Natural Complexity. An Introduction to Structural Design with Tree Forks

  • Lukas AllnerEmail author
  • Daniela KroehnertEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 24)


Amongst construction materials wood offers a unique potential for deriving complex spatial geometries from its grown fibrous structure. The inherent material properties such as grain direction, can be used as generative parameters for innovative timber structures. With the possibilities of 3D-scanning and Computer Tomography the anatomy of wood can be exploited as a design driver for spatial structures. This chapter introduces a design concept of utilizing natural forked branches as components in structural frameworks.


3D scan Naturally grown form Complex wood structures Spatial frameworks Discrete element aggregation 



This work is part of the PEEK research project Conceptual Joining (AR 395-G24) funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Christoph Kaltenbrunner and our fellow team members contributed with expertise and feedback. Philipp Reinsberg developed the initial joint study. Matthew Tam of Bollinger + Grohmann engineers contributed with an initial Karamba definition. Sandra Tuider provided the branch samples. The Department of Geometry of the Angewandte made available an Artec EVA 3D Scanner.


  1. Agote Aiziprua X (2009) ct timber suppliers for shipyards. In: Bertain#23 ‘from tree to ship’, p 109 Departamento de Cultura y EuskeraGoogle Scholar
  2. Ban S (Architects) (2010) Centre Pompidou. Metz, FranceGoogle Scholar
  3. Grabner M (2017) WerkHolz. Kessel, Remangen-OberwinterGoogle Scholar
  4. Hanewinkel M (2010) Baumarteneignung Fichte und Buche bei Klimawandel.
  5. Lüster G (1913) Das Rheingauer Gebück. In: Naturdenkmäler in Nassau 2. Bechtold, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  6. Müller U, Gindl-Altmutter W, Konnerth J, Kaserer D, Keckes J (2014) Stamm-Astanbindung – eine biologisch optimierte Struktur mit hoher mechanischer Leistungsfähigkeit. 10. GraHFT’14Google Scholar
  7. Preisinger C (2013) Linking structure and parametric geometry. Arch Des 83:110–113. Scholar
  8. Schindler C, Tamke M, Tabatabai A, Bereuter M (2013) Serial branches. In: Proceedings of eCAADe 31-computation and performance, vol 1: Material studiesGoogle Scholar
  9. Schüler S, Grabner M, Karanitsch-Ackerl S, Fluch S, Jandl R, Geburek T, Konrad H (2013) Fichte - fit für den Klimawandel? BFW-Praxisinformation 31:10–12Google Scholar
  10. Self M, Vercruysse E (2016) Wood chip barn. Design + Make. The Architectural Association LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Spindler K (1995) cf wooden handle of the cooper axe used by the neolithic hunter Otzi 5.000 years ago. In: Der Mann aus dem Eis, GoldmannGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Arts ViennaViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations