A new, biologically inspired, carbon-fiber pavilion in the courtyard of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum was woven by … a robot. The installation was designed by architect Achim Menges with collaborators Moritz Dörstelmann, Jan Knippers and Thomas Auer.
According to a report on the online design and technology website Gizmodo, the structure comprises 40 hexagonal components that cover more than 2,000 square feet. Each panel is made from a combination of transparent glass fiber and black carbon fiber, woven into a structure inspired by a beetle’s forewing known as elytra. The structure is called the Elytra Filament Pavilion.
Each panel weighs about 100 pounds each, for a total weight of just 2½ tons and takes about three hours to be constructed by a computer-programmed Kuka robot. One of the robots will sit within the courtyard during the course of the exhibition, during which it will create elements that can be added to the structure based on real-time sensed data.
The museum’s engineering season runs until Nov. 6.