DWI, Aachen

©: Jörg Stanzick / Carpus+PartnerAG

DWI, Aachen

Pneumatic ETFE foil canopy

Technical/General information

Membrane design: ETFE-roofing (atrium), pneumatic, 2layer
Dimensions/sqm: 480
Architect: Carpus & Partner AG
Client: DWI at RWTH Aachen e.V.
Membrane Assembly: October 2011


Patios of any kind of public and commercial buildings are very often popular meeting and gathering places. In order to benefit from these places as long as possible throughout the year, considering Mid-European climatic conditions, it demands a protection against wind and weather. Therefore, the “Deutsche Wollforschungsinstitut” (German wool research institute) at the “Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen” (Rheinish-Westfalian Technical University of Aachen) initiated an architectural project to achieve such a roofing for their new patio.

During the past years, the institute has expanded from a mid size research facility to an acknowledged institute with great prospects for continuing growth. Therefore, the institute demanded further space for research, administration and departments. According to the design of Carpus+Partner Architects a new created L form structure together with the also L form shaped existing building surrounds a square patio. The architects designed a highly translucent lightweight foil roof. Temme Obermeier assisted the development and provided the implementation of this ETFE cushion roof including the supporting steel structure spreads. The structure is made of lenticular, fragile looking steel beams connected to each other. Trapezoid shaped foil cushions fill in the spaces between them and thus form an effective protection against rain by simultaneously providing a clear view to the sky above.