Reimagining design for a light environmental impact: The Paper Composition Pavilion (upcoming)

International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) 2024 Symposium, Zurich, 26–30 August 2024

The lightweight design philosophy has always stood for efficient use of materials and elegant structural design. However, while lightweight materials provide visual lightness, they are not necessarily recyclable. In this publication we present a new demonstrator for circular lightweight structures that explores and redefines the design characteristics of lightweight structures. Lightness is understood here not only in terms of weight but also in terms of environmental impact. The parametric design develops a forward-looking approach to lightweight structures based on material cycles, using paper as an alternative building material. The structural potential of the developed composite modules, consisting of folded paper, is tested for mechanical properties. In combination with a textile membrane to create a hybrid lightweight structure, the pavilion is then analysed concerning its environmental impact and circularity. As a temporary structure, the Paper Composition Pavilion, designed by architecture and structural engineering students as part of the IASS WG21 competition, embodies a new vision of sustainable lightweight concepts and invites reflection on the redefinition of responsible design in engineering to respond creatively to changes in the construction industry.