Sydney Workshop SS2019

12.8.2019-16.8.2019, Sydney: The DTC team from TU Kaiserslautern and the Code-to-production team from the University of Sydney organised a collaborative workshop on digital timber construction in August 2019. The excursion of the Kaiserslautern students was co-funded by the PROMOS program of the German academic exchange service DAAD.

DTC Workshop Sydney 2019 – Opera House Visit

Lendlease Timber Structures & Daramu House Site Visit
A big thanks to Tim Butler and Lendlease Australia, who invited us to their international tower offices in Barangaroo and presented their recent multi-storey timber constructions to us. We also had the exciting possibility to visit the construction site of Daramu House, a seven-storey office building built entirely from prefabricated wood components, with a highly innovative HVAC solution, cross-laminated wood plates used as fire protection material and elegant V-shaped columns made from recycled hardwood at the ground level.

DTC Sydney Workshop 2019: Visit at Daramu House
DTC Sydney Workshop 2019: Visit at Daramu House

Sydney Opera House Tour
Another highlight of the trip was a guided tour of the Sydney Opera house, followed by a harbour tour. The Opera House is an impressive building, with a highly interesting history. Geometrical principles together with prefabrication technology made the modular construction of the shells possible – great inspiration for the centerpiece of our Sydney workshop: The design-and-build project of our digitally designed and robot fabricated “HexBox” timber canopy, made from prefabricated wooden boxes.

DTC Sydney Workshop 2019: Sydney Opera House Tour
DTC Sydney Workshop 2019: Sydney Opera House Tour

HexBox Canopy Collaborative Design and Build Project
Similar to the fabrication strategy of the Sydney Opera House, our small experimental project uses geometry to divide the structurally optimised shape of the canopy into planar hexagonal segments. These hexagonal box modules could then be built from only 18mm thick plywood, which required smart connectors, as the joining of thin, lightweight plates is challenging. The HexBox Canopy Project features multiple innovations, such as the first such construction entirely from wood materials: The box-to-box connectors use wooden wedges, which allow for the tightening of the structure on site, as well as for the compensation of smaller tolerances, which are natural to the material and building structures. A second innovation is the use of special Lamello connectors for the prefabrication of the box modules. These plate-to-plate connectors allow for a rapid and precise assembly of the thousands of miter-joined plates which all have individual miter angles. This allows for the gluing without any molds. More Information on the HexBox Project can be found at this link.

Timber Talks CPD Event
Another component of the workshop was a full day CPD event entitled “timber talks”, which included several talks, an evening lecture and a workshop which was open for external participants. The timber talks event focused on the integration of structural concepts into the design process, current trends in timber design and what systems are being used, as well as structural advantages for various building types. We discussed prefabrication, flexibility and builders’ knowledge and how timber frames are assembled. The structural properties of timber will be explained, particularly in relation to timber in tension.

DTC Sydney Workshop Students:
Philip Becker, Benedikt Blumenröder, Dominik Diehl, Florian Lapport, Sarah Lutgen, Albert Marhoffer, Jan Neklapil, Manuel Scheib, Felix Schmidt-Kleespies, Anna Specchio, Valentino Tagliaboschi, Iridia Xanthou

We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters: Lamello SA, the DAAD PROMOS program, IMES-icore GmbH, Doris Simon, Nina Huber, Johannes Braumann and Magnus Volkmann. The HexBox Canopy was realised by a mixed group of researchers and students from TU Kaiserslautern and the University of Sydney. Special thanks to the DMAF workshop team of the University of Sydney, to our host Eduardo Barata as well as Lamello AG, PMI Engineers, Carter Holt Harvey Plywood, Yang Liu, KUKA AG,