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© Peter Bennetts
Details of the timber steel connections © Cameron Newnham


Soomeen Hahm Design

Igor Pantic



Format Engineers



Tallinn, Estonia



Completed 2019, Tallinn Architecture Biennale

The Tallinn Architecture Biennale focuses on the conversation around architecture and the city. As part of the biennial event, young architects and designers are chosen to design a pavilion that represent new innovations in the industry. The 2019 pavilion was designed by Gwyllim Jahn, Cameron Newnham (Fologram), Soomeen Hahm Design and Igor Pantic with close collaboration with Format Engineers.

Geometry generation and optimization © Format Engineers

No drawings or CNC code were generated for the fabrication and design of the entire project. The team instead relied on the experimental approach of constructing entirely by hand using augmented reality design information provided to the fabricators through the Fologram holographic platform. This meant that it was important to keep a close collaboration between all members of the team. Format Engineers worked alongside the design team to develop and optimize the geometry as well as the structural performance and buildability of the installation.

Utilization of the timber/steel composite structure in Karamba3D © Format Engineers
Displacement analysis © Format Engineers
Cross section optimisation in Karamba3D © Format Engineers

The final pavilion is a complex array of twisted timber strips which weave together in a dynamic movement playing on the form of a knot, and ideas of inside and outside, surface and volume. The challenge was to produce such a structure using only standardised 100x10mm boards. The timber strips are individually formed by steam bending, using a combination of adaptable moulds and the holographic models. The twisting in the timber elements create additional stiffness and compressive strength in this composite timber-steel shell structure.

Details of the timber/steel connections © Format Engineers
Completed Structure © Peter Bennetts

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Read more: Format Engineers | Soomeen Hahm

Project Team – Sean Guy, Xavier Madden, Nick van den Berg, Hanjun Kim, Aishe Kokoshi, Triin Juhanson, Karim Rouabah, Szymon Padlewski, Thorlak Solberg, Christopher Ferris, Jack Mansfield-Hung, James Morton, Muhammad Ejle, Taivo Lints, Hugo Loydell, Mathilde Grodem, Trine Jarsto, Bodil Eiterstraum, Gerda Levin, Simon Greil, Linn Johansson, Filip Nyborg, Anne Frydenlund, Arissara Reed, Haya Termanini, Mikkel Sorenson, Katrin-Maria Terras, Liis Aleksejeva, Annika Ülejõe, Kertu Jõeste, AnnaLiisa Saavaste, Helena Ojabstein, Lukas Winter, Philippe Hannequart, Tristan Krevald and Tom Morgan.