Normally, booths, pavilions, and other exhibition structures are not the most sustainable. Sure you can recycle some of the parts and maybe re-use them for other events but a lot of times we see them just go to waste or go unused. So materials or designs that are created to lessen carbon footprint and to be reusable and sustainable are always welcome within the design, architecture, and events industry (and everywhere else for that matter). This new lightweight structure made from biocomposite profiles is a Green Concepts 2022 awardee.
Designer: BioMat/ITKE, University of Stuttgart
The LightPRO Shell Pavilion is a project that wanted to introduce alternative sustainable materials that can be used not just for exhibits or booths but for other structural applications. It uses active-bending gridshell that is made from natural fibre biocomposite profiles and combines it with a tensile membrane. What you get are doubly curved surfaces with a continuous beam outline. There are two connected profiles and their forces are transferred to three anchor points.
It may seem not that stable if you look at it without knowing what it’s made of or how it’s standing, but these anchor points are actually attached to a superficial foundation and so it is still solid. The biocomposite profiles used natural flax and hemp fibers for its pultrusion technique which is a process of manufacturing these fibers with a constant cross-section. These profiles are biodegradable and can also be used in various ephemeral structures or other structural applications that may need similar materials.
The Pavilion is a 10-meter span canopy and a maximum height of 4.8m at the perimeter. It isn’t imposing and its open air look plus the canopy design is appealing, regardless of what’s actually inside the pavilion. But more crucial than just looking good (although of course design plays a major part), the fact that the materials are sustainable and can be used for other structural applications can become important in the industry.