FAZ Pavilion Frankfurt

The design of the FAZ Pavilion is based on the biomimetic research projects Responsive Surface Structure Phase I and Responsive Surface Structure Phase II that investigate autonomous, passively actuated surface structures responsive to changes in ambient humidity based on the biological principles of conifer cones. The design integration of material characteristics and fabrication parameters to achieve both, a variable composite component and differentiated system morphology, enables a direct response to environmental influences with no need for any additional electronic or mechanical control.

Situated on the northern embankment of the river Main in the city centre of Frankfurt, the summer pavilion provides an interior extension of this popular public space. Based on a relatively simple material element that is at the same time responsive structure, embedded sensor, no-energy motor and regulating element, the entire envelope of the pavilion responds to weather changes. On sunny days with relatively low ambient humidity the surface is fully opened. Once the weather changes to rain the related increase in relative ambient humidity triggers a rapid, autonomous response and the structure closes and forms a weatherproof skin. Beyond fulfilling merely the functional performance of a convertible roof, the autonomous, passive actuation of the responsive leaves provide a unique combined environmental and spatial experience.

Scheffler + Partner and Steffen Reichert
Project Coordination: Achim Menges
Project Team: Eva Menges, Steffen Reichert
System Development: Steffen Reichert, Prof. Achim Menges