IBA TIMBER PROTOTYPE HOUSE by ICD University of Stuttgart

Traditional wood structure combines with digital design and fabrication technologies

Project Specs


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The IBA Timber Prototype House presents a new take on micro-architecture. Effectively a log cabin turned on its side, it combines the benefits of traditional low-cost timber construction with advances in computational design and fabrication technologies. The project explores a novel solid timber building system to economically create environmentally sound, architecturally expressive, mono-material building envelopes.

▼木质原型住宅外观,exterior view of the IBA Timber Prototype House  ©IBA Thueringen Photo Thomas Mueller


▼参数化设计体系,parametric design system  ©ICD University of Stuttgart

▼装配及构造体系,assembly and construction system  ©ICD University of Stuttgart

In contrast to the horizontal stacking of typical log construction, here the solid timber elements are arranged as staggered upright frames. Thus the vertical elements are oriented in the strong direction of the wood which allows for sawing slits in the solid timber without comprising its structural capacity. These thin slits serve as stress-relief cuts, which prevent the solid timber from splitting. This ensures dimensional stability and airtightness, both significant issues in traditional log construction. At the same time, the slits are utilized as dead-air chambers, reducing thermal conductivity and increasing the insulation values of the material.

▼大面积的玻璃立面,large glass facade  ©IBA Thueringen Photo Thomas Mueller

▼实木构件被设置为相互错开的垂直框架,the solid timber elements are arranged as staggered upright frames  ©IBA Thueringen Photo Thomas Mueller


The resulting, highly sustainable, mono-material building system acts as structure, enclosure and insulation, achieving compliance with stringent German energy saving standards. The fully integrated computational design and fabrication approach allows for gently twisting and curving walls and ceilings. They not only offer the possibility to maximize the ratio between available space and envelope surface, but also intensify the architectural experience of this unique micro-house.

▼住宅内部,interior of the house  ©IBA Thueringen Photo Thomas Mueller

▼完全集成式的电脑设计和建造方式,能够轻微扭转和弯曲墙面及天花板,the fully integrated computational design and fabrication approach allows for gently twisting and curving walls and ceilings  ©IBA Thueringen Photo Thomas Mueller


Digital fabrication is employed to produce high-precision, airtight joints for connecting the timber elements without the need for any metal fasteners or adhesives.

▼玻璃立面吊装,glass facade installation  ©IBA Thueringen, Photo Thomas Mueller

▼等待运输的六个建筑模块,six building modules awaiting transport  ©Ackermann GmbH Photo Jens Kestler

▼数控铣削零件的机器加工轨迹,toolpaths Generation for CNC milled building components  ©ICD University of Stuttgart

▼绝缘狭缝细部和框架转角细节,detail showing insulation slits and corner detail of a completed frame layer  ©Ackermann GmbH Photo Jens Kestler(left)©Photo Hans Drexler(right)

▼转角连接和刚性角节点细节,assembly of corner joint and detail of rigid corner joint  ©Photo Hans Drexler


The Timber Prototype House is part of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Thueringen and is on show now following the opening on May 24th, 2019 in Apolda, Thueringen.

▼夜景,night view  ©IBA Thueringen Photo Thomas Mueller

▼木质原型小屋平面及剖面,IBA Timber Prototype House Plan and Sections  ©ICD University of Stuttgart

▼线性集成木框架系统,detail of linear aggregation joinery system  ©ICD University of Stuttgart

▼刚性转角细节,detail of rigid corner joinery system  ©ICD University of Stuttgart

Log cabin digital – International Building Exhbition (IBA) Thueringen, Germany 2019

ICD Institute for Computational Design
Prof. A. Menges (PI), Oliver Bucklin, Oliver David Krieg, Victor Rodriguez
Jade Hochschule Oldenburg
Hans Drexler, Marie Deilmann, Geronimo Bujny, Anna Bulavintseva
Internationale Bauausstellung: Thueringen
Dr. Marta Doehler-Behzadi, Tobias Haag

Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung
Forschungsinitiative Zukunft Bau

Rettenmeier Holding AG

Klima und Umweltlabel Holz von Hier
Georg Ackermann GmbH
Universal Holzbau GmbH
Glaskontor Erfurt GmbH
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Ingenieurbüro Matthias Münz
Nils Holger Moormann GmbH
hofmann+löffler creativeinrichtungen GmbH
Stadt Apolda

6 x 5.5 x 3.8 m (LxWxH) 16.7m2 (floor area) calculated u-value:0.221 measured u-value: 0.224
Construction System
Solid-timber spruce beams, with CNC-milled details for all-wood joinery sys- tem, including air cavities for insulation and material stability. Structure, en- closure, thermal performance, and architectural articulation achieved with a single, natural, mono-material, construction unit type.

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