Neuschnee Shell (2018)

Client: University of Innsbruck
Architect: Walter Klasz Architects
Location: Lusens, Austria

Date: 2018-02-21 00:00:00 +0000
Tags: public, industrial, timber

The mission of Austrian company Neuschnee GmbH is to develop and market an innovative bio-based snow making technology that is more efficient and much less energy intensive than modern snow canons. As their technology has evolved they have tested the prototypes within striking contemporary structures in the Tyrollean landscape surrounding Innsbruck.

Format Engineers were invited by Neuschnee, Walter Klasz Architects and the University of Innsbruck to collaborate on the design of large scale timber pavilion which could house the latest evolution of their snow making technology and which would also act as a physical demonstration of the K2E structural analysis modelling tools developed by Format Engineers.

The structure is timber shell supported on its apex and then stiffened with external plywood panels. The locally sourced green timber was strength tested to obtain the working parameters for structural analysis. The final design was composed of thin layers of bent timber layered to form composite beam elements within the shell. The internal pre-stress was found using K2E which was also able to predict the final curved geometry with some accuracy. As well as full Structural Engineering services we helped oversee the construction on site.