Wilhelma Elephant World

Wooden shell construction with 100m span, interdisciplinary parametric planning
MKK-Architekten | herrmann+bosch architekten
BAnTec GmbH, Transsolar, Design to Production
herrmann+bosch architekten | Béla Berec | knippershelbig

The Stuttgart zoo is situated in a unique park, which was commissioned by King William I in the 19th century. In the following decade, the ‘Wilhelma’ Park, which was named after him, underwent a transformation from a purely private retreat for a king to a unique, world-renowned zoological and botanical garden owned by the State of Baden-Württemberg.
The design for the new Elephant World building by the bidding consortium MKK, herrmann+bosch architekten, knippershelbig and Bantec ultimately prevailed in a high-profile planning competition. The roof of the new Elephant World building is conceived by knippershelbig as an organically shaped grid shell construction made of wood with a span of up to 100 m. The construction is being further developed using parametric methods in an interdisciplinary planning process on a digital building model. A large number of parameters are being taken into account, including user requirements, design, structural engineering, construction and manufacturing processes in timber construction, daylight simulations, and economic efficiency specifications. In cooperation with ‘Design to Production’, the production data will be extracted directly from the 3D geometry and delivered to the contracting timber construction companies.