, a removable cross-laminated timber floor slab was installed. This is supported on steel profiles according to the principle of a crawl space. The steel profiles transfer the loads to micropiles in a material-minimised way. The individual elements of the supporting structure, the shell and the technical fittings remain identifiable and thus guarantee separation by material type.

The simple structure is divided along the long façade by three big round, fixed glazed openings. The front façade is made of translucent polycarbonate multi-skin sheets and is set back, allowing the resulting roof overhang to serve both as a relaxation and storage area. The recess clearly emphasizes the shape of the frame structure and underlines the simplicity of the building.

The construction levels of the Hall are made completely of wood and are in a closed building components cycle. Among other things, we proved the reusability by completely assembling a section with two three-hinged frames with cross-laminated timber panels mounted in between at the executing company, then dismantling it there and reassembling it again as part of the Hall at the Diemerstein site.

Images and Plans



Leander Abstein, Karmend Aziz, Mohammad Balo, Tobias Becker, Friedrich Brox, Elissa Laetitia Dregert, Ann Kathrin Eckthaler, Katrin Ehrlich, Gil Miguel Ferreira Cruz, Marc Galonske, Dominic Glock, Klara Hahnefeld, Angela Hemm, Anna Sophie Hormuth, Paul Junginger, Patrick Karbaum, Rouven Knaber, Paula Köhl, Zuzanna Kowalczuk, Laura Kunze, Joel Leopold, Hanna Sophie Opp, Selenay Parlak, Ana Prieto Escribano, Natascha Reinhart, Jannis Rickerts, Laura Schinner, Bastian Schmidt, Sarah Schmidt, Helena Schumacher, Kathrin Straube, Christian Veth, Lennart Wagner, Sarah Wanke and Jana Weingarten
Stiftung für die TU Kaiserslautern
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Graf
Prof. Stephan Birk
Marcel Balsen
Oliver Betha
Reiner Klopfer
Viktor Poteschkin
Dr.-Ing. Dennis Röver
Joaquim Santos
Wenchang Shi
Christian Weisgerber
Transportation of Skill
Project Context
Project Type
Community / Culture | Production
Construction Methods/Techniques