|Urbach Turm, Station 7 „Turm an der Birke“|
The Urbach Tower (also known as: Urbach Turm, Station 7 or Turm an der Birke) is a 14 m tall experimental structure that serves as a lookout point and shelter overlooking the municipality of Urbach, Baden-Württemberg.
The tower is one of 16 small buildings constructed along the Rems alley in the spring of 2019 for the Remstal Gartenschau 2019. The tower is open to the public and is directly accessible only by foot or bike.
The design and structural engineering for the tower was completed by the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE), at University of Stuttgart in collaboration with the Wood Materials Science Group at ETH Zurich and Blumer-Lehmann AG in Gossau, CH.
The high curvature of the tower is unique for wood construction. The curvature is used to enhance the structural performance and to create a special interior space with convex curvature while the exterior is concave with shape edges. The structure has the appearance of a double curved geometry but is actually made from an arrangement of single curved cylindrical parts. The building is protected by a larch wood facade coated with a special UV protection, titanium oxide surface treatment which will cause the surface to turn a lighter whitish color over time rather than darkening.
The tower is constructed from 12 curved cross-laminated timber building components produced using an experimental self-shaping manufacturing process invented in 2018 by scientist at the University of Stuttgart and Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology.
As of 2019 the Urbach tower is the ICD and ITKE's tallest structure.